At age 24, Justin Williams was raising the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes. His empty-net goal late in Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals against the Edmonton Oilers sealed a 3-1 victory, and he was front and center later when the celebratory team photo, all smiles and hugs, was taken on the ice with the Cup. At 35, Williams is back. The forward returned to the Hurricanes on Saturday, signing a two-year, free-agent contract worth $9 million. He also brings with him two more Stanley Cup rings — won with the Los Angeles Kings in 2012 and 2014 — and a reputation as “Mr. Game 7” for his clutch play in the biggest games. “He’s shown he can score goals, so we expect him to score some goals for us,” Canes general manager Ron Francis said Saturday. “He’s won three Stanley Cups in his career. He’s shown in the big games he rises to that level he needs to get to to be successful. “On a team with a lot of young players we think he’s going to have huge influence in our locker room, getting those guys to understand what it takes to be successful. It’s great he believes in what we’re building and what we’re doing.” NHL free agency began at noon Saturday, and many in the league may have been surprised that Williams signed with the Canes. To be sure, the money was good — $5 million in the 2017-18 season, $4 million in 2018-19. Williams made $3.25 million each of the past two seasons with the Washington Capitals.
Justin Williams: Hurricanes are done losing
Raleigh News & Observer | Jul 2