What does Justin Williams’ return bring for the Carolina Hurricanes?

In his long and well-traveled career, Justin Williams may be approaching the last stop on his fantastic journey. This will be the fourth time he has changed teams and it will be his second stint with the Hurricanes, his other coming from 2003 to 2008. In Williams’ first try with the team, he recorded 25 powerplay goals, 120 assists, and helped bring North Carolina its only professional championship in the form of the Stanely Cup.

However, this time around, Rod Brind’Amour and Cam Ward are replaced by Elias Lindholm and Scott Darling and Williams will be in a lineup surrounded by teammates who have never even tasted the playoffs. The Hurricanes are undoubtedly a youth movement fueled by the raw talent and speed that coach Bill Peters has been able to discover over seas, and it’s Williams job to help it all come together.

Williams will look to lay the foundation for this group of young talent, hopefully helping many players understand the pressure of making the playoffs and the quality of play and poise a team needs to achieve that status. Having only missed the playoffs three times in his 18-year career, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to win it all.

He brings a confident presence onto an already stellar defensive line in Carolina. The idea of Williams being paired with Justin Faulk, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin, and Noah Hanafin is tantalizing, to say the least, and his savvy veteran know-how could create one of the most dominant backlines in hockey. The Hurricanes are already one of the best in the business on the penalty kill but the addition of Williams could make it even better.

Justin Faulk has been a master on the power play for the Hurricanes, scoring 31 powerplay goals since 2009. Williams is not an incredibly active shooter, but hits the slapshots that matter, scoring 21 game winning goals since 2009, including three in the playoffs. While the Canes have plenty of offense up front, we could be seeing a lot of offensive pressure from the blue line this season.

He is one of those players that helps everyone around him relax and take a breath. When a unit is relaxed, they are focused and play together in a more fluid state. Williams is exactly what the team needed to help the team take the next step towards maturity and his past relationship with the team makes this move more of a homecoming than just another team.

He is signed to a two-year, $ 9,000,000 deal but he was not brought in to be the big man around town. Williams’ reunion with the Hurricanes helps the team in an array of ways. He is sure to bring back fans from the early years who remember him for his contributions in the championship run. In addition, he can help mold and advance Carolina’s young roster while being the same, reliable player he has always been.

Yardbarker: NHL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 × 1 =