Mr. Game 7 is coming back, baby.
Shortly after a 5-4 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice, the Carolina Hurricanes announced they have re-signed Justin Williams to a one-year contract for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
The deal is worth $700,000 with an additional $1.3 million in individual and team performance bonuses up for grabs if things go his way, according to the team’s press release.
After debating his future in professional hockey for the first 43 games of the campaign and watching his Hurricanes jump out to a 25-16-2 start, the three-time Stanley Cup winner decided he wanted more.
His first title came in 2006 as a member of the Hurricanes.
“There could be an opportunity there to come back and win a Stanley Cup,” Williams recently told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston — both natives of Cobourg, Ont. — while articulating what’s bringing him back for a 20th season. “I mean that’s really the only thing that should drive someone at this point and I wanted to have that opportunity again.”
In 82 regular season games last year, the 38-year-old scored an impressive 23 goals and collected 53 points. He served as the team’s captain during the campaign and helped champion the franchise’s visible focus on fun — most notably their ‘Storm Surge’ team celebrations following wins at PNC Arena.
“We've been in frequent contact with Justin over the last few months regarding his status," said Carolina’s president and general manager Don Waddell, according to the release. “We're thrilled that he has decided to return to playing, and we're confident that adding him to our group will help us both on and off the ice.”
Once he steps on the ice for the Hurricanes again, Williams will be only the fourth player selected in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft to still be playing in the NHL. Ron Hainsey of the Ottawa Senators, Deryk Engelland of the Vegas Golden Knights and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers are the others.
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