Carolina Hurricanes Captain Justin Williams Taking a ‘Break’ from the NHL

Justin Williams looks onward during a game.
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes looks on against the Washington Capitals in the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena on April 20, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Carolina Hurricanes captain Justin Williams announced on Monday that he will be taking a break from hockey. While not officially retiring, he doesn’t plan to join a team for the start of the upcoming 2019-20 season.

Since being drafted in the 2000 NHL Draft, the now 37-year-old Williams has played in 18 NHL seasons. Through these, he’s totaled 1244 regular-season games played, fifth-highest among all active players.

Carolina Hurricanes Justin Williams Retires

Williams is one of the most profound players in the league. Over the course of his career, he has played with the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, and on two separate occasions the Hurricanes. Through his 18 years, he has tallied an impressive 760 points. This averages out to roughly 42 points in each season.

Of course, many will not remember Williams for his successful regular-season accolades. It was in the post-season where he truly shined. He played in an impressive 155 post-season games through his career. He has 40 goals and 61 points in these games, a total of 101 points.

The legend of ‘Game Seven’ is what’ll truly follow Williams, though. Through his 11 appearances in the playoffs, he has appeared in nine Game Sevens. In these, he has amazed an NHL record 15 points. He has also tied with Glenn Anderson for the most goals in said ‘Game Sevens’, with seven.

This tremendous performance in all-or-nothing games has earned Williams the nickname, ‘Mr. Game Seven’. While an attractive name, Williams isn’t very fond of it. In 2015, he told a Washington D.C. radio station, “Right now, no, I’m certainly not okay with it… I don’t like it. It singles me out the way I don’t want to be singled out, and I’ve been on a lot of good teams who have a lot of success in Game 7s, not just me.”

What Lies Ahead

Williams’ announcement was fairly ambiguous. While not officially retiring, the 37-year-old won’t be playing in the NHL when October rolls around. What this means for his future is hard to say. Some speculate that he isn’t ready to commit to a full-fledged retirement just yet, while others think a contract could be looming. There will likely be more info made public in months to come, as Williams decides what he wants out of the end of his very storied career.

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