Late last week, NHL Training Camps opened, meaning several former Capitals made their debuts with their new teams.
One of those players was Justin Williams, who signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. On Thursday, Williams first threw on a Canes jersey to take his bio picture for the team. His voluminous hair is, of course, a prominent part of the photo.
— Pace Sagester (@PaceSagester) September 14, 2017
Williams scored 24 goals with the Capitals last season skating on the team’s second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson. Despite his good play, the team couldn’t bring back the three-time Stanley Cup champion due to salary cap constraints. The writing was on the wall when the team re-signed first-line forward TJ Oshie to an eight-year retirement deal.
“When did I know I wasn’t returning to Washington? I think it’s tough to tell because as you probably know, Brian MacLellan doesn’t really lead on very much,” Williams said in July. “All of a sudden, he does something and it comes out of nowhere.”
“I hadn’t heard from Washington very much,” Williams continued. “We had heard from them through the process, but certainly not as much as the other teams. They said they wanted to sign me, but sometimes it doesn’t work out [where] both sides are able to get it done. I have nothing but good things to say about Washington. They believed in me, and we had a couple great years, although not successful at what we wanted to attain.”
This isn’t the first time Williams will be playing with the Hurricanes. He actually won his first Stanley Cup with the team during the 2005-06 season before being traded to the LA Kings in 2008. He won two more championships there and earned the moniker Mr. Game Seven for his clutch play.
It's been over 8 years since I last saw Justin Williams at RCI. Sure was good to see him back there today. pic.twitter.com/INL4PW30uJ
— Jamie Kellner (@jbkellner) August 22, 2017
“It doesn’t seem like yesterday, but it doesn’t seem that far away,” Williams said of being back in Carolina for training camp.
During his time in Washington, Williams played 162 games for the Caps, tallying 46 goals and 54 assists. Upon resuming his time in Carolina, Williams will be looking to help get the Canes out of rut that has left them out of the playoffs for six consecutive years.
“I don’t think it matters how many training camps you’ve been to, you’re always a little jittery on the first one (with a new team). Getting to know the coaches, getting to know the players. It’s all a feeling out process for me even though it’s my second time around.”
The Canes also put together a handy pronunciation guide to help you know how to properly pronounce the players’ names. There probably aren’t too many people struggling to pronounce Justin Williams’ name, but if you are having issues, you can hear Williams and a member of the Canes media relations staff pronounce his name correctly here.
Headline photo: @PaceSagester
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