Justin Williams Announces Retirement
In a statement released on October 8, the Coburg, Ontario native announced his retirement from the game of hockey. The three-time Stanley Cup Champion skated in 1,264 games with the Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers. In that time, Williams scored 320 goals and 477 assists for 797 total points. Williams’ play style was characterized by his skating ability and high hockey IQ. He was also known to be a locker room leader for every team he played for, wearing the ‘C’ for Carolina during the 2018-19 season. The forward returned from a brief hiatus midway through last season. In 20 games with Carolina, the winger put up eight goals and three assists for 11 points.
Mr. Game Seven was always able to play well when it mattered most. He helped the Kings earn their second Cup in three years during the 2014 playoffs. Aside from his playing accomplishments, he was a valued community member as well. He runs a hockey camp each summer and sends all the proceeds to a charity in his name. The charity raises thousands of dollars each year for good causes.
How this Affects Carolina
Williams was a leader for the young team. His veteran experience added an important factor to the on-ice play of the organization. Next season his role will likely be filled by youngsters Ryan Suzuki or Morgan Geekie. Both are primed for a start in the NHL and have proven their ability. Geekie was on the team’s playoff roster, putting up one assist in eight appearances this postseason. Suzuki spent his time in the OHL between the Barrie Colts and Saginaw Spirit. In 44 games played, he was on a point-per-game pace, scoring 58 points in that time span.
Williams was one of the most recognizable faces in the Carolina hockey community. His mark on the team and the game will be felt for years to come, and he will be remembered for all he accomplished in his 19-year career.