Justin Williams spent Tuesday’s game against the Flyers in street clothes chatting with Tom Dundon his his executive suite. Shortly after the game, the team announced that he had officially been re-signed.


As of three weeks ago

I wrote about this situation in detail in an article on December 18 entitled, “Contemplating Justin Williams”. In tnhat article, I actually leaned slightly negative on a return for Justin Williams. While more leadership is always a positive, my thinking was that largely because of the lessons that Williams helped teach in 2018-19 that the team had successfully moved on. Interestingly though, that article was right after the magnificent 4-0-1 road trip when the Canes were soaring. In that article, I credited Williams with being a quality upgrade to the forward group though my concern there is that if Erik Haula hits another stumbling block that the team might have been better to spend a single addition on a center.


Recent Twitter-size comments

When Williams’ name resurfaced in the past few days, I offered my thoughts on Twitter as follows:


Netting it out

I stand by my comments that the team did not need/require a Justin Williams return. But at the same time, I think he is an upgrade to the roster with leadership to boot and not insignificantly with zero trade cost.

At the most basic level, Justin Williams is exactly the type of veteran leader with playoff experience that teams legitimately covet this time of year. Lost in the ‘he’s getting older’ and ‘he is not the fastest anymore’ discussions is the fact that he was the team’s third leading scorer for the 2018-19 season. Whatever Williams lacks in foot speed, he makes up for in ability, smarts, a willingness to compete at the top of the crease, etc.

Leadership aside, especially when one considers that the trade cost to add Justin Williams was zero, he is a solid upgrade to the lineup by measures that would be used if instead the Hurricanes looked to make a trade at the trade deadline.

I do think his reintegration is a bit more complicated than a normal trade deadline acquisition, but those who had started to cast Williams as a villain the past few days surprise me. Did he not earn better when he returned to the organization at a point when the team was down (and he likely had better options) and do everything in his power to effect a change that yielded success? So while I do think there is a layer of complexity to the situation, the starting point that Williams is a good guy who was liked by everyone in that locker room is a perfect starting point for that being resolved successfully.


My tentative plan is to go a couple layers deeper on Justin Williams re-signing tomorrow night or sooner if I find the time.


In the meantime, I would love to hear everyone else’s thoughts on the return of Justin Williams.


Go Canes!



Share This