Carolina Hurricanes received some surprising news on Monday. Their captain Justin Williams decided to take a break from NHL and won’t be with the team to start the 2019/20 NHL season.
Williams confirmed his decision in a statement released by the team, saying that it was motivated by the fact that he is unsure about his commitment to hockey at the moment.
“This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt unsure of my aspirations with regards to hockey,” – said Williams. “For as long as I can remember, my whole offseason until this point has been hockey and doing what was necessary to prepare for the upcoming season. Because of my current indecision, and without the type of mental and physical commitment that I’m accustomed to having, I’ve decided to step away from the game.”
Williams took over the team captaincy last season and helped Hurricanes make their first playoff appearance since 2009. The 37-year-old winger played all 82 games in 2018/19, contributing with 23 goals and 30 assists.
Justin Williams spent the first four years of his NHL career with Philadelphia Flyers, before joining Carolina Hurricanes in 2005. He stayed five years with the organization during his first stint, helping them win 2006 Stanley Cup, before departing for LA Kings.
Williams won two more Stanley Cups with the Kings, winning Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014 as well. He also had a stint with Washington Capitals before rejoining Hurricanes in 2017.