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NHL Rumor: Justin Williams to Test Free Agency

Is Justin Williams ready to return to the NHL? If so, and the Carolina Hurricanes are strapped for cash, where will he land?

On Tuesday night and during the TSN Insider Trading report Pierre LeBrun referenced the status of former Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams. There were plenty of eyes on Williams to see if he’d return this summer and while he hadn’t officially retired, it was uncertain if he’d be back in 2019-20.

It sounds like his break was temporary and he’s almost ready to return.

As expected, Williams’ preference would be to come back with the Carolina Hurricanes but they don’t exactly have a ton of money to fit him in. LeBrun noted:

“He could return, it’s not 100 per cent decided at all but he’s been ramping up his skating, skating by himself the last three to four weeks. And there has been talk back and forth between his camp and the Carolina Hurricanes.”

Part of the issue in Carolina is the fact they’re still paying for buying out Patrick Marleau. After acquiring him from Toronto, they sent him packing before he eventually wound up back in San Jose. The Hurricanes also added Jake Gardiner over the summer and while he’s not working out all that well, he’s on the books. Not much Carolina can do about that now.

Related: Taylor Hall Open to Extension With Coyotes

Williams Willing to Listen From Other Teams

Even though Williams had always said Carolina was his preference, it appears he’s not ruling out landing elsewhere. A traveled veteran of the NHL, he’d be a welcome addition on a lot of teams if the money were right.

He scored 23 goals and 53 points with the Hurricanes last season and even at 38 years old, has a lot to offer and should get some looks.

LeBrun said, “I believe that his camp would also be willing to hear from other teams. Again, the priority is Carolina, but there could be other teams that reach out and make this interesting.”

Related: Bruins Interested in Ilya Kovalchuk

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  1. Pingback: NHL Rumor: Rangers’ Chris Kreider Now Focus Of Trade Talks – NHL Trade Talk – Hockey Rumors

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