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Justin Williams may be returning to the Carolina Hurricanes

January 2, 2020, 3:58 PM ET [9 Comments]
Ben Shelley
Carolina Hurricanes Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It looks like Justin Williams may be heading back to the Carolina Hurricanes. Elliotte Friedman reported on NHL Network’s “Morning Skate” that after sitting out the first half of the season, Williams has a contract negotiated to re-join the Hurricanes.

This would be a big win for Carolina. The former captain finished second on the Hurricanes in goals last season (and third in points) and could have a strong impact in Carolina’s top-nine. The dilemma is with him returning, whose role is getting reduced? Williams averaged the third-most power play ice time on the Hurricanes last year– does that mean he’ll get his spot back?

I also don’t see an obvious solution as to where he fits into the lineup. The current top-nine is pretty set and someone needs to get bumped. Warren Foegele? I don’t know. Then who gets scratched? There are a lot of questions for sure.

Then is there also reason to worry he won’t be the same as when he left? We’ve seen this with older players like Mike Fisher and Tim Thomas and neither returned as the same player. It’s obviously a case by case basis but I wouldn’t just expect Williams to be a lock to produce at the rate he did last year.

Regardless, an extra piece, especially one with Williams’ track record, is always a good thing.

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