Justin Williams returns to Hurricanes — two years, $9 million


The Carolina Hurricanes wanted to add some offense to their lineup this summer and they managed to do so by bringing back an old friend.

The team announced on Saturday that it has signed veteran forward Justin Williams to a two-year contract that will pay him $9 million.

“We said that we needed goal scoring and veteran leadership, and Justin will bring us both,” said general manager Ron Francis in a team statement. “He believes in what we are doing here and is returning to Raleigh to help the Hurricanes take the next step.”

Williams spent parts of five seasons with the Hurricanes between 2003-04 and 2008-09 and had some of his most productive seasons during that time, scoring more than 30 goals twice.

He also won the first of his three Stanley Cups with the Hurricanes during the 2005-06 season.

In the decade since Williams has been one of the NHL’s best two-way wingers and has gained a reputation for being a clutch playoff performer. He is going to be 36 at the start of the 2017-18 season but he as he showed with the Capitals this past season he can still play like a legit top-six winger, scoring 24 goals and continuing to drive possession at an elite level.

The Hurricanes have missed the playoffs eight years in a row but have a promising young core of talent starting to emerge and are hoping that the addition of Scott Darling in net can solidify their biggest weakness in recent years — goaltending. With better goaltending and a solid veteran like Williams up front this could be a team to watch for this season.