Hurricanes sign Justin Williams to 1-year contract

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It was a big night for the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Less than an hour after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-4, in overtime with a Dougie Hamilton goal, the team announced that veteran forward Justin Williams is returning on a one-year contract.

The contract is worth a base salary of $700,000 for this season, while there are an additional $1.3 million in potential bonuses based on individual and team play in the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Williams spent the past two seasons as a member of the Hurricanes (his second time with the team) and appeared in all 164 regular season games. He scored 23-goals and finished with 53 points a year ago and helped the team on a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Final.

An unrestricted free agent over the summer, the 38-year-old Williams decided to take some time away from the game and contemplate his future. There was talk this week that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins showed some interest, but a reunion with the Hurricanes was always the most logical option.

Williams has appeared in 1,244 regular season games in his 18-year career, scoring 312 goals and 786 total points. He has also been a key part of three Stanley Cup winning teams, including one with the Hurricanes during the 2005-06 season. He was also a huge part of the Los Angeles Kings’ championship teams during the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. In 155 career playoff games he has 40 goals and 101 total points.

As for this particular Hurricanes team, his return could be significant. The Hurricanes look like a contender again and have already built a deep, talented roster. Adding Williams to that mix without having to give up anything in return is going to be a big boost. Even at his age his play the past two years showed he is still a strong two-way player that can produce. It is unlikely his game is going to just totally disappear, especially after getting a half season off to rest.

The Hurricanes next game is on Friday at home against the Arizona Coyotes.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.