Former Washington Capital and current Carolina Hurricane Justin Williams announced on Monday that he will step away from hockey for the start of the 2019-20 NHL season.
"This is the first time in my life that I've felt unsure of my aspirations with regards to hockey," Williams said in a statement released by the Hurricanes. "For as long as I can remember, my whole off-season 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."'
This is not a retirement, nor does it indicate that Williams will miss the whole season. However, the 18-year NHL veteran is not under contract for the upcoming year. His two-year contract in Carolina expired after the past season, which ended in the Eastern Conference Final. He is currently a free agent.
Williams turns 38 during the first week of the NHL season. Despite his age in a physical sport, he proves still has it as he played all 82 games, recording 23 goals and 30 assists in 2018-19. He was the oldest player in the NHL to score 20 goals and record 50 points that season.
Prior to his arrival in Carolina, the right-winger did play two seasons with the Capitals from 2015-2017. Both years he helped that Capitals to back-to-back Second Round appearances before the team broke through to win the Stanley Cup the year after.
Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup Champion, winning two with the Los Angeles Kings (2012 and 2014) and one with his first stint playing with the Hurricanes (2006).
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