Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams is concerned of the possibility of seeing his team having positive COVID-19 tests once play resumes in hub cities.
Williams returned to the Hurricanes in January on a one-year deal after taking the first three months of the season off to weigh his playing future and is hoping to compete for his fourth Stanley Cup this summer. Carolina is slated to face the New York Rangers in a best-of-five series to determine who enters the playoff field.
“My biggest concern, maybe the team’s biggest concern, is what if there’s an outbreak on the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 and seven of us can’t play or 10 of us can’t play?” Williams said Tuesday, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “What happens to the team? Is it a forfeit? Do you wait a couple of weeks?
“That’s the main concern that we have. It’s not playing the game of hockey because we’re all going to go out there and we’re all going to give our best to battle for the Stanley Cup. But it would be extremely frustrating having those symptoms and coming down with the virus somehow and not being able to play.”
Williams, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014, added that if a Stanley Cup winner can be crowned after a roughly five-month layoff, it will mean just as much as any other year.
“At the end of the day you’re handing out the Stanley Cup,” he said. “This isn’t just going out and playing some exhibition games. This is legit. This is for it all.
“A different circumstance, obviously. But at the end of the day you’re going to get your name on the Stanley Cup, and no one will be able to take that away from you.”
The 38-year-old Williams had eight goals and 11 points in 20 games before the season was paused on March 12. Nicknamed Mr. Game 7, he has 320 goals and 797 points over his 19-year career and 40 goals and 101 points in 155 career playoff games.