Justin Williams could be hanging up his skates after this season, whether or not the NHL resumes play.
The Carolina Hurricanes forward told The Athletic's Two-Man Advantage podcast that he will likely stick to his previous decision to retire this off-season, even if the remainder of this year is cancelled.
"Right now, that’s what’s going on with me, I’ll be comfortable -- certainly not happy -- if the season doesn’t progress. But confident in the fact I’ll be ok regardless. If that was my last game, which I really don’t want to think about it, then that was my last game and I’ll deal with it. It would be awful, but there’s a lot worse things out there. Life will go on. But I want to play some meaningful hockey games [this season], that’s what I came back to do, that’s what I love doing."
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. He signed for a pro-rated $700,000 salary with the possibility to earn an additional $1.3 million with individual and team-based performance bonuses.
The 38-year-old had eight goals and 11 points in 20 games before the season was paused on March 12.
A veteran of 1,264 NHL games, Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup champion and won the Conn Smythe Trophy with the Kings in 2014. 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.