Justin Williams has decided to step away from the game, as announced by the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.
“This is the first time in my life that I've felt unsure of my aspirations with regards to hockey,” said Williams. “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.”
Team First.— Carolina Hurricanes (@CanesNHL) September 2, 2019
True Leadership. pic.twitter.com/mlA1jLfQ62
This is not a formal retirement announcement from the 37-year-old captain, it does leave a door open for the free-agent to return later this season to the Hurricanes or another team.
The three time Stanley Cup Champion has played over 1,200 NHL games with the Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals.
Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell added, “We appreciate Justin's honesty and openness throughout this process, and respect his decision. He's been an important part of our team, but we did prepare our roster with the understanding that he might step away. We are confident in the group we've assembled.”
Bob McKenzie hinted to the announcement explaining Williams’ contemplation towards the upcoming season.
Expect some clarity soon, perhaps as early as today, on the future of Justin Williams. He’s been contemplating this off season whether to hang them up after a marvellous career. The belief is he is more likely to retire than play, but...— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 2, 2019
...as I learned a long time ago, there’s nothing more personal, and difficult, for a player than a retirement decision because of so many conflicting emotions. So until the player formally announces it, I always allow for the possibility of a change of heart.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 2, 2019
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