Justin Williams may have lost his “C” patch, but he may have his roster spot back soon.
The former Carolina Hurricanes captain has “tentatively agreed to terms on a contract,” according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, although nothing has been signed yet.
Williams was in attendance for Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, taking in the event with Canes owner Thomas Dundon.
The Athletic’s Sara Civian first reported that the 38-year-old was in attendance: “Justin Williams is at PNC Arena in street clothes tonight, and it is my understanding that in less than 24 hours he will be in PNC Arena in a Hurricanes uniform. Nothing is done or certain but it’s getting close.”
On Monday, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reported that the Hurricanes made a final offer to Williams in order to get him back for the rest of the season. He also wrote that Tampa Bay, Washington and Boston have shown interest in the former captain, while LeBrun offered that the Maple Leafs had pitched Williams to join Toronto.
Williams played five seasons with Carolina from 2003-2009 before being traded to Los Angeles on March 4, 2009. After eight seasons, Williams returned to Raleigh in 2017 when he signed with the Canes as a free agent. Last season, he was third on the team with 53 points (23 goals, 30 assists) and recorded seven points in the playoffs (four goals, three assists).
This offseason, Williams announced he was stepping away from the game in light of his indecision about returning for another season.
“This is the first time in my life that I’ve felt unsure of my aspirations with regards to hockey,” Williams said via a press release. “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.”
The Hurricanes will host the Arizona Coyotes in their next contest on Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. ET. We’ll see if Williams is in a Hurricanes uniform for that game.