‘Mr. Game 7 ‘Justin Williams retires after 19 seasons in the NHL

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Carolina Hurricanes forward Justin Williams announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a 19-season career best known for its playoff exploits by winning three Stanley Cups.“Since I joined the league a day after my 19th birthday in 2000, this game has given me so much that I will never be able to repay it,” Williams said in a statement. “The countless experiences, relationships, lessons and trials will stay with me forever as I move on to the next stage in my life. I never took for granted the privilege of being able to play a game for a living and that’s probably why I was able to play professionally for as long as I have. ”

Williams, 39, played 20 games for the Hurricanes last season after joining the team as a free agent in January. He scored one goal in seven playoff games. The winger has 797 points, including 320 goals, in 1,264 career regular-season NHL games.

As a playoff performer, Williams earned the nickname “Mr. Game 7 ”for scoring seven goals and eight assists in nine career games 7. His 15 points in Game 7 are the highest of any player in NHL history, and his teams have scored 8 1 in those contests .

Williams is one of nine players in NHL history to score 100 goals and win the Stanley Cup with two different franchises. He was selected 28th overall in the 2000 NHL Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers, before being traded in 2004 to the Carolina Hurricanes for the first of two stints with the team. He was a key member of their 2006 Stanley Cup Championship team.

In 2009, Carolina traded Williams to the Los Angeles Kings, where he would play for seven years and win two more Stanley Cups – winning the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014 as the playoff MVP. Williams spent two years with the Washington Capitals, then the last three seasons with the Hurricanes.

Williams thanked former Carolina owner Peter Karmanos and general manager Ron Francis for “agreeing to take me back to where I now call home and end my career for the Hurricanes”, and the current owner Hurricanes Tom Dundon and coach Rod Brind’Amour for “their leadership and have confidence in me as a player to bring me back last year for one final run. ”

The veteran forward helped create one of the popular lore in the history of the Hurricanes franchise: the ‘Storm Surge’ celebrations, in which players did everything from human bowling to ‘duck, duck, goose’ on the ice after victories to celebrate with the fans. But after two decades of action in the NHL, it was time to hang up the skates.

“My family has sacrificed a lot to be where I am, so I want to thank my mom and dad for being there for me every step of the way. My sister, Nikki, to be my biggest fan since day one. my wife, Kelly, and my kids, Jaxon and Jade, for embracing this trip with me. Life is so much better when you have people you love to share it with, ”he said. “Thank you all as I retire from professional hockey. “

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