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Williams mulls retirement as decision to return could take weeks

Can the Hurricanes make this easier for him?

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Justin Williams is mulling retirement after 18 seasons in the NHL, however the Carolina Hurricanes remain confident their captain will decide to play another season in Raleigh. 

However, general manager Don Waddell revealed the ultimate decision on Williams returning to the Canes’ roster could take a few weeks… 

"We've been in contact with Justin here recently," Waddell told NHL.com. "He hasn't given us 100 per cent yet which way he's going to go. I think he potentially could be leaning toward playing, but I think in the next few weeks it will shake out."

The 37-year-old veteran forward became an unrestricted free agent on Monday and hasn’t given the team any indication which way he is leaning. However, if Williams chooses to lace up the skates again, he will do it with the Hurricanes. 

“If he’s going to play, we feel he’s going to play here in Carolina,” Waddell said. “He built a house here, his family’s here, and he said all along this is where he wants to play. I don’t see anything happening in the very near future, but I think over the next period of time we’ll know for sure.”

The Canes’ captain inspired his team to move all the way to the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Bruins, posting  23 goals and 30 assists in 82 games last season. He added four goals and seven points in 15 playoff games. He did so while playing out the final season of a two-year, $9 million contract signed with the Hurricanes in 2017, returning to the team eight years after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings. 

Let’s see what kind of offer the Hurricanes can place on the table to quickly convince Williams to be back!