If it turns out that NHL veteran Justin Williams has hung up his skates for good, he certainly has praise from one of the best.
“He was terrific,” boasted Don Cherry speaking to Today’s Northumberland about the Cobourg native.
“If I was ever coach in the National Hockey League now, he’d be the guy I’d want on the ice if the game was in overtime.”
The Carolina Hurricanes Captain announced on September 2 the he felt unsure of his aspirations regarding his future in hockey.
The 37-year-old helped bring the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference final in their first post season appearance since 2009.
Williams said because of his “indecision” about his NHL future, he’s decided to step away from the game.
Over the course of his career with Philadelphia, Carolina, Los Angles and Washington he’s earned three Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy for most valuable player of the playoffs and scored 15 points during game sevens in the playoffs.
Many people call Williams, “Mr. Game 7,” but for Grapes, it’s “Mr. Clutch”
“He always seemed to be around the net when you needed him.”
Grapes said last season during a segment of Coach’s Corner he was never a fan of the after game antics one the ice the Hurricanes did when they won. If fact, Cherry called the players “jerks.”
“I don’t know if he was really thrilled about doing the silly stuff.”
But Cherry admits if it truly is the end of the line for Williams career, “he’s my type of guy and he earned the name Mr. Clutch.”