Friday, August 4, 2017

Justin Williams Jersey Card

It's unclear what Justin Williams had in mind this summer when he signed a two-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, who will likely not be making the playoffs during that time.

Perhaps he was chasing the money, as he'll be making an average of $4.5M on a 35-year-old (i.e. "un-buyout-able") contract when he made $3.25 in his previous deal with the Washington Capitals. Maybe the pressure of being nicknamed "Mr. Game 7" got to him, as the Caps once again fell in the second round last season; not to worry, Williams will now be appearing at World Championships under the Team Canada banner during the NHL postseason from now on.

He'll find these Canes are a far cry from the team he won the 2006 Stanley Cup with, despite Cam Ward still plying his trade in nets and the likes of Ron Francis (GM), Rod Brind'Amour (assistant-coach), Glen Wesley (defensemen development coach), Sergei Samsonov (player development coach), Jeff Daniels (scout manager), and Ray Whitney (pro scout) still around the team after retiring.

Then again, at least he's found work. I'm currently unemployed, as are the likes of NHL free agents Dennis Wideman, Milan Michalek, Thomas Vanek, David Pastrnak, Brooks Laich, Drew Stafford, Nick Schultz, Mike Ribeiro, Jakub Kindl, Nikita Zadorov, Jiri Hudler, Teddy Purcell, P.A. Parenteau, Chris Neil, Boyd Gordon, Scottie Upshall, and former captains Jaromir Jagr, Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, and Brian Gionta.

Williams should, in my opinion, be designated as the team's captain for the couple of years that the team still plays its games in Raleigh and when it's unclear which of the next generation of players will be able to take on that responsibility and lead the team back to respectability.

Which is why I chose to feature him today wearing the Canes' former red (home) uniform, hints of which will be found on their new Adidas uniforms:
That's card #UA-JW from Fleer's 2008-09 Fleer Ultra collection and Ultra Uniformity sub-set, manufactured by Upper Deck, featuring a white game-worn jersey swatch. The team's 10th Anniversary patch is on full display in the picture.

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