Hurricanes

Williams returns to PNC

Posted July 17

— Justin Williams stepped into the Hurricanes home locker room for the first time since 2009 on Monday.

One player remains from that team, Cam Ward. One player from that team is now an assistant coach, Rod Brind'Amour.

"Roddy and I will have a little different relationship than what we had sitting next to each other right behind me (in the locker room)," Williams said. It's obviously going to be constructive, it's going to be the best interest in the team.

"I know I'm happy to play for him and I hope he's happy to coach me as well because we know each other so well."

About five years ago, Williams started thinking about possibly returning to Carolina one day. But this past July was the first time the club reached out to him. At the age of 35-years-old, his motto hasn't changed: don't be someone that you're not.

"You just want to be yourself and that's what I've done throughout my career," he said. "Take care of myself and try to help people along the way and learn from the guys you played with."

As excited as he is to be back in Carolina, don't bring up the possibility of wearing the "C" as the Canes captain.

"It's something I don't really want to talk about at all," Williams said. "I'm coming here to be me and that's not something I really want to talk about."

He will talk about the team the Canes have assembled on the ice, saying they have a lot of ingredients. Williams chose a team based on family happiness and the ability to win, now.

"You tell people outside the hockey world that you're going to Carolina and they might be like, 'Oh man, why?,'" he said "I think when you look and you talk to people within the hockey circles, you talk with NHL players, they know exactly what I'm talking about.

"It's a fun time to be a Carolina Hurricane and I want to be a part of something good."

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