Justin Williams ended up signing a $700k deal with $1.3 in bonuses for the remainder of this season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Apparently, that wasn’t the only offer he had on the table.
There is speculation Williams — who scored 23 goals and 53 points in 82 games last season with the Canes — may have turned down an offer by the Toronto Maple Leafs and had interest from the Boston Bruins.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun revealed that the Toronto Maple Leafs made a pitch to land Williams and Boston looked into it but Williams wasn’t terribly interested in leaving Carolina unless it was told to him there was no way to make it work. Clearly, the Hurricanes figured a way between the NHL league minimum salary and bonuses but LeBrun also noted they’re still tinkiering.
Why the Maple Leafs and Williams?
On one front, it’s not terribly surprising to hear the Toronto Maple Leafs showed interest in Williams. Whenever there’s big news and a talented player available, the Maple Leafs always tend to be in the conversation.
What might be a touch surprising is the fact that the Maple Leafs issues are not at forward. There are some injuries, but most of the buzz surrounds the team trying to improve their blue line and backup goaltending. Williamsn wouldn’t help in either of those situations.
Williams Was Popular Around the NHL
Considering all he’s offered as Mister Game 7 and his high-level of production, LeBrun’s comments that, “But there is obviously interest from some other contenders… ” isn’t shocking. It’s also not shocking to hear him say, “All things being equal, it’s clear that Williams’ priority remains coming back with Carolina where his family remains.”
Most insiders figured if Williams was coming back, it would be with the Hurricanes. The Maple Leafs and Bruins might have tried but they would have had to up the money significantly. That probably didn’t happen.