Boston Bruins: Acquiring Justin Williams was pure fantasy

RALEIGH, NC - MAY 16: Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates with the puck in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Third Round against the Boston Bruins during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 16, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - MAY 16: Justin Williams #14 of the Carolina Hurricanes skates with the puck in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Third Round against the Boston Bruins during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 16, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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With Justin Williams looking to return to NHL action after a half-season hiatus; the Boston Bruins were mooted as an option for ‘Mr. Game 7’, it seems this was purely a pipe-dream.

The Carolina Hurricanes have recently announced the return of Justin Williams to their team, ending any hope of him suiting up in Boston Bruins colors and helping to fix the long-standing second line right-wing issue.

Reading a little into rumors that were circulating, we took a look at what Justin Williams would be able to offer us and it’s reasonable to say, he was a decent option to add to the Boston Bruins line-up.

However, at the end of the day, it seemed reasonably clear that he wanted to remain a member of the Carolina Hurricanes and was merely biding his time before signing a new deal ahead of play-off season.

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Given that the Carolina Hurricanes have been quite successful thus far this year and indeed made the Eastern Conference Final last year, it’s probably a relatively safe option for Williams to hedge his bets in returning for another run at the Stanley Cup.

In no way does this speak of the Boston Bruins being a side that free agents avoid; in fact, quite the opposite. The sheer fact that we were floated as an option in trade rumors suggest that we are in fact a premiere choice. It makes sense too given we’re still hanging on to top spot in the Atlantic.

Perhaps in fact, these were merely rumors created by the media and didn’t actually pertain to any sort of truth. That’d be my gut feeling as Justin Williams didn’t bother relocating his family from Raleigh or making any other moves that suggesting a willingness to move on from the Hurricanes.

Now don’t get me wrong, having a player that clearly thrives in the high-pressure, big-game situations would’ve been a boon for the Boston Bruins. Likewise, the fact he could’ve offered a perfect fit in a position that has, for the most part, been a sizeable problem for the team.

Fact is though, it never really seemed that likely. It’s a nice fantasy deal to make but it never felt much like it was going to happen.

Today’s Northumberland, the newspaper of his hometown of Cobourg, Ontario were the ones to break the news of his $700,000 sweetheart deal with the team he formerly captained. Even given the fact it may rise to $1.3 million based on performance, it’s a small price if he comes up clutch as he has so many times in the past.

Unfortunately for the Boston Bruins, the cap space wasn’t quite there if they wanted to make a similar offer and that forgoes the fact that Justin Williams may well have asked for more money to leave Carolina.

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All in all, it’s not quite a swing and a miss, but it’s certainly a disappointment that the door has closed on a player that, even at 38 years old, might well have been a strong second-line option for the Bruins.