Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | February 5, 2012

Man of the Day 2/5: Justin Williams

Justin Williams

Born October 4, 1981 (age 30) in Cobourg, Ontario, Canada

Right winger for the Los Angeles Kings

Another entry in the “Better Know a Hockey Card” series! Williams first started out as a mere 16-year-old with the Plymouth Whalers and played there for two seasons before being drafted 28th overall in 2000 by the Flyers. The Flyers saw a lot of coaching changes in the early 2000s and Williams struggled to adapt to their systems. He also struggled with injuries, including a torn ACL and MCL in 2003 with a projected healing time of four to eight months…but he returned in three. Like a boss!

In January 2004, he was traded to the Hurricanes and was with the team for their 2006 Stanley Cup win (after a year’s time spent playing in Sweden during the lockout). He actually scored the final goal of the Hurricanes’ Cup run that year, an empty netter in game 7. In that series, he also caused a controversial injury to Canadiens captain Saku Koivu that threatened his eyesight and ended his playoffs early. (It was controversial because Williams wasn’t punished–I think that’d be different in today’s NHL.) After the Hurricanes won the Cup, Williams was resigned for five years. He also married his wife in 2006, so I’d say that was a good year for him.

Here he is showing a little love to his goalie while fellow MotD Anze Kopitar looks on. Aww.

2007 saw him go to the All-Star Game in Dallas and to the Worlds for his second gold medal (his first came in 2004), as well as record career highs in four different areas and have a perfect attendance record for the second consecutive season. He was on track to continue like this for 2007-08, but then injured his ACL and MCL again, resulting in about four months’ recovery. A further multi-month setback came in September 2008 with an Achilles tendon tear, but once again he returned ahead of schedule in December of that year and got a huge round of applause. Not long after his return, though, he was traded to Los Angeles. He extended his contract with LA for four years in February 2011. Last season with LA, though he did not have perfect attendance, he played 73 games, scored 22 goals and 35 assists and had almost an hour of penalty time. LA had a playoff run and he played 6 games, got 3 goals and 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes. And now I know more about one of my hockey cards!

Ball so hard.

-Emma


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