Believe it or not, 37-year-old forward Jason Chimera was one of the most popular players on the first day of free agency. According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, 17 NHL teams had expressed interest in the Ice Cheetah.
32 minutes after free agency started, HNIC’s Elliotte Friedman announced that Chimera had signed a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the New York Islanders, earning a $250k raise from last season.
Chimera to NYI. Two years, $2.25 AAV
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2016
It’s a good deal for Chimmer and it’s the correct move by the Capitals to let him walk.
After spending the last seven years in Washington, Chimera had a career year this past season, scoring 20 goals and tallying 40 points. Chimera also surprisingly got minutes on the second power play unit, notching 4 PPG and 9 PPP, all career highs. Chimera played in all 82 games this season.
But after a disappointing loss to the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs, head coach Barry Trotz and general manager Brian MacLellan both spoke about wanting to retool their bottom six.
“We want to be more offensive in our top nine than we were,” Barry Trotz said to Elliot in the Morning earlier this week. “Last year, it showed in the Pittsburgh series. They were deeper in the offensive part of the game than we were. Our top six were better than their top six. But their bottom six outperformed our bottom six.”
Chimera leaves several days after the Capitals opted to not give a qualifying offer to popular checking-line center Michael Latta. The Capitals also traded two second-round picks to land third-line center Lars Eller on the first day of the NHL Draft.
The New York Islanders have had a flurry of activity since free agency began. They signed Andrew Ladd to a seven-year, $38.5 million contract minutes after noon, while also watching UFA Kyle Okposo sign with Buffalo and Frans Nielsen sign with Detroit.
We wish all the best to Jason.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 1, 2016
— TradedNHLPortrait (@TradedNHLPlayer) July 1, 2016
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