Andy Graziano, SNY.TV Twitter
Brian Erni and I have begun our annual season review, taking a look back at the 2016-17 Islanders and analyzing each player's performance in a down season that saw the team miss the playoffs by one point.
We will be offering two reviews per week that will take us right through to the beginning of training camp in September. Of course, there are a couple of things to sort out prior, such as free agency and potential trades that could alter the look of this franchise going forward.
Contract details via nhlnumbers.com and stats courtesy of hockeyreference.com.
25- Jason Chimera - Forward
6-3, 216 lbs
38 years old
Contract: $2.250m cap hit through 2017-18, unrestricted free agent
Season: 82 GP, 20 G - 13 A - 33 Pts, 40 PIM, 121 Shots, 13:04 TOI, 45.0 Corsi
Career: 1033 GP, 183 G - 219 A - 402 Pts, 855 PIM, 1931 Shots, 13:48 TOI, 48.3 Corsi
When it became evident that the Islanders were not going to bring back Matt Martin at his contract demands, GM Garth Snow wasted no time finding a more than adequate replacement, signing Chimera from the division rival Capitals moments after the doors opened on free agency last summer and saving two years off the term that Martin ultimately claimed from the Maple Leafs.
At 38, Chimera continues to defy father time with his incredible straight line speed and aggressive forechecking. He shows no signs of slowing down entering what could be the final year of a long career that hit 1,000 games on February 3, 2017 in Detroit.
After a rough start on and off the ice -- one goal in his first 20 games -- where he and his family had to become acclimated to their new surroundings, Chimera scored 15 of his career-high tying 20 goals in the seasons last four months and provided the Islanders with his trademark leadership and locker room jocularity.
He immediately endeared himself to Islanders fans far and wide with this comment, made in February before a meeting with the rival Rangers…."I've only been here six months and I hate them…it's not just the team, it's the people who cheer for them. You hear your neighbors talking about the Rangers and you want to beat them even more."
In scoring 20 goals for the second straight season despite averaging one minute less time on ice, Chimera established himself as one of the most versatile, valuable fourth-line players in the league. Let's not dismiss the fact that he outscored Martin by 15 goals and 24 points on a lesser contract, both in term and money. Durability was another huge factor in the decision to bring him to Long Island, with Chimera missing only five games over the past four years. Combined.
IPB Grade: A: Some might think an 'A' is too high, but for the role Chimera played, the statistics he produced with less ice time, and the aforementioned durability factor, he deserves it. He repaid Snow and the Islanders in spades, however, since this is a 'what have you done for me lately' business, it's onto 2017-18. Does Chimera have one more in him before he likely rides off into the sunset?