Matt Martin has become a fan favorite in recent years. He’s a guy who hustles a lot on there ice and plays with heart. His work in the community also increased his popularity.
However, he left the team and signed a four-year-deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s time for the New York Islanders to move on, and they did.
Jason Chimera just inked a two-year deal with the Islanders worth $2.25 million a year. Chimera is a 37-year-old left wing who is coming off of one of his best years with the Washington Capitals, contributing 20 goals and 20 assists.
“I’m pretty motivated to win, that’s all I really cared about,” Chimera told Newsday after the signing. “I wanted a team that had a chance to win, and the Islanders have the best chance of that. It was a no-brainer for sure.”
That’s a bold thing to say since the last team he played for finished the season with the best record in the league, but at the same time it shows you just how much he wants to be here, and that’s going to bode well with the fans.
Chimera is 6’3 and 216 pounds. He has a lot of strength, and is not afraid to use his body. He’s remarkably quick, especially for his size, as Barry Trotz told the Washington Post.
“There’s not that many 20-goal guys that can skate like Jason Chimera in the National Hockey League,” Trotz said. “He’s a veteran guy, brings energy. I said to him, ‘If you just keep taking care of yourself the way you are,” — I mean, he can play until he’s 45. I think he’s going to get a three-year deal somewhere in the National Hockey League. He’s got a 28-year-old body on him. I don’t think he’s going to get any slower in the next year or two here.”
This doesn’t mean Chimera is a young guy by any means in comparison to Matt Martin who is 27-years-old but the fact of the matter is Islanders fans are frustrated (and rightfully so) because they finally have all the pieces in place to become a good team and they’ve fallen short in back to back seasons. The time to make a push at a championship is now, not in five years, as Chimera told the team’s official website.
“I’m one of those guys who wants to win a Stanley cup pretty badly, so it’ll be a good fit going forward,” he said. “They are a team that’s been knocking on the door every year and hopefully I can get them over that hump.”
Chimera’s scoring ability will help fill in the goals lost in the departures of Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen as well. He scored 40 points last year, clearly superior to Martin’s 19. Chimera will most likely play where Martin played, on the fourth line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.
Yes, Jason Chimera is an upgrade over Matt Martin. Yes, I know that’s the unpopular opinion, and I can’t wait to watch him prove myself right.