The Washington Capitals picked up left wing Jason Chimera from the
Columbus Blue Jackets for right wing Chris Clark and defenseman Milan
Jurcina Monday. Chimera, a smooth skater who plays with an edge, has 17 points in 39 games for the Blue Jackets this season.
The move should benefit the games in a number of ways:
1) It saves them over $2 million this season and around $800K next season.
2) Chimera is an upgrade over Clark on the ice. Clark’s production hasn’t been what the Caps had hoped heading into the season, and while he does play hard, Chimera is simply bigger and faster. Both are willing to do dirty work, but Chimera is better at it and will also provide a little more scoring. The move may seem curious to some because Clark was the team captain and seemed to be a good locker room presence. However, given his lack of production and the fact that players like Alexander Ovechkin and Brooks Laich have taken on leadership roles on the team, GM George McPhee probably felt that those off-ice qualities were more or less replaceable.
3) By adding Chimera, the Caps have helped address the need for team toughness, which may help deter opponents from taking cheap shots at highly-skilled players like Mike Green.
4) Jurcina was a spare part. The 26-year old defenseman has been inconsistent this season and, really throughout his career in Washington. While he may develop into a solid, steady D for Columbus, the Caps no longer had the luxury of waiting around for him to pan out. Besides, carrying nine defensemen the way the team has been doing of late is unsustainable. There are enough players who are as good as or better than Jurcina on the team that they shouldn’t feel his loss.