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Chewin' on Some Chimera Numbers

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chi-mer-a: (noun) a mythological, fire-breathing monster, commonly represented with a lion's head, a goat's body, and a serpent's tail. - @AndrewSharp

As the dust continues to settle on the trade that saw the Caps send Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina (and with them a small metaphorical Brink's truck worth of salary cap hit) to Columbus, let's take a closer look at what the Caps are getting in return in Jason Chimera:


Chimera's offensive totals are modest, but eight goals in 39 games with just 24 seconds of power play time per game is noteworthy (in other words, he has scored twice as many goals as Clark with half as much power play time per game). Further, he put up nearly two points per sixty minutes of five-on-five time for the Jackets this season... which was second on the team and more than Rick Nash (right in between the production rates of Brendan Morrison and Brooks Laich, locally). All this while, as Jonathan Willis notes, "he gets a lot of starts in the defensive zone, a factor which has drug down his relative Corsi number and his plus/minus." Despite limited ice time and positional quality, Chimera was third on the Jackets in shots on goal with 92 (or, as Alex Ovechkin might call it, "a few games' worth"). But before anyone gets too excited about his production, note that "he also could be maddeningly ineffective for long stretches, not making the most of his size and speed." Then again, plenty of good hockey players have looked "maddeningly ineffective" while playing for Ken Hitchcock.


Chimera was sixth among Columbus forwards in shorthanded ice time per game (1:16), but neither his 4-on-5 or his 5-on-5 GAON/60 (in line with Laich on the former and higher than any Cap who has played ten games on the latter) was particularly good. That said... neither is Steve Mason this year. A season ago, Chimera had the best GAON/60 among all of the Jackets' regular penalty killers, and had a fairly outstanding 5-on-5 GAON/60 as well.


Surprisingly, Chimera was just tenth among Columbus forwards in hits. He has gotten in one fight this year (and one last year), has 11 minors and a couple of misconducts. He's taken 0.9 penalties per sixty minutes of 5-on-5 (and drawn 0.4), which isn't terrible considering his role. But if Chimera is indeed "a rugged forward, something [the Caps] have lacked since Donald Brashear left Washington last summer," it doesn't necessarily show up in the numbers, and that "he missed a good chunk of last season because of a groin injury and was taken from the ice on a stretcher in his first exhibition game this season after suffering a concussion" also raise some concerns.

To be clear, Jason Chimera is not "the missing piece." But he probably is the best player that was dealt yesterday and, more importantly, with the cap space that George McPhee freed up in the trade, that missing piece will be that much easier to acquire.