Forward Jason Chimera agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $4.5 million with the New York Islanders on Friday. The contract has an average annual value of $2.25 million.
Few players have an offensive revival in their mid- to late-30s, but Chimera, who turned 37 in May, did in 2015-16. Playing mostly on the third line for the Washington Capitals, Chimera matched his NHL career-high in goals with 20 and finished with 40 points, two short of the career high he set in 2013-14.
Chimera's speed hasn't deserted him as he has gotten older; the left wing is still faster than many players a decade younger. One reason for his improved offensive numbers was that he received additional power-play time (a total of 118:36, up from 69:12 in 2014-15 and the second-highest total of his NHL career). His nine power-play points were a personal NHL-best. Chimera also scored on 12.1 percent of his 165 shots, his best shooting percentage in a decade and well above his career number of 9.0.
However, he wasn't driving possession. Chimera's SAT percentage (47.92) was the second-worst on a team that won the Presidents' Trophy, and he finished with an even plus/minus rating, worse than all but one Capitals player who played 60 or more games. Chimera's possession numbers weren't a problem during the regular season, but they became one in the Eastern Conference Second Round, when Chimera (45.85 percent) and the third line were overmatched by the Pittsburgh Penguins' bottom-six forwards.
Chimera, who has 163 goals and 369 points in 951 NHL games, became one of the most popular players in Washington's dressing room since he was acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets midway through the 2009-10 season. He provides grit (100-plus hits in each of the past three seasons) and shows no sign of aging.