Capitals forward Jason Chimera is still playing the waiting game. He has spent much of the fall at home in Alexandria save for a five-game stint in the Czech Republic as the NHL lockout continues. He quickly returned because being away from his young family became a bit much.
"I drag my family around enough that I'm not going to drag them to Europe, too," Chimera said when reporters caught up with him at Kettler Iceplex on Thursday. "So it was one of those things. My wife said to stick it out, but it was more me wanting to come home."
Chimera took over as the team's NHL Players' Association representative with Troy Brouwer as the alternate. Brooks Laich, the former NHLPA rep, didn't want the gig anymore, and he had left to play in Switzerland in late September anyway. Chimera, who held that role when he played with the Columbus Blue Jackets, has done his best to keep his teammates advised of the latest developments. But things are moving so quickly during the lockout negotiations in New York this week that it's hard for anyone to keep up.
"I don't get too up anymore. I rode the roller coaster for a long time and kind of just said I don't want to anymore," Chimera said.
Chimera received some details from former teammate Manny Malhotra and friend Shane Doan, who were attending the meetings in New York this week. He also indirectly referenced the kerfuffle caused by veteran Caps defenseman Roman Hamrlik's negative comments about the NHLPA leadership a few weeks back. That led to some blowback from Brouwer and star winger Alex Ovechkin, who read them while playing in the Kontinental Hockey League in Moscow.
"[The NHLPA is] not putting a muzzle on guys, either. We let guys talk in the media, and some guys speak their word, which is fine," Chimera said. "I think everyone has a right to their own opinion. It's America. It's free speech. But, yeah, if you let it open to everybody, I think it's tough to keep 700 guys quiet, that's for sure."
- Brian McNally