Jason Chimera may be 37 years old, but he can still fly out there.
That’s why the Islanders felt comfortable signing the veteran winger to a two-year deal with a reported cap hit of $2.25 million.
Chimera had 20 goals last season for Washington. The Capitals want to give their young guys a chance to replace him, but they’ll miss him all the same.
“There aren’t that many 20-goal guys that can skate like Jason Chimera in the National Hockey League,” coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s a veteran guy who brings energy. I said to him, ‘If you keep taking care of yourself the way you are, (you) can play until (you’re) 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 and I don’t think he’s going to get any slower in the next year or two.”
Chimera, along with Andrew Ladd, will help replace Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen next season in Brooklyn.
NEW YORK (AP) Former Rangers defenseman Jeff Beukeboom has been hired by the team to coach their blue line players.
Beukeboom replaces Ulf Samuelsson, who left in May after three seasons to become the head coach of the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers.
Beukeboom won a Stanley Cup with New York in 1994 after winning three with the Edmonton Oilers in a 13-season career. He has been working as an assistant with the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, the Rangers’ farm team.
He joins head coach Alain Vigneault, associate coach Scott Arniel, assistant coach Darryl Williams, and goaltending coach Benoit Allaire on the Rangers’ staff.
Related: Rangers sign Grabner, Gerbe and Clendening to short-term deals
The New Jersey Devils have filled the hole that the Adam Larsson trade left. They’ve signed right-shot defenseman Ben Lovejoy to a three-year deal with a reported cap hit of $2.67 million.
Lovejoy, 32, just won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins. He doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he was respected in Pittsburgh for his leadership and rugged play.
New Jersey traded Larsson to Edmonton on Wednesday for Taylor Hall.
“Adam is a heavy player, he’s hard down low,” Devils GM Ray Shero told ESPN.com. “He’s an unbelievable pro at his age. He’s an easy guy to coach and play with. Maybe people don’t know him, but he’s a good guy to build a defense around. We’re going to have a hole there with him gone, for sure.”
The Devils also signed veteran forward Vern Fiddler to a one-year deal. The 36-year-old gets a one-year commitment with a cap hit of $1.25 million. He had 12 goals and 10 assists for the Stars last season.
Eric Staal still believes he’s a top-six center. Now he’ll get a chance to prove it.
Staal, 31, has signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild for a reported cap hit of $3.5 million.
The Wild had been looking for a center. In fact, they were rumored to be interested in Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Signing Staal won’t cost them one of their good, young defensemen in a trade.
Depending how Staal plays behind first-line center Mikko Koivu, it might also allow Charlie Coyle to return to the wing in a top-six role.
The Wild also signed winger Chris Stewart for two years. The 28-year-old had eight goals in 56 games for the Ducks last season. He broke his jaw in February.
Related: Vanek isn’t ‘complaining’ about the Wild’s centers, but….
He’s not Pavel Datsyuk and he’s not Steven Stamkos, but Frans Nielsen is no slouch. He’s a solid two-way center, and the Islanders are going to miss him.
Nielsen has reportedly signed a six-year deal in Detroit with a cap hit of $5.25 million. It’s a big commitment from the Red Wings — especially for a 32-year-old — but they’ve got a lengthy playoff streak on the line, and they intend to keep it going.
Nielsen leaves the Islanders, for whom he played almost a decade. As mentioned, they’ll miss him. But they’ve got 19-year-old center Mathew Barzal in the pipeline, and they’ve got to re-sign John Tavares in a couple of years. They also signed Andrew Ladd to a big deal today.
Nielsen had 20 goals and 32 assists in 81 games for the Isles in 2015-16.