Veteran winger Jason Chimera has grown accustomed to the back-and-forth nature of the NHL’s labor negotiations. He knows better than to get too excited or discouraged, no matter what the latest round of talks seem to suggest.
Even after two days of meetings between owners and players this week in New York spurred optimism, Chimera is trying to keep an even-keeled perspective.
“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 Thursday morning following a workout with fellow locked-out Caps players. “There’s some good dialogue, which is good. I think it’s always good when we talk. I think that’s always one of those things, once you talk, you keep talking.”
Chimera took over as the Capitals’ NHL Players’ Association representative, after Brooks Laich decided he no longer wanted the position. It seemed like a logical fit. He’s a veteran player who experienced one lockout already, made staying up to date on the negotiation process a priority, and he held the same role during his time in Columbus.
Even with Chimera’s involvement with the NHLPA, details of the discussions that occurred between a small group of players and owners Tuesday and Wednesday were tough to come by. He was able to get some information from his former teammate Manny Malhotra and friend Shane Doan, who were part of the select group of players involved in talks, but believed it was a good sign that specific aspects of proposals weren’t readily available.
“They just said they’ve had some good discussions and they’re going to keep on working at it,” Chimera said. “I’m hoping some good things will come. I thought we were close before when we made that offer, so hopefully maybe we’re that much closer.
“I’d rather them just come out and say we’ve got camp in a week,” Chimera continued. “I think it’s good to keep it tight-lipped. That’s what we pay those guys to do: to make a deal. And for the players that are there, most of the guys have been in there for the whole time, so they know what they’re doing, too.”