The Islanders are off to a brutal start, and that includes Jason Chimera.
Chimera has one goal and five assists and has placed in each of the team's first 20 games.
Chimera, 37, was signed to a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Islanders on the first day of free agency.
On Friday against the Sharks, the Islanders scratched Ryan Strome.
It doesn't make any sense that the Isles would put Strome, a young player with -- despite his struggles -- a much higher ceiling on the bench in favor of Chimera. It makes even less sense when you consider how bad Chimera has been. One year removed from a 20-goal season, Chimera is playing to 43.3 Corsi and 44 Fenwick For Percentages, far below his career averages. Yes, this year's Islanders are the worst Corsi team in the NHL, and that's a huge downgrade from playing with last year's President's Trophy winners, so it's probably suppressing those numbers. But you don't need stats to tell you what your eyes can see: Chimera has not been good.
But for some reason, scratching the veteran doesn't seem to even be an option. I get that it's hard to pull that move with an established player sometimes because you don't want to cause unrest in the locker room, but this season is starting to be more about the future and learning who the Isles can count on for next year, and Chimera isn't going to be in this team's long-term plan.
If Chimera is going to keep playing over Strome and Shane Prince, then it should be with the intention to showcase him for a trade. Apparently 17 teams inquired about signing Chimera when the Isles landed him. If that was the case, then maybe there would be a market for a great dressing room presence who can still be very useful for a contender. And the contract is reasonable, so this should be one piece the Isles start looking to cash in on.