Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome back to Jason Chimera - One of the Good Guys

Former Blue Jacket Jason Chimera is back in town
tonight with the Washington Capitals
Tonight's New Year's Eve game against the Washington Capitals signals the return of forward Jason Chimera to Nationwide Arena.  Chimmer was not just a strong character guy on the ice but also walked the walk in the community.

Most Columbus Blue Jackets fans know the story of Ryan Salmons, a local teen who valiantly fought cancer until his passing at age 19 in 2009 (retrospective video).  They know that Scott Howson signed Salmons to a genuine NHL contract for a day in an impressive show of support for the young man.

What fans might not know is that the friendships developed between the Salmons family, Malhotra and Chimera last to this day.  Both players regularly check in with the family and, to quote Ryan's father Brad, "They have become family!"  Same goes for Howson, who makes a point of including Brad at Blue Jackets Foundation events like Black Tie Blue Jackets and the annual Foundation golf outing.

With Chimmer back in town for the evening, Salmons has been exchanging messages and hopes to see Jason before the Capitals depart.  In the interim, Brad forwarded me this photo with the following comment:

"Here is a photo of Jason with Ryan, Manny and Scott the day they signed him. Jason visited Ryan almost daily for close to 6 weeks. He and Sarah named their daughter Ryann the following summer.

Jason has a heart of gold and is a very good friend. I appreciate everything he did for Ryan and so many other unnamed kids."

CBJ GM Scott Howson, Ryan Salmons, Manny Malhotra and Jason Chimera celebrate Ryan's NHL contract
(Photo courtesy of Brad Salmons)
I'm not going to make it to tonight's game, but you could bet on me giving Chimmer the applause he deserves if I was.  Jason is one of the truly Good Guys in hockey, a guy who made Columbus a better place by his presence.

For more information on Ryan and the work of the Ryan Salmons Foundation in fighting pediatric cancer, click here.  And thanks to Brad for sharing this story.

1 comment:

  1. Thought he got a little d0uchey tonight on the ice... at least I didn't like playing against him... anyone else?


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