Chiasson makes Capitals on camp tryout, signs 1-year deal
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By STEPHEN WHYNO
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) With what he called a chip on his shoulder, Alex Chiasson showed the Washington Capitals more than enough in training camp and the preseason to earn a contract.
Chiasson got one Wednesday, a $660,000, one-year deal after making the team on a professional tryout agreement. The 27-year-old winger who was not tendered a contract offer as a restricted free agent after last season by the Calgary Flames is sticking in the NHL with his fourth team.
"In my situation that I've been in the last couple of years, changing teams and all that, it gets to a point where as a player you want to prove that you belong," Chiasson said. "But I've learned from the past and I understand the league now and I know what it takes to be successful."
Coach Barry Trotz said Chiasson was noticeable in preseason games and scrimmages, which allowed him to force his way onto the 23-man roster.
Chiasson is one of several players who attended a camp on a PTO to get a contract, including defenseman Cody Franson with Chicago and forwards Jimmy Hayes in New Jersey and Daniel Winnik in Minnesota. Scottie Upshall went to camp with Vancouver before signing with the St. Louis Blues, and Brandon Pirri was in camp with Florida before agreeing to sign with the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
After the Capitals lost forwards Marcus Johansson, Justin Williams and Winnik in the offseason, Chiasson cited opportunity as a reason for picking them for a tryout. It remains to be seen what his role will be when right winger Tom Wilson returns from a four-game suspension , but Chiasson is expected to start the season Thursday night at Ottawa on the third line with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller.
"I knew he was a big body and I knew he had pretty good hands, but he's quite a learned guy in terms of detail and he's got quietly a good spirit to compete and win pucks," Trotz said Tuesday. "Obviously with that big body and the strength that he has, he showed pretty well in camp."
In 320 NHL games with the Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators and Flames, Chiasson has 50 goals and 56 assists for 106 points.
"I think the biggest thing is I need a little more consistency in my game throughout the season," Chiasson said. "Some of that stuff is in my control, so I've got to prove that I can play and produce."
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Updated October 4, 2017