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Caps’ Chimera: “I don’t trust Gary Bettman right now”

Jan 3, 2013, 2:50 PM EDT

Jason Chimera Getty Images

Even though speculation about a soon-to-be-completed CBA is rampant, Jason Chimera still has his doubts.

“I don’t trust Gary Bettman right now and what his motive is,” Chimera told the Washington Post. “He’s a nice man, I’ve met him numerous times, but I don’t trust what’s happened so far.”

The Washington forward — a veteran of over 600 NHL contests — has been an outspoken critic of league practices.

In August, he said it would be “pretty dumb” to have a lockout.

In October, he made an odd analogy about the owners’ willingness to make a deal.

“Maybe they’re looking at the season like an advent calendar – like Christmas is coming and they’re taking their chocolates out one day at a time,”he said. “And when the big chocolate comes they make a proposal.”

In December, he called the league’s actions “childish” and “absurd”, then compared labor negotiations to “chasing a chicken around” before suggesting owners were trying to crush the union.

With those comments as a backdrop, it’s not surprising he’s skeptical about the current round of talks.

To be fair to Chimera, his frustrations are legitimate. He probably would’ve loved to carry over the momentum from 2011-12 — at 33, he posted career highs in goals (20) and points (39) — and make good on the two-year, $3.5 million deal signed with the Caps just prior to the start of last season.

But this is now the second lockout Chimera’s been through, and the frustrations are evident.

“If they’re working that late, last night was great and if they keep meeting [Thursday] it’s positive,” he explained. “I just don’t believe anything anymore until it’s done.”

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