There is no doubt that 39-year-old defenseman Kimmo Timonen‘s best days are behind him. For the last two seasons now, the Finnish born blue-liner has flirted with retirement after what has already been a decorated career in both the NHL and on the International level. Apparently, the itch for competition and the hopes of capturing the Stanley Cup that has eluded him over 15 seasons is enough for Timonen to give it at least one more go. Earlier Friday, the Flyers announced they would be re-signing him for a one-year extension for the 2014-2015 season.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) June 13, 2014
Timonen has been the Flyers most dependable stalwart along the back-end for the better part of his tenure in Philadelphia, which started in 2007. Despite his skills being in decline, he served top-pairing minutes last season alongside Braydon Coburn and continued to hold his position on the first power-play unit. At 5’10” and just under 200 pounds, Timonen has consistently performed beyond his measurements, often against the opponent’s top unit.
The last few seasons have really seen the heavy work-load get the best of Timonen down the stretch. He was one of several Flyers who came up short in their first-round exit against the Rangers, and one would have to think the team might be reconsidering how much responsibility they put on his shoulders. Especially with Mark Streit performing admirably during his first season in Philadelphia, it would stand to reason that the Flyers start alleviating some of the taxing workload that Timonen has dealt with over his career.
After a series of small, nominal moves to this point; this is really new general manager Ron Hextall’s first ‘splash’ as far as determining the makeup of the team in the short and long-term. With Philadelphia’s prospect core along the blue line perhaps another year away, bringing back Timonen for the right price is one of their best options. While it does continue to feed into the notion that the organization is unable to part ways with some of their aging talent (sound familiar?) and hands out money and cap space irresponsibly, the team had few other options. The terms of the deal are as follows:
Kimmo Timonen signs a one-year deal with Flyers. Base salary in the $2 million range could be worth close to $4 million with bonuses.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 13, 2014
Timonen had six goals and 29 assists in 2013-2014 and finished +5 on the season. He had no goals and one assist in the postseason.