In an offseason of transition for the Flyers, good news has been hard to come by. Between being handcuffed in free agency due to the irresponsible cap management of previous management and captain Claude Giroux being arrested, it hasn’t exactly been a banner summer for the Orange-and-Black. That being said, it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that the team was dealt a potentially serious blow in the form of injury news. The team released a statement stating veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen is currently in Finland being treated for blood clots in both of his lungs and his right leg.
INJURY UPDATE: D Kimmo Timonen is being treated for blood clots in his right leg & both lungs. Get the details → http://t.co/z1feBUBJ6p
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 5, 2014
For a team that struggles on defense, this type of news for their most veteran player is potentially devastating. Timonen, 39, opted for a one-year deal earlier this offseason in lieu of retirement. With a history of blood clots having kept him out of time earlier in his career, it’s safe to say that Timonen’s hockey-playing future is uncertain-at-best. In a statement released by the team, GM Ron Hextall described the situation as such:
Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen has been diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and in both lungs. Kimmo is currently being treated for this disorder back in his home country of Finland. His return to play is yet to be determined.
Given their situation along the blue line, one would have to think the Flyers may be tempted to call up one of their defensive prospects to step in and fill the void left by Timonen. Considering the strides made by the rest of the Metropolitan Division and the fact that the Flyers are still one of the younger teams in hockey, I would hope Hextall might be able to resist the urge to do such. The Flyers are kidding themselves if they see themselves as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders with or without Timonen.
Hockey aside, Timonen is one of the true gems of the Flyers organization and has been since he was acquired from the Nashville Predators. Here’s to hoping he has whatever is necessary taken care of and not concern himself with his future on the ice.