Kimmo Timonen is entering into the final year of his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. The questions the Flyers are faced with are “Is Timonen worth bringing back after this season or will he retire?” There are a couple of reasons that I believe Timonen could be finished with the Flyers and maybe the NHL.
First, Timonen is entering his 14th season in the NHL. He was drafted with the 16th pick in the 10th round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft (250th overall) by the Los Angeles Kings. Timonen made his debut with the Nashville Predators in the 1998-1999 season. Though it took him two years to finally play a whole season with Nashville, Timonen showed progress and improvement. In the next six seasons that he played in Nashville, Timonen showed why he belonged in the NHL. Timonen played 77 or more games in those seasons and averaged above 40 points while playing as one of the better defensemen in the league.
Timonen was sent to the Flyers along with Scott Hartnell in exchange for Peter Forsberg and draft picks in 2007. Timonen has been a force offensively and a very big help to the young players that he has mentored. In his five years so far with the Flyers, Timonen has been bit by the injury bug but he has not been sidelined for a long period of time. The next sign that Timonen could be finished in the NHL is the fact that he has been banged up bit by bit every year. Not only has Timonen played in the NHL, but he has also played in the Olympics with Finland. Timonen has been playing professional hockey since he was drafted in 1993. That means the 37-year old’s body has taken a toll throughout his career. Then again that is the life of a hockey player, right?
The third reason that Timonen could be finished is the fact that he could be worth a good amount of money to a team looking for a veteran defensemen who can help on the power play. Timonen is making about 6 million dollars this season, according to CapGeek.com. Timonen signed his 6-year deal after the 2006-2007 season. If Timonen returns to the NHL next season, I believe that there would be a handful of suitors who would want his services. This could even bump up the bidding for Timonen. So, do the Flyers want to spend money of a veteran who could, with one or two more injuries, be done with his career?
Timonen has had a very successful NHL career up to this point. In 970 games, he has recorded 507 points while scoring 106 goals. His playoff performances have also been good. He was a key component in the Flyers’ Stanley Cup appearance in the 2009-2010. There is one last question that the Flyers need to ask and that “Is Kimmo Timonen in the plan for the Flyers’ future?”
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