The Los Angeles Kings have struggled a bit defensively this season. Injuries have been most of the problem, but some of the guys could probably play a bit smarter. Some have been disappointed with franchise defenseman Drew Doughty, as he’s struggled a bit this season, and the Kings could probably use a little shake-up.
Recently, I read an article written by Matt Barry suggesting the same thing, and it sparked my interest.
Kimmo Timonen recently signed a one year contract extension that keeps him property of the Philadelphia Flyers until the end of the 2013-14 season. It’s unlikely that the Flyers would ever trade what they consider to be their best defenseman, however it may not be completely out of the realm of possibility. His cap hit is a hefty $6 million next season, but that isn’t the biggest hurdle the Kings would face, assuming they had interest in him. Timonen also has a no-movement clause, and it remains to be seen if he’d play out what appears to be his final year in a different sweater.
While a trade of this caliber is unlikely, it isn’t impossible. The Flyers have had a miserable season and many fans are calling for general manager Paul Holmgren and owner Ed Snider to “blow the team up”. The cap will be going down to $64 million next season, and the Flyers do have some hefty contracts on their payroll. If they want a chance to sign some big fish in the off season, they’ll need to shed salary. A few prospects and/or high draft picks would look very good for the Flyers, a club who will certainly be looking to rebuild after a terrible season.
Timonen would round out the Kings defense and give the club the chance to develop some of their younger players. He would have plenty of familiar faces surrounding him in Los Angeles, so there probably wouldn’t be that awkward “get-to-know-you” stage. He would also give the Kings the “spark” they could use to make a serious run and defend their title.
The Kings and Flyers have always been good trade partners, so there is certainly at least a chance they’ll talk again over the summer. Should the Flyers find it in their best interest to rid themselves of Kimmo and his $6 million cap hit next season, the Kings would be wise to pick up the phone and at least inquire. Defensemen like Timonen do not come around often.
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