The idea of bringing back veteran defenseman, Kimmo Timonen is desirable in the minds of the Philadelphia Flyers. Unfortunately, it just might not happen.
Countless situations will weigh in on whether the 39-year-old will return to the orange and black next season. With young talent quickly rising in the team’s prospect pool, a slim-to-none pocket of money available and a dire need of some speed at the their top line, the Flyers only have two realistic scenarios to try and bring Timonen back. The only question is, do they want either to pan out?
The Flyers have the option of dumping a larger contract, but not without dumping some vital talent at the same time. The front office feels as if the team is slim enough in terms of depth. The other option, one that weighs heavily on Timonen’s decision, is to give him a pay cut, and a serious one at that. Timonen has been loyal to the Flyers for the last seven seasons, so the Flyers will definitely want to show him the same respect.
Though he has lost a step or two physically, Timonen is still a very crafty and intelligent defenseman. A new contract for him would cost the Flyers anywhere in the ballpark of 3-4 million. Even then, they would still be pressed up against the wall when it comes to finding a quality winger to accompany Claude Giroux. If they wanted to pursue that route, that’s where the dumping of a larger contract would come in via trade.
In a perfect world, the Flyers would be able to keep Timonen for a cheap price for at least one more season and let their prospects grow another year until they are NHL-ready. Sadly, nothing is perfect; not for the Flyers’ salary cap situation at least.
If Timonen does not return, it’s likely that Erik Gustafsson would finally get a full-time roster spot. Patchy play took away from his ice time last season, but the Flyers value his physique and speed.