The 39-year-old defenseman had a very solid year with the Flyers as he played in 77 games and tallied 35 points. Although his speed has decreased as he has gotten older, he still remains a good defenseman with great positioning. This will be his seventh year with the club after being acquired in 2007 from the Nashville Predators. In that time, he has won the Barry Ashbee Trophy, given to the team's best defenseman, five times.
In all, the 2013-14 season was a great season for the Timonen. He helped the Flyers erase an abysmal start to reach the playoffs after missing it the previous season, and he won the bronze medal in the Sochi Winter Games with Finland. If he would have walked away from the game and retired, nobody would have blamed him. He's a true professional, and he is one of the best Finnish players to ever play in the NHL.
This move may say more about where the Flyers are at with their defensive corps more than anything. The Flyers have top defensive prospects in Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin, but none of them are truly ready to start the season with the big club. Timonen gives the Flyers a steady, solid defenseman who they can trust. He will also be a mentor to the younger defenseman as they begin to show up on the NHL level, especially Gostisbehere.
Entering next season, the Flyers should have some continuity in their defensive pairings for the first time in a while. No one is expected to leave, so familiarity should not be a problem. Signing Timonen to the one-year extension was a great first move as general manager for Ron Hextall.Tags: Hockey, Kimmo Timonen, Nashville Predators, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin