Weight: 194 lbs.
Cap Hit: $6 M
5 G, 24 A, 29 pts
Kimmo Timonen came to Philadelphia in June 2007 and promptly signed a six-year contract with the Flyers to become one of the leaders on their blue line. He has been everything the Flyers could have expected, and more, when they acquired the former Nashville Predators captain.
Timonen isn’t overly menacing on the blue line standing at just 5’10”, 194 lbs. but he is certainly a difference maker. He was the Flyers top puck-moving defenseman last season as he netted five goals and added 24 assists for 29 points in 45 games. Good enough for sixth among all NHL defensemen.
Timonen’s offensive ability, combined with the injuries to other key players suffered early on in the lockout-shortened season, meant that he was get a lot of ice time early in the season. He moved the puck well but was forced to be out there more often than not because the team had failed to replace (not for lack of trying) the departed Matt Carle.
The Flyers addressed that problem earlier this summer when they traded for Islanders puck-moving defenseman and captain, Mark Streit. Streit’s presence on the blue line should allow the Flyers to spare Timonen a bit early in the season so he can play the full 82 game schedule at a high rate instead of tailing off at the end of the year.
His toughness will never be called into question. Timonen fractured his foot in February but kept playing until the Flyers made the decision to shut him down for the final three games of the season. You don’t play in 1,015 NHL games as a defenseman if you aren’t tough.
The Flyers signed Timonen to a one-year, $6 million deal back in the spring which surprised many as some people thought the Finland-native would retire following the season. Now, Timonen isn’t even sure if 2013-14 is his last year or if he might play beyond 2014. We shall see.
Until then, the Flyers assistant captain will be a key piece in the Flyers plan to contend this year.
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