Aug 27, 2013, 4:50 PM EDT
But that might not be the case.
“I’m not sure if this is going to be my last year,” the 38-year-old Finn told CSN Philly on Tuesday. “I am going to take the approach of, ‘how do I feel?’ If I can still play at the level I’ve accomplished over the years, and enjoy it, I don’t see why not play one more year.”
One of the longest-tenured players on Philly’s roster, Timonen has been a rock on the blueline over the last six seasons. He’s never missed more than five games in a single campaign — playing all 82 in 2009-10 and 2010-11 — and, at 37, had a pretty productive lockout-shortened campaign in 2013, leading all Flyers defensemen in scoring (29 points, t-6th among all NHL defensemen) while averaging nearly 22 minutes per night.
What’s more, he did most of this on a fractured foot (suffered mid-February). Sure didn’t look like a guy on the verge of retirement.
“If I stay healthy and play at the level I want, then I’ll go one more year,” Timonen explained. “We’ll see.”
The wildcard in all of this is his participation in the Winter Olympics. He’s arguably Finland’s top defenseman and a virtual lock for Sochi, so there’ll be motivation for a strong start to the NHL season.
If Timonen can stay healthy (since 2008, he’s had a concussion, a chip fracture to his ankle, injuries to both feet, a hip flexor and herniated disk surgery) and stay on top of his game, he could be back for an eighth season in orange and black.
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