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Timonen will ‘figure out during the summer’ if he wants to keep playing

Mar 11, 2014, 2:49 PM EDT

kimmotimonen Getty Images

Even at 38 years old, Kimmo Timonen is a huge part of the Flyers. The Finnish defenseman logs over 20 minutes per game and leads all Philadelphia blue-liners with 16 power-play assists.

He’s also a pending unrestricted free agent, a status that has led to questions about his plans for the future. Will he keep playing or will he retire after this season?

For now, Timonen says he’s leaving his options open, the most important factor in his decision being what happens in the playoffs.

“Winning the Stanley Cup, that’s obviously the biggest one,” he said, per CSN Philly. “But I still want to play at a high level, and I have to figure out during the summer if I’m still in good shape.”

Regardless of whether he retires or plays one or even two more years, the Flyers will need to address their blue line — one you could easily argue is still adjusting to the loss of Chris Pronger — at some point soon.

It’s presumed management will attempt to re-sign recently acquired Andrew MacDonald, also a pending UFA. But even if that happens and Timonen commits to another year, don’t be surprised if the Flyers come up in trade speculation regarding any available top-4 d-men in the offseason, including names like Dustin Byfuglien out of Winnipeg, or Alex Edler out of Vancouver.

Per CapGeek, here’s how the Philly blue line looks right now:

source:

  1. ibieiniid - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    “one you could easily argue is still adjusting to the loss of Chris Pronger”

    alright, in theory, I agree. but as a Flyer fan, I’d really like to stop seeing that mentioned every time the defense is brought up. it sounds too much like making excuses. the defense is coming into their own now, but they should have been able to fill that hole a year ago at least. ok, the cap space still hurts our roster every year, but out of Timonen, Coburn, and Meszaros (Carle was still there too, no?), somebody should have been able to at least effectively, if not completely successfully, fill the first line hole.

    • thailer35 - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      It was the same way for the first like year and a half with Mike Smith and how he was trying to fill the shoes of Bryz. Some stories they just can’t let go of.

    • ewyorksockexchange - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      I agree. At this point, the lack of good defensive play is more a product of the flyers management not being able to acquire a top line dman in FA (Shea Weber cough cough) or trade, and the lack of development into elite players with guys like Coburn, Grossman, Mezz, etc. Pronger has been gone a long time, and at this point it’s more about management’s inability to fill glaring holes and develop/draft talented players than it is about an injury several seasons ago.

      • hockey412 - Mar 11, 2014 at 3:54 PM

        I’m not one to defend Flyers’ management, but not being able to acquire a top pair Dman in free agency isn’t really on them…it’s been damn near impossible to do that for quite some time. Who was the last that actually switched teams? Suter, I believe. It’s tough…it really does take a trade.

    • hockeyflow33 - Mar 11, 2014 at 8:28 PM

      I’m not sure how you pretend he doesn’t exist while you’re still paying for him during the next several years

  2. flyersfan67 - Mar 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    Tough to add top d-man, but will fore sure during off season. Either way timonen is done after season is over. He’s been great for us, and tough to replace quality guy like that, but even if he wants to play next year, flyers need to move on

  3. matthewmacisaac - Mar 11, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Timonen has lost a step and hasn’t come into the last two seasons ready to play. It takes him half a year to get in shape & then he’s out of gas by the end of the year. The Flyers should have traded him to Boston instead of Meszaros because his reputation alone would have brought more in return and they could have plugged Mez into Kimmo’s spot. He’s bigger, faster, and at this point in their careers, a better player than Kimmo. If Mez held up and played great they could resign him. If he didn’t, they could let him walk and bring up one of the promising youngsters. Please let Kimmo go. He WAS a great player, but isn’t any more.

    • ibieiniid - Mar 12, 2014 at 8:09 AM

      Meszaros is better than Timonen. now i’ve heard it all.

      here’s something to read.

      http://www.broadstreethockey.com/2014/1/30/5350748/kimmo-timonen-is-still-very-good

      • matthewmacisaac - Mar 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

        You can believe the stats which can be twisted any way you want or you can believe your eyes. every game, if you watch the Flyers opponents drive wide and gain speed toget around Timonen. When he was younger, this never worked, now it works with regularity. He has taken a lot more hooking/interference penalties the past two years because he is slowing down. He hasn’t slowed to the point of matching Carle’s flat out defensive ineptitude, but he’s slipping and it’s better to lose a guy a year too early than a year too late. I’d even argue that Coburn’s Corsi might be higher if he didn’t have to cover more than his half because of Kimmo’s shortcomings, but I don’t go by the stats as much as I go by watching ( when I played, I mostly played defense, so I know what to look for). As for Mez, yes, he does occasionally get out of position, but it is usually because he made an aggressive play that didn’t work out. He’s more of a high risk/high reward type of player and I’d take that over a guy who has to bring it down a notch to keep up. In their primes I’d take Kimmo over Mez every time, but now I’d go with Mez at this time because of how much Kimmo has lost off his game.

  4. flyboystransport - Mar 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Mez couldn’t stay in the lineup cause he is slow and out of position constantly. You need another dman even if kimmo comes back.

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