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With Timonen shelved, what’s next for Philly?

Aug 5, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT

kimmo timonen

On Tuesday, the Flyers announced veteran d-man Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with blood clots in his lower right leg and both lungs, and is currently being treated for the disorder in his native Finland.

While there’s no timetable for Timonen’s return, GM Ron Hetxall said the club views this as a “long-term” situation, suggesting the Flyers are prepared to start the season without the 39-year-old, and possibly play the entire campaign minus his services.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what Philadelphia faces moving forward.

What’s left

Philly’s new projected top-six defense is Mark Streit, Braydon Coburn, Andrew MacDonald, Nicklas Grossmann, Luke Schenn and former Edmonton/Minnesota/Columbus rearguard Nick Schultz, who was signed in free agency. Even with Timonen in the mix, the group wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring — without him, it’s a trouble area for sure as his impact on the club’s possession and shots-for/shots-against metrics were very impressive. You could also pencil him in for 20-22 minutes a night and 35-40 points a year.

Compounding things is Philly’s lack of solutions within the organization. The team has taken d-men with their first picks in consecutive drafts (Samuel Morin in ’13, Travis Sanheim this year), but neither has played a game of professional hockey and aren’t immediate solutions. Highly-touted college standout Shayne Gostisbehere is a little older (21) and a little more experienced, but still only has two games under his belt with AHL Adirondack.

Speaking of Adirondack/Lehigh Valley, the Phantoms present a few other options as well. RFA Brandon Manning’s been up with the Flyers on a few occasions, as has Olivier Lauridsen. Robert Hagg, a Swedish d-man taken in the second round in ’13, played 10 games for the Phantoms last year and could warrant a look too.

What’s out there

Given all the aforementioned names have such little big-league experience, it’s not surprising that Hextall wants to wade into the free agent and trade market:

Bringing someone aboard via either avenue will prove tricky. The Flyers are currently $3 million over the cap but will get LTIR relief from Chris Pronger ($4.9M) and, possibly Timonen ($2M) — which would give Hextall room to work with, albeit not that much. There have been rumblings about Philly having interest in ex-Rangers and Predators rearguard Michael Del Zotto, who could be a good gamble at a relatively low cost given his reputation is “in tatters,” according to the New York Post.

The rest of the available free agents are… well, uninspiring to be totally honest. Sami Salo, Henrik Tallinder, Ed Jovanovski, Derek Morris, Douglas Murray, Francis Bouillon and Shane O’Brien are a few of the names out there, but they’re out there for a reason.

In the end, this is a tough situation for both Timonen and the Flyers and there doesn’t appear to be a quality solution on the horizon. It’s the first real crisis moment in Hextall’s tenure as GM, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles it.

  1. flyboystransport - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    Nothing will happen til training camp. They’ll likely give youngsters a shot to make the team

    • drewsylvania - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:22 PM

      This is really funny right now.

    • missthemexpos - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      Any more predictions?

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      Good call.

  2. bsaures - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    At 2 million you aren’t going to get a player who is anywhere near timonen the flyers will be hard pressed to make the playoffs

    • flyboystransport - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:43 PM

      Plus prongers 4.9 million

      • jpelle82 - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        so they will have 3.9 to work with after pronger and timmonen’s comes off. you can afford any of those guys listed with that.

      • bsaures - Aug 5, 2014 at 5:04 PM

        None replace him though who on that list is still a top 3 dman……thats right none

  3. stepanup - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    Derek Morris is still a serviceable defenseman in the league, but who knows, if MDZ is on a team where they just play offense, maybe he’ll find his best fit?

    • stepanup - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:40 PM

      Either way tough break for Kimmo as a person and the Flyers as a team.

    • mactruck27 - Aug 5, 2014 at 3:54 PM

      Given that, I’m sure they’d prefer someone that could hit the broad side of a barn with a slap shot.

    • rbbbaron - Aug 5, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Ditto. I would’ve much rather seen Morris end up with the Wings then have Quincey return…

  4. broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 5, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    They have very good serviceable options with NHL experience in Manning and Lauridsen and MDZ on the cheap sounds intriguing, especially if he can regain his form. Hopefully they don’t jump the gun and throw Morin or Ghost in, but Hextall is on record (rightfully so) not wanting to rush developing players.

    • flyerspsu - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      Manning and Lauridsen are hardly “good serviceable options”, would prefer Hagg out of any of them

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        Hagg is not ready yet.

  5. 333rudy333 - Aug 5, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Give MDZ a shot. It would be a great opportunity for him to regain his career and by some time for the youngsters to develop. Come the trade deadline, if the any youngster is ready, look to move a player.

  6. bmoreredfury311 - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:50 PM

    This is news to me. Get well Timonen.

  7. c9castine - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    that sucks….pretty similar situation to Vokoun…

    two great long time players still competing and just when it looks like they have one more good year left they get blood clots. and its over. it puts you out much too long.

  8. barkar942 - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    When I saw this post earlier, I didn’t have time to open it to read the whole thing, but my first thought was DelZotto.

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