After more than a month to ponder an exit strategy from the game, Kimmo Timonen ultimately decided he did not need one.
Not right now, anyway.
Timonen and the Flyers agreed to a one-year extension on Friday, the team announced. For Timonen, who will turn 40 during next season, it will be his 8th season with the team.
According to a report from ESPN, Timonen's new deal is incentive laden, a feature available for players 35 years and older under the CBA. He will earn $2 million in base salary, which is his cap hit, with the possibility of earning a shade under $4 million total for the year through incentives. The bonus money, if earned, can be applied to the cap in future years.
Either way, Timonen took a below market-value deal to remain with the Flyers. He said in early May that Philadelphia is "his place," and that if he was returning to play anywhere, it would be with the Flyers.
The Flyers will surely need Timonen's poise on the ice, as he will strive to give the team one more year of solid defense before they transition to a younger, burgeoning core led by Andrew MacDonald and perhaps Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin in the future.
Timonen has won five Barry Ashbee Trophies as the team's top defenseman - including the last three in a row. Last season, he posted 6 goals and 29 assists for 35 points in 77 games. He has been remarkably durable - termed by outgoing general manager Paul Holmgren as the "tough little Finn" - appearing in 519 of a possible 540 games over the last 7 campaigns.
Timonen ranks third all-time among Flyers defensemen in points (270) and assists (232), he is tied for 8th in goals (38), and 10th in games played (519).
"You have to be motivated to work out, get into shape, go through those 82 games again," Timonen said on May 2. "For myself, I put the highest standard for where I want to be when I play the game. I have to think about if I can still be there and if I find that I can be there, then I don’t see why I’m not coming back.”
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