Flyers veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen has hinted before that the 2013-2014 season might be his last. So when he re-signed a new deal with the team worth $6 million this season, it made sense that it was only for a year.
After a disappointing season paired with many injuries, is it finally time for the aging defenseman to hang up his skates? In the offseason Timonen himself is certainly weighing the options.
“To be honest, I’m going into the summer thinking this might be my last year,” Timonen told the Flyers inside reporter, Anthony SanFilippo on Thursday, “The mindset I have right now is that I just want to enjoy every moment next year because that could be it…I’m not saying this is 100 percent my last year, but it could be. It’s definitely pretty close to the end.”
Timonen continues to play coy about whether he will retire or not, but it is within the realm of possibilities. Back in the 2010-2011 season when he first hinted at when he was going to retire, he also mentioned that he wanted to play for his native Finland in the 2014 Olympics. He specifically wanted to do that while still being a Flyer. So Timonen could just be holding out for that. That is if the NHL actually agrees to let the players participate in the Olympics at Sochi in 2014.
Timonen has been a huge help to the Flyers defense, as evident by the amount of ice time he has at age 38. His retirement would appear to be a loss to the already struggling defense, but Timonen doesn’t buy into that.
When reflecting on the Flyers struggles this year, Timonen does not believe that the defense was entirely at fault. He emphasizes that the lockout-shortened season and being plagued by injuries was at the heart of the Flyers problems this season.
Timonen is also confident in the younger defenseman on the team, and is especially impressed with Luke Schenn. Schenn, who is being mentored by Chris Pronger, could potentially fill the skates left by Timonen when the veteran finally retires.
Since it could be Timonen’s last season with the team, the Flyers really need to look to draft a defenseman in the upcoming draft. They also will need to be on the lookout for a solid blueliner through free agency or a trade during the offseason.
[For the full story from Anthony SanFilippo CLICK HERE]