When the Flyers signed veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen to a one-year extension in February, many figured it’d be the last he’d sign in Philadelphia.
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.