Kimmo Timonen doesn’t have many seasons left in what’s been an excellent NHL career. The Flyers’ defenseman is 37 years old and among the top 30 oldest players in the league.
Suffice to say he really doesn’t want to lose the season to a lockout. He already went through that in 2004-05, and he wasn’t close to retirement then.
In fact, if there’s no 2012-13 season, Timonen says he might’ve played his last game in the NHL.
“I feel like I am in great shape, but to be honest if this thing drags on another two or three months who knows, I might lose my motivation and we will see what happens after,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer Wednesday.
Maybe Timonen is bluffing. Flyers owner Ed Snider certainly doesn’t want to see his best healthy defenseman retire. Not when Philly’s blue line is already a massive concern.
However, it’s worth noting that Timonen’s already received $35 million of his front-loaded $38 million contract. Would he be willing to stay in shape and come back next season for $3 million?
For now, Timonen’s toeing the “this is about the future” party line.
“Hopefully they can get together and get the deal done,” he said.
(Note: We linked to this story in the Morning Skate, but we felt it was worth discussing further.)