Even in a different uniform, it seems like Kimmo Timonen is producing the best results for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Score points out that the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup Final run bumps a conditional 2016 fourth-round pick involved in the Timonen trade to a second-rounder instead. The deal already included a second-round pick in 2015, so that’s a heck of a haul for the Flyers considering the fact that Timonen was teetering on the brink of retirement all season.
After the 2014-15 campaign ended for Philly, Jakub Voracek and Mark Streit lamented the 40-year’s absence, yet this is an obvious boon for Flyers management.
(Timonen hasn’t exactly been a smash success for the Blackhawks either, despite playing in most of their playoff games so far …)
GM Ron Hextall and the rest of his staff deserve some serious kudos for focusing on the draft as a route of improvement, especially since the team’s past salary cap mistakes limit their ability to make the flashy additions that once seemed like annual occurrences for the franchise.
Just look at how many of their 2015 NHL Draft selections come from other teams (via General Fanager):
Stacking up draft picks diverts from the path of instant gratification, yet it could be a recipe for success, especially if Hextall’s trying to take a page from NFL coach Bill Belichick’s playbook.
It might sting to think of the past, and the present may be a little murky, but it’s refreshing to observe a Flyers GM so focused on the future.