Kimmo Timonen has been playing coy about next season; he has hinted that he will not return, but has also dropped a few hints about coming back. The Finnish defenseman, who has been a key component in the Flyers resurgence this season, was openly disgusted by the Flyers performance last season. He is very vocal in the locker room, and a at week shy of thirty-nine, Kimmo is obviously a veteran who can help to steady the young crop of Philadelphia blue liners waiting in the wings.
Kimmo has won three bronze medals and one silver medal with Team Finland in the Winter Olympics, as well as three silver medals at the World Championships. He proudly wears the ‘A’ on his sweater for the Flyers, and is admired and respected by nearly every player in the NHL. Timonen and the Flyers came oh so close to hockey’s ultimate prize in 2010, losing the Stanley Cup in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks. Kimmo is one of the few players remaining from that team; the team that stunned the world by coming back against the Boston Bruins after being down three games to none in the playoff series, and three goals to none in the first period of the decisive game seven.
Being a part of that historic Flyers-Bruins series taught Timonen about come backs, but the question on every Flyers fan this year is “Will Kimmo come back for another year?” While Timonen has made no firm commitment, it is a good guess that the end of the season could determine Kimmo’s future. He is still chasing the the Stanley Cup, and it remains his motivation. In an interview published in USA Today, Kimmo had this to say on Saturday about winning it all:
“That’s why I’m still here, It keeps me motivated every night. I think about how I still have a chance to get it. Hopefully it’s this year, but these next 18 games are really huge for me and the team to get into the playoffs, then anything’s possible.”
Timonen has been relatively healthy this year, but did miss two games prior to the Winter Olympics. His play since returning from his bronze medal performance would suggest that the Fountain of Youth was in Sochi, or perhaps that the bronze medal he has proudly displayed holds some mystical healing powers. Whatever the difference, Timmonen scored two goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The two goals were the first goals Kimmo had scored against the Leafs, ever It seems apparent that the Philadelphia Flyers, their fans and Mr. Timonen all want the same thing: the perfect Finnish to an amazing career.