Kimmo Timonen, who has been in the NHL for seemingly forever, will return for at least one more season as he signed a new one-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. Financial terms were not disclosed by the Flyers as they announced the deal Friday, but Craig Custance of ESPN.com reports the deal comes with a $2 million base salary, but could be worth $4 million with bonuses. Timonen was set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so that is a rather affordable contract for a veteran defenseman.
Timonen, a veteran of nearly 1,100 NHL games, has been with the Flyers for the last eight seasons and has often been one of the team's best defensemen over that span. The 39-year-old rearguard had 35 points last season including 29 assists, while averaging more than 20 minutes a night. He played in all situations for the Flyers including on the power play and penalty kill as well.
Timonen ranks third all-time among Flyers defensemen with 270 points and 232 assists. He joined the club in 2007 as part of the trade that also brought Scott Hartnell to the Flyers from the Nashville Predators.
The Flyers defense has had some serious problems since Chris Pronger went down with his career-ending injury. Timonen, however, has not been one of those problems. He has proven to be a durable rearguard, never playing less than 76 games for the Flyers (save for the 48-game lockout-shortened season) and remains a solid puck-mover.
This is a smart move for new GM Ron Hextall to get his team through this transition period on the Flyers defense with a solid veteran base. The team has a lot of money tied up in its substandard defense, but Timonen is an important stabilizing presence.
This deal very well may be Timonen's last in the NHL. He will turn 40 in March.
A former 10th-round draft pick, Timonen has carved out a rather brilliant career for himself since coming to the NHL at age 23. He has 571 career points over 1,092 career games between the Predators and Flyers. He represented Finland at the Olympics five times, including the bronze-medal squad in 2014.