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Greenberg: Timonen faces a decision

Flyers columnist talks about factors that play into the veteran defenseman's decision this off-season to keep playing

Saturday, 05.3.2014 / 9:30 AM ET / News
By Jay Greenberg  - philadelphiaflyers.com
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Greenberg: Timonen faces a decision
Flyers columnist talks about factors that play into the veteran defenseman\'s decision this off-season to keep playing

Kimmo Timonen got through the 2013-14 season with a body he says didn’t feel its 39 years.

What gets old, he acknowledges, is what you have to do to keep your body believing that.

“That’s why I am going to take my time, probably start working out in a few weeks to see if I still like it and go from there,” he said Friday as the Flyers broke up for the summer. “Or, if I would like to do something else.”

Timonen has heard what he wanted to hear from Craig Berube and Paul Holmgren. They would like him to come back for a 16th NHL season, and an eighth with the Flyers. Now Kimmo’s legs will beg for the same words of encouragement from his brain.

“For myself, I put the highest standard where I want to be when I play the game,” he said Friday. “I gotta think about whether I can still be there.

“If I find I can be there, I don’t see why I’m not coming back.”

It remains to be seen in what role, at what salary, but not what team.

“I haven’t even figured out how much (cap) money the (Flyers) have left,” Timonen said. “It doesn’t matter to me.

“This is my place. If I get back, this is where I want to be. I like our team. I like our team moving forward.

“I wasn’t going to end my career (last season) with 50 games and no playoffs. This year we got off to a really bad start and put ourselves in a big hole. We climbed out and made the playoffs, which in my mind was a minimum goal, but then you lose in the first round, that’s not acceptable.

“Let’s put it this way, if I had won a Stanley Cup earlier, I would say ‘that’s it.’ That’s the only thing that keeps my hopes up, not money, not anything else.”

In the meantime, he, his wife, Johanna, and children have no desire to be anywhere else but Haddonfield, whether Dad continues playing there or not.

“No matter what, we going to stay here for a couple more years and figure out what we are going to do as a family. My kids are older, my (oldest) son (Samuel) is 15 and I’m sure he wants to stay here. He has been here all his life.”

When you have played hockey all your life, only chronic pain makes it easy to leave it. Fellow NHL senior citizens have told Timonen they will keep skating until someone faster catches up and drags the skates off their feet.

“A lot of them say that if you can play the game, don’t leave the game,” said Timonen. “If you can still play and people want you back that’s always a good sign. I just have to figure out if I can do it.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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