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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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 75 21 53 7 74
C. Giroux 74 22 46 1 68
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
M. Streit 75 9 36 -10 45
B. Schenn 75 14 25 -7 39
S. Couturier 75 13 17 1 30
M. Read 73 7 22 -7 29
M. Del Zotto 57 9 19 -5 28
M. Raffl 60 19 6 6 25
V. Lecavalier 51 7 11 -10 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 15 17 10 .926 2.25
R. Emery 10 10 6 .892 3.15
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