Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons the Flyers Signing Kimmo Timonen Is a Good Idea

Michael PizzutilloCorrespondent IIIFebruary 7, 2013

Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Reasons the Flyers Signing Kimmo Timonen Is a Good Idea

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    According to Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi, the Flyers have reportedly agreed to a one-year extension with veteran defenseman and associate captain Kimmo Timonen.

    A bold and smart move by the club.

    Timonen, 37, is currently playing in his sixth season with Philadelphia but it feels like it's been an eternity. The talented veteran quickly bounced back from offseason back surgery and was ready to play in this shortened season—proving he still has some gas let in the tank.

    There's no denying the talented defender has lost a step on the ice, but Kimmo at 80 percent is better than half the defenders in the NHL.

    He is an important asset to the Philadelphia Flyers and this signing was necessary. Here are five reasons it was a smart idea for the club to sign Kimmo Timonen.

1. He'll Continue to Mentor Younger Defensemen

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    Kimmo Timonen is the leader of the Flyers' defense, which consists of a wide range of age and experience on their roster. 

    Two of the younger Flyers' defensemen, Luke Schenn (24) and Andrej Meszaros (27), should prosper the most from the signing. Meszaros has already benefited from being Timonen's apprentice for the past three seasons, while Schenn is currently paired with the veteran.

    The knowledge and professionalism Timonen brings to the game will help benefit future and current talent for years to come.

2. He Will Make Claude Giroux a Better Captain

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    Timonen is the Flyers' associate captain for a reason—he understands how to lead. He could have very easily been named the captain of this team, but title changes were not his first priority of business. 

    The Flyers did name Claude Giroux their team captain, who is still learning the full concept of wearing the "C" in Philadelphia. With the signing, it allows Giroux another important year to mature alongside his friend and teammate. 

    Giroux is capable of being an incredible leader for the Philadelphia Flyers, and if he can attain a little piece of Timonen's philosophy on the game it will be beneficial for the entire Flyers' organization. 

3. Maintain Depth at Defense

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    The Philadelphia Flyers lost Matt Carle to free agency last season and were not going to lose another talented defender next season.

    Currently, the club does not have much depth on defense, especially with Chris Pronger likely done playing hockey. Therefore, the signing is important for the team.

    And general manager Paul Holmgren probably felt comfortable bringing back a proven player who understands the system rather than sign a free agent for the same money.

    Granted, Timonen is not the player he once was, but he is still effective and proving he can play high quality minutes on the ice—even in this compact season. 

4. Maintain Special Teams Experience

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    Timonen also brings another important talent to his repertoire of skills. He is masterful on special teams.

    During his career, Timonen has totaled 405 assists and over half of them have stemmed from the power play (via ESPN). The same can be said for his career goals. He is the point man and leader for the Flyers on the man advantage.

    When facing a penalty kill, Kimmo plays the part to perfection. He is aggressive and will attack the puck handler while maintaining his proper position on the ice—forcing the opposition into bad decisions.

    His special team’s awareness is important for a team that commits a high number of penalties each season and the Flyers could without question use his services for another season.

5. Opportunity to Retire a Flyer

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    The crafty veteran has been the epitome of a Philadelphia professional athlete—playing with guts, courage and tenacity. Kimmo has poured his heart into the Flyers, and has expressed interest in retiring as a Flyer.

    It's only fitting the Flyers extend their hand (wallet) and offer him another shot at winning with the orange and black.

    The fans love him, as does the organization, and should be extremely pleased with bringing him back next season.