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Timonen is currently facing the dilemma so many NHLers confront in the twilight of their careers.
Retire or make one more run at the Stanley Cup.
The 39-year-old defender inked a one-year, $6 million pact in advance of this season, presumably his last in Philadelphia and the NHL. But the Flyers failed to claim that elusive prize Timonen has chased throughout his 15-year professional career.
And so the door remains slightly open for the five-time All-Star to return.
Timonen has already indicated he'll use the next couple of weeks to ponder his future and expects to inform GM Paul Holmgren of his decision within a month.
A class act throughout his career, Timonen won't drag this out. He'll carefully weigh his alternatives but will make a timely decision, allowing the Flyers plenty of time before the draft and free agency to find alternatives should the five-time Olympian opt for retirement.
And that's the decision Timonen will make.
He's already indicated that if he returns, it will be to Philadelphia. And the only reason for Timonen to return for a grinding 16th NHL campaign would be for a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup. Thus, if Timonen is to return, he'll have to earnestly believe the Flyers are bona fide Cup contenders.
Unfortunately, as currently constituted, Philadelphia is still a few pieces away from competing with the likes of Pittsburgh, Boston, Los Angeles, Anaheim and the New York Rangers.
As such, Philly fans have seen the last of Timonen, one of the five best defensemen to ever put on a Flyers jersey.