On Tuesday, the Flyers announced that defensman Kimmo Timonen was suffering from blood clots in both lungs, as well as his leg. The assistant captain was in Finland attaining treatment, and is out indefinitely, as a minimum recovery time is at least three months.
The 39-year old nearly retired this offseason after a long tenure in the National Hockey League. Ultimately, he signed a one-year deal with Philadelphia, likely to take one last shot at a Stanley Cup.
The Flyers, choked at the neck by their salary cap situation, were unable to make major changes to the roster. The defense remained largely unchanged, with hope strung to the young players soon to be called up.
Upon hearing the news, Flyers’ general manager Ron Hextall moved to sign defensman Michael Del Zotto. Del Zotto is a former Ranger, and will add toughness and stinginess to the group. More importantly, Del Zotto will provide potential to develop amid a group of stagnant veterans. Del Zotto is still only 24 years old, and has room to grow as an NHL player. The former Ranger and Predator notched a combined 16 points for the two teams last year.
The developments surrounding Timonen are unfortunate, and extend far beyond the confines of the ice. Such a condition is life-threatening, especially since the clots reside in his lungs. The Flyers sure will have some motivation for the coming year, as there’s nothing Timonen would rather see than a Stanley Cup at the Wells Fargo Center.
Photos: USA Today, Wikipedia