Kimmo Timomen held an emotional press conference Thursday and made it clear he wanted to return to the Flyers.
But what is not quite so clear is, after discovering blood clots in his lungs this summer, will be medically able to play?
“My desire is, I want to play,” Timonen told the media. “The chance of me playing is really slim. That’s the fact, but I’m ready to wait to see if I still have those clots.”
The Flyers brought in Michael Del Zotto, a defenseman free agent acquisition who could help pick up where Timonen left off. They also have a bevy of talented prospects, but GM Ron Hextal and the rest of the Flyers’ front office would prefer they continue to develop at the junior and AHL level.
Hextall also wants to do what’s best for Timonen and his family.
“We’re concerned about Kimmo, his health and his family first,” Hextall said. “Hockey is second. We would never put him in danger. If he feels he is capable of playing, we will certainly welcome him back later in the year.”
The decision isn’t up to Hextall, nor it is up to Timonen. Both made it clear that it’s the doctors’ calls all the way.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and there’s different opinions,” the 39-year-old Timonen said. “I have a blood disorder in my family. My desire is to play, but I have to listen to doctors and see what’s safe here.”
The Flyers will begin training camp without Timonen Friday.
Kimmo Timonen will be tough for the Flyers to replace, at least for part of the 2014-15 season.The defenseman posted 35 points last season.He was a key defender, averaging 20:20 on the ice each game.