Kimmo Timonen (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Kimmo Timonen’s Stanley Cup celebration isn’t over quite yet, but the 16-year NHL veteran, who is set to retire in the coming weeks, could be heading back to the Philadelphia Flyers organization in 2015-16. Timonen has said he’ll contact Flyers GM Ron Hextall about a potential job and Hextall expects to sit down with the Cup-winning defenseman.
Kimmo Timonen had the perfect capper to his outstanding 16-year career: he won the Stanley Cup. But even after hoisting the sport’s grandest prize in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform, Timonen made no mistake that he plans to head back to Philadelphia and added that a place with the Flyers could be in the cards for him.
That’s not to say he isn’t retiring, however. Make no mistake, Timonen has played his final game in the NHL and will retire within the next few weeks. But in an interview with CSN Philly’s Tim Panaccio, Timonen said that once he gets back to his home, which is actually in South Jersey, he’ll take some time to decide what his next step will be, but that could very well mean a spot inside the Flyers organization.
“That might be something,” Timonen told Panaccio. “Obviously, I’m going to move back to Philly and stay there for a couple of more years, at least. Obviously, the Flyers have a special place in my heart. I had a great eight years there and they have a really great organization.
“So if we can find something that can benefit both sides, obviously, I would be interested. I’ll talk to Hexy when I get home and see what happens. I have no plans, really. I’m going to take my time.”
But this isn’t the first time Timonen potentially rejoining the Flyers in a front office role has been brought up, so there might be a little more to it than Timonen is letting on. In an interview with a Philadelphia morning show, Breakfast on Broad, Hextall said he has yet to talk to the retiring blueliner.
"That’s one of those things,” Hextall said. “I don’t believe you talk to players until they’re done. So once he gets back here, we’ll sit down and talk. And we’ll see which direction it goes.”
The reports of Timonen wanting to get back to the Flyers organization did start well before the season ended, however. In speaking with The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi, Timonen said coaching wasn’t something he would be interested in next season, but that he would be reaching out to Hextall.
Before then, however, there’s a little matter of a parade to take care of. The Blackhawks will be doing just that on Thursday afternoon. But once the confetti and champagne celebrations are over for Timonen, it will be back to South Jersey and, quite possibly, a return to the Flyers organization he called home for so many years.