TIMONEN TO REMAIN OUT INDEFINITELY
Yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers held a press conference at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, to officially confirm the diagnosis that five-time Barry Ashbee Trophy winner Kimmo Timonen received last month in his native Finland.
The longtime assistant captain cannot be medically cleared to play hockey as long he is on blood thinners to combat blood clots in his lungs and right calf.
Along with his mother and brothers, Timonen has a congenital condition called protein C deficiency, which makes him more prone to blood clots and the life-threatening conditions they can cause.
The chances of the 39-year-old Timonen ever playing hockey again are slim. As long as he is on blood thinners — which could cause a dangerous level of blood loss if he were to suffer an injury on the ice — he is prohibited from playing hockey. Furthermore, it is still not clear what triggered his most recent blood clots nor have they resolved.
The press conference was held to address the following two questions: How long will it take for the blood clots in his lungs and leg to completely resolve on the blood thinner regimen? Additionally, what are the next steps in the process?
Said Timonen, “Time will tell. There’s different opinions how long it’s going to take. Everyone’s opinions are different. So it could take three months, six months. It could take a year, could take two years. Who knows? So that’s why we have to wait and see for months.”
While Flyers general manager Ron Hextall said that Timonen will be re-evaluated “somewhere early in the new year.” Neither the organization nor the player is ready to abandon all hope of a return to the team in what was to be Timonen’s final season before retirement. However, there is no chance that he can play hockey again any time time soon and the chances of a return at any point this season are slim.
“First and foremost, as an organization, we’re concerned about Kimmo, his health, and his family,” said Hextall. And then secondly comes the hockey part. We would never put him in danger. On the other hand, if we feel at that point that he is capable of playing, we will certainly welcome him back later in the year, assuming things go as we hope.”
Is there a chance that Timonen could safely discontinue blood thinners when the blood clots resolve? That appears unlikely.
Said Timonen, “Down the road, based on the doctors, I probably have to be on the blood thinners for the rest of my life. But that’s not 100% sure yet. We have time here, four or five months. Whatever it is till the pre-testing time. I’m sure these things are going to come up and we’re going to talk about it.”
Although contact sports are prohibited, Timonen is able to lead an otherwise normal life. He can work out vigorously — although he will not skate — and more or less go about a typical routine at home.
Timonen is a player known for having one one of the NHL’s highest thresholds for pain and discomfort in a sport where having those traits are par for the course. However, he realizes that the proper treatment of his medical condition is potentially a life-and-death matter and that he has to prioritize his family and health above his hockey career.
Nevertheless, the player is likely not going to announce his retirement until after the season. He wants to give himself every possible chance to finish his playing career under his own terms. There is also a financial consideration involved, although Timonen would likely have retired if doctors told him now there was zero chance of a scenario that’d allow him to play hockey at any point this season. Retirement would mean forfeiting his $2 million salary for the 2014-15 season.
If Timonen had retired, the Flyers would NOT have been penalized on the salary cap despite his age. He is on a one-year contract, which is not subject to the NHL’s “over-35” contract rules regardless of a player’s salary for the season. It is a different situation that Chris Pronger, who is unable to officially retire both for salary cap reasons as well as ones of receiving his contracted salary.
Timonen will join Pronger on the long-term injured reserve (LTIR) list this season. The Flyers are currently $4.936 million over the salary cap ceiling per Capgeek.com. Pronger’s $4.941 million salary can be designated to LTIR the day before opening night rosters are set. The Flyers would then become cap compliant. However, they would not receive an overage allowance for the difference.
Placing Timonen on LTIR the following day will give the Flyers $2 million worth of overage allowance. This amount cannot be “banked” over the course of the season and will diminish on a prorated basis as players are called up during the season.
*********** TRAINING CAMP 2014: FROM A(KESON) to Z(EPP)
The Flyers will conduct their first official day of on-ice practice today at the Skate Zone. There will be sessions at 10:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. EDT. The same schedule will hold for tomorrow and Sunday.
On Monday, part of the Flyers preseason roster will be in London, Ontario to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs. The rest of the split squad will remain in Philadelphia to play the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. Game time is 7 p.m. EDT both in Philly and London.
Below is the Flyers full training camp roster as listed on the Flyers’ official site. There are 36 forwards, 22 defensemen and six goaltenders on the list. However, tryout players Nikita Jevpalovs, Louick Marcotte and Beau Rusk were released at the end of rookie camp. The list also includes LTIR-bound Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger as well as Ryan White, who is recovering from surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle and will not be able to participate.
42 Jason Akeson
64 Brandon Alderson
73 Nicolas Aube-Kubel (unsigned 2014 second-round pick)
78 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare
52 Nick Cousins
14 Sean Couturier
75 Radel Fazleev (unsigned 2014 sixth-round pick)
77 Austin Fyten (AHL contract)
28 Claude Giroux
34 Andrew Gordon
63 Kevin Goumas (AHL contract)
56 Tyrell Goulbourne (unsigned 2013 third-round pick)
68 Matt Hatch (AHL contract)
61 Brett Hextall (AHL contract)
80 Nikita Jevpalovs (amateur tryout; released on Sept. 17)
66 Andrew Johnston
41 Blair Jones
49 Scott Laughton
40 Vincent Lecavalier
58 Taylor Leier
79 Louick Marcotte (amateur tryout; released on Sept. 17)
57 Derek Mathers
81 Marcel Noebels
46 Darroll Powe (AHL contract)
12 Michael Raffl
24 Matt Read
36 Zac Rinaldo
37 Jay Rosehill
10 Brayden Schenn
17 Wayne Simmonds
45 Zack Stortini
51 Petr Straka
18 R.J. Umberger
76 Chris VandeVelde
93 Jakub Voracek
25 Ryan White (pectoral surgery, will not participate)
09 Mark Alt
05 Braydon Coburn
15 Michael Del Zotto
48 Steven Delisle (AHL contract)
82 Brett Flemming (AHL contract)
53 Shayne Gostisbehere
08 Nicklas Grossmann
54 Robert Hägg
62 Matt Konan
60 Maxim Lamarche
38 Oliver Lauridsen
47 Andrew MacDonald
43 Brandon Manning
50 Samuel Morin
59 Jesper Pettersson
20 Chris Pronger (post-concussion syndrome; to be designated for LTIR)
74 Beau Rusk (amateur tryout; released on Sept. 17)
71 Travis Sanheim (unsiged 2104 first-round pick)
22 Luke Schenn
55 Nick Schultz
32 Mark Streit
44 Kimmo Timonen (blood clots; to be designated for LTIR)
29 Ray Emery
67 Connor Knapp (AHL contract)
35 Steve Mason
70 Martin Ouellette (AHL contract)
65 Anthony Stolarz
72 Robb Zepp
This post originally appeared on www.hockeybuzz.com and we thank them for permission to rebroadcast it here.