Defense updates: Lilja up, Timonen out for the season's final week

Ah, memories. - Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Kimmo Timonen will miss the season's final week, while Andreas Lilja has been recalled from Adirondack.

A pair of updates on the defensive front, courtesy of the Flyers' PR department this morning:

* Andreas Lilja has been recalled from Adirondack. He'll join the team, though it's very hard to imagine he plays in any of the team's final three games this week. The Courier-Post's Dave Isaac reported earlier this month that Lilja signed a two-year deal with a club back in Sweden, so given the fact that there's no chance he'll play for the Flyers next year (not that there was really much of one anyways), it makes no sense to give the 37-year old Lilja playing time over young guys who may in fact figure into the team's blue line next year. Guys such as Matt Konan, who was called up yesterday. However, Lilja coming up may have just been a move to fill a roster spot, because...

* ...Kimmo Timonen will be out for the remainder of the season (this update via Anthony SanFilippo) with a compression fracture in his foot. Timonen, despite being far and away the team's best defenseman this year, has obviously been playing in at least some degree of pain and injury for most of the season, and if he's got an injury that can be in any way further aggravated by playing this week, it's not worth it to keep him in the lineup. He'll finish the season with 29 points -- as of this writing, fourth-best among NHL defensemen.

So if you're keeping track, that means the following Flyers defensemen are now out with injury: Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Andrej Meszaros, Bruno Gervais, and Kent Huskins. That's five of the team's top six defensemen heading into the season, plus more. Pretty incredible. (Oh, and Chris Pronger, too.)

All of this means that the Flyers' top six on defense tonight will include six of these seven guys:

Luke Schenn
Oliver Lauridsen
Erik Gustafsson
Kurtis Foster
Brandon Manning
Matt Konan
Andreas Lilja

That's...a bit scary. Even by this season's standards.

On the plus side, though, let's all laugh at Toronto, because they told us Luke Schenn would never be a #1 defenseman. Look at him now.

One other note: there was some confusion as to whether or not the call-up of Lilja would have to count as an "emergency callup" given the fact that the Flyers called up four players yesterday, but even if so I'm not sure if it matters at this point. Page 72 of the old CBA, Article 13.12.L.iii, states that players can be recalled "upon completion of the regular season and playoff schedule of the club to which they were Loaned." Best I can tell -- and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong -- since Lilja was loaned to the Phantoms and since their season is now over, he's allowed to come on up now with no issue, as are the other members of the Phantoms that have been recalled.

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