UPDATE, 6/15: TVA's Ren Lavoie has the following in terms of Timonen's exact bonuses:
#flyers Kimmo Timonen contract: 2M$ base salary + 750 000 at 10 games + 250 000 at 20 games + 250 000 at 30 games + 250 000 at 60 games.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 15, 2014
So if Timonen plays 60 or more games next year, he'll count for $3.5 million against the cap. Given his base salary of $2 million, that means the Flyers could potentially face as much as $1.5 million in overages against their 2015-16 cap. Even better than the $4 million or so we had initially anticipated. Original post below.
About a month ago, we looked at the potential of 39-year old Kimmo Timonen coming back for what would (probably) be his final NHL season. Coming off of another season where he was the team's best defenseman, it was obvious why the Flyers would want him back on the team -- but also a fair question as to whether he'd want to come back:
Kimmo Timonen is obviously a key piece on this Philadelphia Flyers team -- a top-4 defenseman playing for an organization where top-4 defensemen are its weakness -- but at 39 years old, he's obviously getting up there a bit. He's taking the next few weeks to determine whether or not he'll come back and play an eighth year for the Flyers.
Of course, it's a no-brainer to say the Flyers should want him back. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize he's lost a step, and at his age that's to be expected. But he's still an extremely useful player, and it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that either.
Well, we now have our answer, and it's the one we were hoping for: the Flyers announced on Friday afternoon that they've re-signed Timonen to a one-year contract.
ESPN's Craig Custance is reporting the following in terms of money:
Kimmo Timonen signs a one-year deal with Flyers. Base salary in the $2 million range could be worth close to $4 million with bonuses.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) June 13, 2014
With Timonen being over 35 years old, he is eligible to receive a contract with incentives in it, meaning that if Custance's report is true, his base salary for cap calculation purposes will be $2 million. (Update: CBC's Elliotte Friedman has confirmed the $2 million base salary figure)
If he achieves those bonuses (and it's likely that they will be easily achievable ones), that additional (approximate) $2 million in bonuses will be added on to the salary cap, and if the Flyers cannot fit that money in under the 2014-15 cap, any leftover overages will roll over against their 2015-16 cap.
In any case, there's zero doubt that the amount Timonen will be making for this upcoming season will be less than he would have received on the open market, meaning that what he said at the beginning of the offseason was true -- he wanted to be here or nowhere.
With the gaping hole that Timonen's departure would have left on the team's already-suspect blueline, bringing him back is a great move for Ron Hextall and this team with the excellent year he just had (our Year In Review piece for him is still in progress). He's clearly lost a step or two and isn't the player that he was even a few years ago, but he's an incredibly smart defenseman and replacing him would have been no easy task. The Flyers will certainly be better off for having him back.
Pretty good news for a guy who said back in 2013 that 2013-14 was '99 percent' likely to be his final season, huh? Kimmo forever.
More analysis to come.