When the Flyers didn't waive a player to make room for Kimmo Timonen to return on Saturday night, it raised a few red flags. Either the team could somehow waive somebody on gameday through some clause in the CBA, or a defenseman was on the move. What unfolded caught nearly everybody by surprise as instead of clearing room for Timonen, the Flyers traded him to the Blackhawks for two draft picks.
Even with Timonen's age and health risks, his track record was good enough for Chicago Blackhaws general manager Stan Bowman to trade not only one, but two draft picks for him. One of the picks is guaranteed to be a second round pick in the 2015 draft, essentially replacing the pick that the Flyers traded for Andrew MacDonald. The second pick will be a conditonal pick in next year's draft. The round the pick is in will vary, depending on how Kimmo and the Blackhawks perform the rest of the season. The conditions are outlined below by Frank Seravalli.
Seravalli also tweeted out what some of the reporters thought that the Flyers could get in return for the veteran defenseman:
Seriously, a few of us reporters were spitballing trade talk last night in Toronto and thought maybe Flyers could get a 7th rounder.— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) February 28, 2015
Considering the circumstances, this is a pretty good haul in return for Timonen. After the devastating news of his injuries during the summer, his career was hanging in the balance. It was only about a month ago that he was even medically cleared to skate. Now, just over a month later, he was traded for two draft picks, including one in a deep draft year.
Ron Hextall has been a bit up and down in people's minds as Flyers general manager, but this is a good move to start out a potentially busy trade deadline weekend. With the Flyers' crowded blue line, it wouldn't be surprising if this is the first move of a few before Monday afternoon.
Also: March 25. Blackhawks at Flyers. Save the date.