It’s Time For Timonen to be “Selfish”
A common and understandable feeling is that unless a Flyers player will represent the nation that a certain Flyers fan roots for, then he or she does not care for him being anywhere near the Olympics.
It makes sense. If the player could use some rest, why hope for him to play for a rival nation?
The case with Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen may just be a bit different.
This will be Timonen’s fifth time representing Finland in the Winter Olympics if he does indeed make the trip to Sochi. Through the previous four trips to the Olympics, Timonen has accumulated two bronze medals and one silver.
For many European players, the Olympics mean more than winning a Stanley Cup. While the two championships are hard to compare, there is a reason a player like Alex Ovechkin has made it known that he would participate even if the NHL did not.
At almost 39 years old and without an NHL contract next season, Timonen may be looking at his last chance to capture one of those championships. A Stanley Cup is not likely to come home to Philadelphia. But a gold medal victory for Finland this February is very believable.
Finland’s roster is stacked with extremely talented forwards such as Teemu Selanne, Mikael Granlund, and Mikko Koivu to name a few. Add in defensemen Olli Maatta and Sami Salo along with goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Antti Niemi and it’s no wonder that the country has such high expectations.
It is not yet known whether Timonen will play in either of the last two Flyers games before the Olympic break.
It is true that he could probably use the rest. He may also want to take time to let his foot heal.
It is also true that the Flyers would benefit tremendously from Timonen not going over to Sochi. But from a personal and selfish standpoint, Timonen would be better off joining team Finland next week.
With an inconsistent Flyers team not destined for greatness this season, it is the absolute perfect time for Timonen to think of himself. A player like him deserves a championship. He has worked so hard and has come so close to both a Stanley Cup and a gold medal.
With his career coming to an end, Timonen’s chances are dwindling, and this is as good of a chance as he is going to get. Timonen deserves to go to Sochi and he deserves a gold medal.