PHILLY.COM: reports the Philadelphia Flyers have re-signed defenseman Kimmo Timonen to a one-year contract. The deal is for a base salary of $2 million plus $2 million in performance bonuses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This will provide a Flyers defense which is turning younger with a veteran presence for next season. Timonen, however, won’t address their obvious need for a top-two defenseman. He’s no longer capable of playing in that role for an entire season, and they’ve been unable to find a suitable replacement for the all-but-retired Chris Pronger. This signing also whittles their cap space to $4.55 million for next season. They must re-sign or replace Brayden Schenn, Jason Akeson, Ray Emery and Tye McGinn.
There’s been talk of trading Vincent Lecavalier to free up room, but they could be forced to retain a good chunk of his salary to move him, plus they can’t take much back in return if their quest this summer is finding a top-two defenseman and perhaps a first line left wing. It’s been suggested Matt Read could go into the latter role, but that will still leave them in need of a big-minute blueliner. While they’re allowed to go over the cap ceiling by 10 percent in the offseason, they must be cap-compliant when next season begins. They’ll get some cap relief by placing Pronger on LTIR ($4.9 million), but they cannot do that until the season starts.