Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Taryn Hatcher, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall.
The topic: Should Kimmo Timonen make the Flyers Hall of Fame?
This one is a no-brainer.
Timonen is easily one of the best defensemen to come through the Flyers' organization — he's without a doubt in the top five.
One of the strongest physical games I’ve ever seen in a Flyers uniform and even though I’m pulling athlete clichés, he was a warrior and a true work horse. It’s scary to think about what the blue line would’ve looked like all of those years without him. Seriously, I wonder if his back hurts after carrying the entire position for that long.
Not to mention, he was pivotal in the 2010 Cup run, appeared in four All-Star Games and became one of the most beloved players in Philadelphia during his seven years here. This is a matter of when, not if for the Flyers Hall of Fame.
Timonen was a steady, well-rounded, hardworking defenseman and a well-liked guy around the league.
He brought light to Philadelphia during his seven seasons. The blueliner racked up 270 points (an average of 38 points per season) and was a plus-44 over those years.
His point totals weren’t the highest in the league, but he compensated by consistently bringing his own 5-foot-10, 194-pound toughness to the ice every night. Timonen finished just 44 blocked shots short of 1,000 with the Flyers. He was a true teammate.
Another place he really helped the Flyers was on special teams. The orange and black ranked 28th in the league on the man advantage in the season before he was signed, operating at 14.1 percent. With Timonen in the lineup the next year, the power play jumped up to second in the league (21.8 percent).
With the exception of one season, the Flyers' power play continued to rank in the top 10 of the league throughout the rest of Timonen’s time in Philadelphia — he had 15 goals and 135 assists on the man advantage with the Flyers. With that, he was a steady force on the penalty kill as well.
What Timonen displayed on and off the ice showed a deserving Flyers HOF defenseman.
Timonen gets my vote for sure. On a personal level, so many memories I have of watching the Flyers through high school and college are of Timonen being an absolute rock on the blue line for the team.
His 519 regular-season games played for the Flyers rank 10th among defensemen in franchise history in that category. He also racked up 270 points, third all-time among Flyers defensemen, and accumulated a plus-44 rating over the seven seasons he spent with the team.
Timonen is almost a no-brainer for me. He was arguably the most important player on the Flyers for a six-year run that included a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Timonen was an ultimate playmaker. When the Flyers acquired him from the Predators, he was known more as an offensive defenseman but he reshaped his game to be a two-way player once joining the team. In 519 games with the Flyers, Timonen was a plus-44 compared to a minus-6 in 573 games with the Predators prior.
One thing that cannot be measured by a stat is toughness and Timonen embodied it, playing through numerous injuries during his Flyers tenure. One more note on Timonen — never before has a player made shooting the puck wide of the net (on purpose) look so beautiful. Timonen for Flyers HOF.
Not sure this is a slam dunk and that's not a knock on Timonen. Everyone knows what he has meant to the organization.
However, you can argue some of Timonen's best seasons came during his days in Nashville, at least from an offensive production standpoint.
But the main point of why Timonen might not be a surefire selection is there are a few really good defensemen who have yet to get into the Flyers Hall of Fame. For example, Tom Bladon was a two-time All-Star in Philly, won two Stanley Cups and is third all-time among Flyers defensemen in goals (behind only Mark Howe and Eric Desjardins). Bob Dailey also had an impressive career in Philadelphia as a two-time All-Star and with 40 points over 56 playoff games, the third-highest postseason scorer all-time among Flyers defensemen (behind only Howe and Desjardins).
Timonen is also right up there among the franchise's best and beloved blueliners. Will he get in, though? It feels like he will eventually, but not sure when.
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