A five-time winner of the Barry Ashbee Trophy, a two-time NHL All-Star as a Flyer and a participant in two Olympic tournaments during his years as a Flyer, Kimmo Timonen was born in Kuopio, Finland on March 18, 1975.
Acquired on June 18, 2007 from Nashville and immediately signed to a six-year contract along with close friend Scott Hartnell in exchange for returning the Predators' 2007 first-round pick acquired in the Peter Forsberg trade a few months earlier, Timonen immediately stepped in and became one of the best all-around defensemen in franchise history. Although short (listed at 5-foot-10) and lacking blazing speed, Timonen's powerful lower body, puck skills, ability to make smart plays away from the puck, heart, desire and two-way hockey sense more than made up for anything he lacked.
Over the course of the next seven season, Timonen posted 232 points in 519 regular season games, a cumulative plus-44 rating at even strength and dressed in 76 to 82 games annually while logging a lot of tough ice time and playing through an array of accumulated injuries. In 71 games of playoff action, Timonen chipped in 29 points and was plus-eight. Timonen won the Barry Ashbee Trophy as the Flyers top defenseman of 2007-08, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14. He also participated in the 2007-08 and 2011-12 NHL All-Star Game as well as the 2010 and 2014 Olympics while a member of the Flyers.
Contemplating retirement after the 2013-14 season, Timonen elected instead to return for one final season and took a paycut from the Flyers in order to make things work out on the salary cap. Unfortunately, in August 2014, Timonen was diagnosed with blood clots in his lung and right calf. He missed all of training camp and the first five months of the 2014-15 season.
Timonen battled the odds and, after meeting with a battery of doctors, announced his intention to play again. In order to alleviate roster overcrowding and give Timonen a chance to chase the Stanley Cup one final time with a top contender, the Flyers traded their longtime blueline leader to the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 27, 2015. He fulfilled his goal and lifted the Cup at the end of his final game before retirement. Timonen's younger brother, Jussi, briefly played for the Flyers during the 2006-07 season but primarily played in the AHL during his stint in the organization. Jussi Timonen was still a member of the organization when the Flyers first acquired Kimmo from Nashville but was traded to Dallas during the 2007-08 season.