One more year. That’s all Kimmo Timonen plans in the NHL.
His one-year, $6 million extension will represent his 15th season in 2013-14 (see story).
“That's it. Ninety-nine percent sure that's my last,” he said.
At what point did he figure he had another season left in him?
“I talked with [general manager] Paul [Holmgren] before the season started and he wanted to know where I'm at with playing one more year,” Timonen said.
“I said, well coming off the lockout, coming out from back surgery, give me about 10 games. I want to see how I feel.
“I want to still feel like I can play [at a] top level, and a couple days ago I talked to [Holmgren], I said I feel pretty good and it was pretty easy after."
Bill Dineen, who had the distinction of being Eric Lindros’ first NHL coach, died early Saturday morning at his home in Lake George, New York. He was 84.
“Such a wonderful person, who got along with everybody,” Flyers president Paul Holmgren said. “I never played for him, but worked with him in scouting. Just a great guy.”
Dineen succeeded Holmgren as head coach during the 1991-92 season.
“When I got fired, a lot of our guys were squeezing their sticks,” Holmgren said. “They were tight. It shouldn’t be hard to play the game. When things got tough, they were a little under stress, Billy coming in, he loosened things up.”
Dineen coached parts of two seasons here from 1991-92 through the 1992-93 season, which was Lindros’ first year as a Flyer.
“Bill treated everyone with the utmost respect,” Holmgren said. “He was the perfect guy for Eric coming in here. That respect goes both ways. He was almost a grandfatherly figure for Eric at the time.”
Dineen served as a scout with the organization from 1990-91 until succeeding Holmgren as coach. He then returned to a scouting role in 1993-94 and remained with the Flyers as a scout through 1996-97.
Mark Howe, one of the greatest Flyers defensemen of all-time, played for Dineen as an 18-year-old rookie in the WHA with the Houston Aeros (1973-74), and also had him during his final year as a Flyer in 1991-92.
“He was one of the best people I ever met in the game of hockey,” Howe said. “He was a real players coach. Of all the guys I ever played for. Maybe a little Paul Holmgren, too.
“If you lost the game, he was one of the very few people if you went for a bite to eat or a beer after the game you lost, you actually felt poorly for letting the coach down.”
Howe said Dineen’s teams weren’t all about skill.
“He picked people that were about ‘the team,'” Howe said. “He made me earn my spot that first year in Houston.”
Dineen posted a 60-60-20 record with the Flyers. His son, Kevin, played on both of those teams before assuming the captaincy from Rick Tocchet in 1993-94.
A gentleman behind the bench, Bill Dineen was much the same person as a player. A former right wing who spent the majority of his six-year playing career with the Detroit Red Wings, he had just 122 penalty minutes in 322 games, scoring 51 goals and 95 points.
“I knew Billy for a long time," Flyers senior vice president Bob Clarke said. "He was a player and coach at the minor league level and the NHL level, but I think more importantly he was a really, really good hockey person and really good person.”
Dineen won two WHA titles coaching the Aeros and two Stanley Cups as a player with the Red Wings. A member of the AHL Hall of Fame, Dineen also coached the Adirondack Red Wings from 1983 through 1988-89.
Three of his five sons — Gordon, Peter and Kevin — played in the NHL. Sons Shawn and Jerry had their roots in the AHL.
“His boys are scattered all over the map,” Holmgren said. “Just a tremendous hockey family.”
Dineen is part of Flyer folklore trivia. He, along with Keith Allen and Vic Stasiuk, were all Red Wings teammates during 1953-53. They also shared something else in common: all three later became Flyers head coaches.
Back in black.
The Flyers on Saturday morning revealed their 2017 Stadium Series jerseys for their Feb. 25 outdoor game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field.
With their 50th anniversary sweaters resembling their current away jerseys with gold outlining throughout, the Flyers have gone back to black and orange for the outdoor game.
The jersey is almost all black, with an orange name plate and an orange elbow stripe. Orange is sprinkled throughout the jersey.
In addition to the outdoor game, the Flyers will also wear the jersey against the Penguins on March 15 at the Wells Fargo Center, a Wednesday Night Rivalry game.
Pittsburgh unveiled its Stadium Series jersey back on Nov. 25, an all gold uniform in celebration of its 50th season.