After what was looking to be a year without hockey, we found ourselves at the quarter-mark of the 2013 NHL season.
It's already been a fun-filled first three weeks of hockey. Perennial giants are struggling, some super stars are still in search of their scoring touch and even the Chicago Blackhawks have managed to play their first 11 games without a regulation loss.
12 games into the 48-game shortened season, the Flyers find themselves with a 5-6-1 record and 11 points, good for third place in the Atlantic Division.
At that point, they sit behind the first place Devils (7-1-3; 17 points) and second place Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points). It could be much worse, especially since the Flyers were at one point 2-6-0 to start the season.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Zac Rinaldo after the Flyers won, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Flyers were put in a bind and Kimmo Timonen knew it.
Using the tough situation the Flyers were in, Timonen used it to his advantage to sign a one-year, $6 million deal with the Flyers for the 2013-14 season. But for Timonen, next season could be his last.
"That's it. 99 percent sure that's my last," said the 37-year-old Finnish defenseman, who is in the middle of his 13th season in the NHL.
Timonen, who will be 38 next month, was going to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season before signing his extension. He was unsure whether or not this was going to be his last season in the NHL, but some conversations with general manager Paul Holmgren helped changed those feelings.
Saturday night against Carolina, the Flyers dressed Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Kurtis Foster, and Bruno Gervais as their defense.
All six shared one thing in common -- not a single one of them were drafted by the Flyers.
In fact, the Flyers have a consistent issue with things like that. Since the lost season of 2004-05, the Flyers have not gotten more than 150 games played from a defensemen they drafted and only one home grown defensemen has played more than 200 games in a Flyers uniform since that time, Randy Jones, an undrafted defender.
(Pictured: Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.