Would anyone wager a guess as to the chances Timonen returns next season? I'd love to have him back for a final year if we can get him at $4M or less. He's a great leader and can still play at a high level. We'd probably ship Grossmann out (Buffalo would be a good fit) and hopefully make a play for one of Byfuglien, Bogosian, Kulikov, or Myers. Those guys would require giving up some nice pieces, though. Maybe it's best to wait and see how Hagg, Gostisbehere, Morin and even Alt pan out.
I think he's really grown his game in the playoffs. The two things I really like:
1. He settles the puck in his own zone, and doesn't rush to get rid of it. He looks like Streit at time, faking left, then holding onto the puck and finding an open guy. Everyone on here seems to want him to just bang the puck up the boards as soon as he touches it (like Grossmann does), but I like it when he waits that extra half-second..We need all the possession time we can get, and just throwing it back up the ice isn't worth it.
2. Poke checks. He doesn't have the best reach, but he's gotten noticeably better at poke checking and applying pressure along the boards.
I'll give him credit...he's picked up his game and is playing with a higher IQ. Still not a huge fan but with a little more tinkering and balance on D he might just be fine. However, we still overpaid for the dude but that is on the GM and obviously not on Luke. Not his fault. It is his fault though when he comes into camp like Mr. Olympia and is inconsistent year to year. Hopefully, with more seasoning he puts it all together..