The Chicago Blackhawks went out an added the defenseman that they sorely needed, with the announcement coming during game action against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. It turned out to be the only real positive of the night, as the 'Hawks sent a second-round pick in this year's draft and a conditional fourth-round pick next year to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Kimmo Timonen.
Timonen wasn't the defenseman that the Hawks were most seriously connected to, as names like Jeff Petry, Zbynek Michalek, and (to a much less exciting extent) Scott Hannan were all thrown around. However, his name was out there as a potential target for the Blackhawks and that came to fruition on Friday night.
The trade for Timonen should benefit the Blackhawks in a couple of different ways. He's a smart, savvy defenseman with a wealth of experience. Given all of the supposed turmoil in the Hawks' locker room right now, adding a presence like that should help. He's a well-respected guy.
On the ice, he's obviously a player that was much needed for a Blackhawks team that has had all of Michal Rozsival, Kyle Cumiskey, David Rundblad, and Tim Erixon in the mix in recent weeks. The injury to Johnny Oduya that sent him to injured reserve certainly sped up the urgency to acquire a defenseman. Timonen could pair up with Niklas Hjalmarsson on the second pair, as their contrasting styles should make for a nice duo there, and would provide a competent partner for Hjammer.
Additionally, the presence of Timonen adds a Finnish presence to mentor Teuvo Teravainen. While there is plenty of veteran leadership in the room, a presence like that of Timonen, who brings an incredible wealth of experience to the table, should be invaluable for Teuvo.
While much of the response to the trade has been positive, it's important to note that Timonen hasn't played yet this year because of blood clots that had initially put his career in jeopardy. However, he has been cleared and likely would've seen time with the Flyers in recent days had they not been gearing up to trade him. There might be an element of rust there, but he's a veteran and should work his way in there effectively relatively quickly. The positive thing there is that this wasn't a physical injury that will hinder him, which should speed up the process.
Overall, there's a lot to like about this deal. Timonen comes in fresh, even with his health woes that held him out this long. The 'Hawks didn't surrender a lot to get him, which was certainly a concern when the Kings shelled out a first-rounder and a prospect for Andrej Sekera. He's not a complete solution for a defensive corps that has been rough all year, but he's an important addition and should be a very nice fit as a rental for the remainder of the year.
Now about adding a forward...
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.