Then and Now: Mattias Timander

Image courtesy of Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Mattias Timander late in January of 2004 from the New York Islanders in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.

The Isles used the Flyers’ draft pick, which Philly obtained by swapping a pair of picks with the Tampa Bay Lightning at the 2003 draft, to draft defenseman Chris Campoli, who played in 233 games for New York before also playing for the Ottawa Senators, Chicago Blackhawks, and Montreal Canadiens.

Of the 40 games Timander played for the Islanders’ franchise during the 2003-04 campaign, 35 were for the Isles’ AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. As for his time with the Flyers, Timander recorded one goal and five helpers in 34 regular season contests before he joined the team for the 2004 playoff run. His lone goal was an empty-net goal that was short-handed and capped off a 3-0 win over the New York Rangers on March 20, 2004. Robert Esche earned the win in net for the Orange and Black with a 24-save shutout.

After Timander produced two goals in a total of 39 contests during the 03-04 regular season, he potted a pair of tallies in 18 playoff tilts for the Flyers in the ’04 playoffs. His first goal came was the game-winning goal in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to give Philly a 2-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils. His second was the sixth and final goal for the Flyers in their 6-2 shellacking of the Lightning in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals to even the series at one. The Swedish blue liner also had four assists, six PIMs, and a plus-2 rating in his final stretch of NHL games.

Timander joined MODO of the Elitserien during the 2004-05 lockout season. The defenseman wasn’t the only NHLer who joined MODO during the lost season, as Adrian Aucoin, Frantisek Kaberle, Bryan Muir, Peter Forsberg, Dan Hinote, Markus Naslund, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

In 47 regular season games, Timander had three goals and seven assists, as well as 60 PIMs and a minus-13 rating to help MODO make the playoffs. His squad finished sixth in the 12-team league with 77 points in 50 games. Timander and his teammates lost in six games to Farjestads BK during the 2005 Elitserien Quarterfinals, as the d-man had an assist, four PIMs, and a minus-2 rating in the series. Farjestads BK, who had the help of Zdeno Chara, Marian Gaborik, Mike Comrie, Sheldon Souray, and Martin Gerber during the 2005 Elitserien playoffs, lost in the Finals to Frolunda HC in five games.

Once the NHL returned to action, Timander decided to remain with MODO and played for the team during the 2005-06 season. The Swede lost all of his NHL teammates from the previous season, but defenseman Tobias Enstrom remained with the club.

Timander finished the season tied with Jesper Damgaard in points for a defenseman on the MODO roster with 14. The former Flyer had five goals and nine assists, which let him finish first in helpers for a MODO blue liner, as the team finished sixth for a second straight season despite increasing their total to 81 points over 50 games.

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Also for a second straight season, MODO was eliminated in the Elitserien Quarterfinals by Farjestads BK. This time, Timander and his teammates were eliminated in five games, as the blue liner produced the same stat line he did in 2004 with the exception of one less game. Farjestads BK, led by Calgary Flames 1994 ninth-round draft pick Jorgen Jonsson, went on to win the Elitserien Championship.

2006 was the first time Timander represented his home country of Sweden at the IIHF World Championship. Fortunately for Timander, his three assists in nine games helped Sweden take home the Gold.

Timander receiving the trophy after Sweden won Gold at 2006 IIHF WC. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

Timander remained with MODO for a third straight year during the 2006-07 season. He was named an alternate captain for the squad along with Niklas Sundstrom, while Per Svartvadet. The Swede recorded six goals and 12 assists for 18 points, his highest total since his stint with the Providence Bruins during the 1998-1999 campaign. He also had 90 PIMs and a plus-10 rating, as MODO finished third in the Elitserien with 85 points in 55 games.

After winning the 2006 IIHF World Championship with Sweden, Timander enjoyed another successful tournament run, as he helped MODO win the 2006 Elitserien Championship. MODO needed seven games to beat Timra IK in the Quarterfinals and HV71 in the Semifinals before they beat Linkopings HC in six games during the Finals. Timander had one goal and eight assists in 20 contests, as well as 28 PIMs and a minus-3 rating.

Timander stayed with MODO during the 2007-08 season, but the defenseman lost his privilege of being an alternate captain for one year. Ronald Petrovicky and Victor Hedman spent time as Timander’s teammates for part of the season, as the blue liner had one goal and six assists in 23 contests during the regular season. His performance helped MODO finish third in the Elitserien again, but this time with 90 points in 55 games.

Timander’s club was eliminated in the 2008 Elitserien Quarterfinals in a five-game series with Timra IK. The former Flyer only appeared in three contests, but produced a goal and one assist.

The honor of being an alternate captain was restored to Timander for the 2008-09 season, as Forsberg returned to the team and Mats Zuccarello joined MODO’s club. After playing in only 23 games the previous season, Timander played in all 55 games during the 2008-09 season and produced 25 points, 10 of which were goals and 15 were helpers. His 10 goals is the most he has scored in any single season as a professional. Although he led all MODO defenseman in points for the year, Timander and his teammates missed the 2009 Elitserien postseason by four points, as they produced 72 points.

The 2009-10 season was more of the same for Timander, as he provided outstanding individual stats while his club failed to reach the playoffs for a second straight season. In a year where Hinote returned to the team and forward Josh Green was one of Timander’s newest teammates, the Swede had five goals and 20 assists in 49 games. His 20 helpers was his highest total since his 1998-99 season with the Bruins, as he also had 46 PIMs and a plus-2 rating. MODO missed the 2010 Elitserien postseason by a single point, as they registered 74 points.

Timander ended his tenure with MODO after the 2010-11 season, which was his seventh year with the club and his fourth as an alternate captain. Unfortunately for the defenseman, it was MODO’s worst season overall in his time with the team, as Ludvig Bystrom, Anders Eriksson, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, Niko Dimitrakos, Ladislav Nagy, and Byron Ritchie suited up alongside Timander.

Despite his huge offensive production for a third straight season, with four goals and 15 assists in 55 tilts, Timander and his MODO squad finished dead last in the Elitserien with 70 points. It was the first time MODO finished last since the Elitserien expanded to 12 teams and it was MODO’s lowest point production since the 1997-98 season.

MODO was one of two teams sent to the 2011 Kvalserien from the Elitserien, as Sodertalje SK also had to fight to stay in Sweden’s elite hockey league after they finished with 71 points during the 2010-2011 Elitserien season. The other four teams in the 2011 Kvalserien were the Vaxjo Lakers HC, Rogle BK, Orebro HK, and Mora IK. MODO finished second in the six-team field with 20 points in 10 games to remain in the Elitserien and win their first Kvalserien since 1990. Timander had a goal and three assists to help MODO stay in Sweden’s highest level of ice hockey. The Vaxjo Lakers HC were the other squad to win one of the two spots saved for the Elitserien, as they finished the Kvalserien with 26 points. Sodertalje SK was relegated to the HockeyAllsvenskan after they finished with 17 points.

After he helped to keep MODO from being relegated to HockeyAllsvenskan, Timander relegated himself by signing with Leksands IF. Timander joined a club that boasted former Philadelphia Phantom Patrik Hersley.

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Leksands IF finished second in the 14-team HockeyAllsvenskan with 100 points in 52 games to earn a spot in the 2012 Kvalserien. Timander helped his team by scoring two goals and seven assists in 45 regular season games.

Timander and his teammates didn’t come close to making it to Sweden’s top division, as they finished fourth in the six-team field with 12 points. Timra IK remained in the Elitserien, while Rogle BK snatched the final spot and forced Djurgardens IF into relegation to HockeyAllsvenskan. Orebro HK failed to win in their second straight trip to the Kvalserien, while BIK Karlskoga finished in last alongside Orebro HK with 11 points. Timander produced one goal in the 10-game series, as he also had 12 PIMs and a minus-1 rating.

Timander is still with Leksands IF, as he has a goal and six assists with a club that is tied for first in the league alongside BIK Karlskoga.