Nashville defenseman finally receiving praise

On a team without any marquee names, Kimmo Timonen is beginning to get noticed.

Updated: January 29, 2004, 2:34 PM ET
By By Jim Wilkie | NHL Insider
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Outside of Nashville it's easy to overlook Predators defenseman Kimmo Timonen.

But on a team without marquee names and in a league that increasingly stresses size, the 5-10, 196-pound Finnish blue-liner is beginning to get noticed as the surprising Predators (24-18-6-2) drive toward the franchise's first playoff berth in its six-year history.

While Timonen's selection last week as one of four defensive reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team surprised many observers, his teammates and coaches believe others are finally discovering what they have admired since the 28-year-old entered the NHL in 1998-99.