May 18, 2012

Friday's forgotten Bruin: Mattias Timander

By Jesse Connolly

In a soon-to-be recurring feature here, Jesse Connolly profiles a former member of the Boston Bruins you likely have little-to-no recollection of. First up is defenseman Mattias Timander.

Born: April 16, 1974

Drafted: 208th overall by Boston in 1992

Tenure with B’s: 1996-2000

Before Boston: After being selected late in the draft, Timander spent the next four seasons playing for Modo in his native Sweden. Over his final two years, the d-man racked up 31 points in 76 games.

With the Bruins: Timander came to the organization for the 1996-97 season and split the year between Providence (14 points in 32 games) and Boston (nine points in 41 games). He joined the P-Bruins for their playoff run and chipped in two points in 10 postseason tilts.

Known for his mobility and puck-moving skills, the 6-foot-1 rearguard also split his time between Providence in Boston during the 1997-98 and 1998-99 campaigns. Timander appeared in four playoff games for Pat Burns’ squad in the spring of ’99. On May 16 in Game 5 of the B’s second round series against Buffalo, Timander scored his first career playoff goal in the B’s 5-3 win. He added an assist two night’s later, but the B’s were booted from the postseason with a 3-2 loss.

The strong showing at the end of the postseason led to Timander sticking full-time with the big club in 1999-00. Unfortunately, it was an underwhelming year for the native of Solleftea, Sweden. He chipped in just eight points (all assists) in 60 contests and was left unprotected for the 2000 NHL Expansion Draft.

After Boston: Columbus selected Timander eighth overall in the expansion draft, using their fourth pick to grab the d-man. After a solid first season, he was a woeful minus-34 in 2001-02 for a Blue Jackets team that won just 22 games.

The Jackets then traded him that summer, sending Timander to the Islanders for a fourth-round pick. He had a career year, racking up 16 points and playing in 80 games under former P-Bruins coach Peter Laviolette.

Laviolette split the following summer, which contributed to Timander playing in just five games for the Isles in 2003-04. He spent 35 games on the farm with Bridgeport before being traded to Philadelphia for a seventh round pick. He had five games in 34 points down the stretch and played really well in the playoffs, chipping in six points as the Flyers reached the conference finals.

During the lockout, Timander returned to his old club, Modo. When the lockout ended, he decided to not return to the NHL and spent from 2005 to 2011 with Modo, a run that included the first double-digit goal season of his career in 2008-09 (10-15-25 in 55 games). His club won the Le Mat Trophy as champions of Elitserien (SEL) in 2007.

Timander, now 38, still remains active. He had nine points and a plus-11 rating for Leksands IF this season and reportedly has an optional one-year extension that could be exercised for 2012-13.

FINAL STATS

NHL: 419 GP, 13 G, 57 A, 70 PTS

Bruins: 146 GP, 2 G, 23 A, 25 PTS

Providence: 106 GP, 8 G, 40 A, 48 PTS

FUN FACTS

  1. Played alongside Peter Forsberg from 1992-95 with Modo. The two reunited with the club in 2004-05 during the lockout and were joined by NHL stars Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Adrian Aucoin and Markus Naslund.

  2. The seventh-round pick the Flyers sent the Islanders for Timander turned out to be defenseman Chris Campoli, who at the age of 27 has surpassed Timander in just about every meaningful statistical category (35 goals, 111 assists in 440 games).

  3. Timander initially wore No. 47 when he first came up but switched to No. 37 in 1998. The number then belonged to Lee Goren from 2001-03 before being taken by Patrice Bergeron.

  4. The closest he came to the Cup was during the aforementioned 2004 run with Philadelphia, who fell to Tampa Bay – the eventual champions – in seven games. Timander had four points in the series.

  5. Among the 198 players to play in 140 or more games for Boston, only two scored fewer goals than Timander (2). Andrew Alberts had just one goal in 184 games, while Ken Baumgartner had one in 151 career games with the Bruins.

How much do you remember of Mats Timander and his time with the Bruins? Feel free to share your memories below. 

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.