Monday, April 4, 2011

Player Profile: Mike Knuble

In 1991 a forward not like any other emerged in the NHL. His name……………Mike Knuble! He was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1991 in the NHL Entry Draft. Mike took his next four years of hockey to Ann Arbor to play for the University of Michigan. As a Wolverine he logged over 170 points in his tenure and scored as many as 38 goals in a season. In 1995, his senior year, Knuble earned NCAA West All-American Team honors. His next three years after graduating from Michigan took place in the AHL where he played for the Adirondack Red Wings which at the time was Detroit’s farm team.
Mike Knuble made his NHL debut on March 26, 1997 and would play nine games for the Detroit Red Wings that season. Detroit would later win the Stanley Cup that season, but unfortunately Mike would not get his name engraved on the Stanley Cup because he didn’t play enough games. However the following season the Red Wings repeated as Cup champions and Mike got his name on the Stanley Cup. ­­Since then he has played for a bunch of teams and scored tons of goals. Before reaching the Washington Knuble played for the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and the Philadelphia Flyers.
In July 1, 2009 he signed a two year deal for $2.8 million with the Washington Capitals. The team signed him for obvious reasons such as him being a veteran, his uncanny way to score goals, and finally they probably were sick of playing against him.  After watching him for the last two seasons I have never seen anyone able to find the net like Mike “The Garbage man” Knuble. Whether he is scoring from the crease or poke checking the puck past the goaltender, teams simply cannot keep him of the scoreboard.
Since coming to Washington he has paired mostly with stars Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin which has probably added to their success as well. He logged 29 goals and 24 assists in his first season and was a huge contributor to the team’s offense and leadership. His leadership made him an obvious choice for an alternative captain which he has served as for the majority of the last 2 seasons. He is a vital piece to this franchise in possibly winning a Stanley Cup this year. Each game you can see younger teammates taking pointers and advice from him. Mike Knuble is neither the fastest player nor does he have the best shot but he finds a way to score night after night.
I will always be a Mike Knuble fan because he is one player that never hangs up his jersey no matter the score. Remembering back to the 24/7 HBO series for the Caps, Mike Knuble was key in coming out of the mid-season rut they were in. He stood up and insisted he would not be embarrassed anymore during one of the intermissions of the losses they suffered in the show. Even if this is his last season in a red sweater I hope he is rewarded with what he started his career with, a Stanley Cup! God bless you Mike Knuble and keep scoring goals for the Capitals! Rock the Red!