Every team needs a grizzly veteran leader. The Cleveland Indians in Major League had Jake Taylor. The Mighty Ducks in The Mighty Ducks had Fulton Reed. Oh come on, do you actually think Fulton was the same age as everyone else? Exactly. For the Washington Capitals, their grizzly veteran is Assistant Captain Mike Knuble. Knuble is by far the oldest Capital, as he is 39 years old.
Knuble was a fourth round selection of the Detroit Red Wings way back in the 1991 NHL draft. He went to college for 4 years, and finally made his Red Wings debut in 1997. He had his name engraved on Lord Stanley’s cup in 1998. Knuble was traded to the Rangers during the 1998 off-season. He spent just under two seasons with them, as he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers during the 1999-2000 season. He stuck with the Flyers until 2009, when he signed a two year deal with the Capitals. The Capitals were so impressed with his leadership and what he brought to the team that he got a one year extension in 2010.
I would classify Knuble as a power forward. His skating style leans more towards “powerful” than “graceful”. He loves to get a good check in and anytime he gets checked, you can be sure that whoever checked him will pay dearly. He is good for about 25 goals a year, but those goals aren’t going to be pretty. His goals are usually a result of Knuble fighting in front of the net or deflecting shots. It doesn’t matter how you score though, what matters is THAT you score.
Knuble’s greatest assets are his size and strength. He loves to park himself in front of the net and dare anyone to try to move him. He’s not afraid to give his opponents a little whack in the head either. Another great thing about Knuble is his leadership. He was almost named the team captain back in 2010, but the Capitals decided against it because they wanted to give the title to someone who was going to be around for a while. He’s still a very important voice in the locker room though.
For Knuble’s career stats, click here.