Photo credit: Clydeorama
This is unfortunate alphabetical timing, as we’ve just learned that Mike Knuble will not be returning to the Capitals next year. We’re not really over that yet, and the tear-jerking farewell post from Knuble’s Knights didn’t help. Go read it, take a minute to compose yourself, and then come back here again. We’ll wait.
Ready? Okay. Let’s review Knuble’s last year in a Caps uniform.
Cap Hit for 2011-12: $2 M. Knuble will be UFA on July 1st.
Milestones: Mike Knuble played his 1,000th game in the NHL this season, and received a very fancy but impractical silver hockey stick from the organization.
Best Moment: Crashing the net for Joel Ward’s series-winning Game Seven goal, doing what he always does in the biggest possible moment.
Things We Said About Mike Knuble: “#FREEKNUBLE”
Alignment: Chaotic Good
First Irrelevant Google Images Result:
Seems about right.
Media Consensus: “Mike Knuble could potentially contribute more to the team from the ice than from the press box.”
Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Kanoobs
Spirit Animal: Wolf.
Photo credit: newspaper.li
Team Role: Mike Knuble has generally played top minutes with the Capitals, but this year he was asked to take a backseat, playing on the bottom six and sitting for long stretches, and getting less ice time than at any point in his last ten seasons.
Execution of that Role: Mike Knuble persevered beautifully through all his trials and injustices this season, and for that alone we think he should be elected to hockey sainthood. Despite starting the season hot, as the season went on he seemed to be snakebitten, hitting more posts than twine. He finally snapped the curse down the stretch, starting to score more regularly near the end of the year.
Postseason Performance: In a reflection of his regular season, Knuble began the playoffs on the bench. By the fourth game of the Boston series, however, he had made it back into the lineup again, and played a pivotal role in several huge postseason moments, such as making Joel Ward’s Game Seven OT winner possible, and scoring two goals of his own. Though Knuble has historically played best with top-six talent, the gritty winger developed some real chemistry with linemates Keith Aucoin and Joel Ward.
Glorious. Nine out of ten.
Likeliness to Return: [Space reserved for prolonged crying jag.]
Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Nine out of ten. We would trust Knuble with our safety in an apocalyptic wasteland any day.
Overall Year-End Rating: Twenty-two Good Sashas.