Grandpa Slippers? Poor Mike Knuble, it’s not that you’re old. As a matter of fact, 38 is prime time, and you couldn’t reach the 900 game mark without living through the whole kit and Knuble. (See what I did there?) Not quite the Iron Man status of Cal Ripken Jr., but you still gotta appreciate what 900 games really means in the NHL. Mike started in the AHL in 1995 at age 23 and has been going pretty strong ever since. 15 years is a decent career stint if I do say so myself.
First, let’s take a little trip in the way back machine. Knoobs has been able to play 82 straight regular season NHL games 5 times in his career. Once with the Rangers, twice with the Bruins and twice with the Flyers. So far, I’m impressed. He has scored more than 20 goals every regular NHL season he’s played in the last 7 years. Ditto for assists, 20 or more in the last 7 seasons. And let’s not forget, the man has a Stanley Cup ring, thanks to his stint with the Red Wings in the 97-98 season. Now, aren’t you happy the Flyers couldn’t come to terms and GMGM thought it would be a good idea to sign him up in 2009?
Now let’s look at what 900 games have meant to Knoobs when it comes to the Medicare report. According to his bio, Mike’s injuries have included:
~injuring his hamstring, ouchie, but not so bad as-
~breaking the middle finger on his left hand (which is a bummer since most players use that finger to wave “Hi” to all their opponents, and I personally use it to let fellow drivers know when I’m changing lanes or taking a certain parking place, but I digress), and then there was the time that he-
~fracturing his right cheekbone and orbital bone, which I’m sure hurts as bad as it sounds.
And, of course, lots of bumps, bruises, scrapes, tweaked muscles, and all the other aches and pains that come with
getting older playing hockey. It’s a tough job, somebody is gonna get hurt.
Speaking of a tough job, it’s time for Mike’s review of his performance in the office. His office? That’s that blue area in front of the goalie. You know; it’s called the crease. As a player, Mike can be in the right place at the right time. The right place for Mike is in the goalies face, blocking his view of the ice and always prepared for a pass that he can smash into the net. Last year, Mr. Knuble scored 29 goals and had 24 assists, so if I were writing his yearly work evaluation, I’d say his performance would be categorized as “Exceeds Expectations”. Where I come from, that’s worthy of a raise. Unfortunately, Mike will be UFA at the end of this season, and if he is still a Capital by July, I would be happy but surprised.
And, don’t start harping on me for being mean to Mike about his age. He is one of the few Caps players that I could never possibly be old enough to be his Mother. At my age; and Mike’s age, I can really appreciate what he has achieved in his career, so I kid with love.
So I say, let’s raise our glasses in a toast to Michael Rudolph Knuble. Wait, Rudolph? Yup, his middle name is Rudolph. Makes some sense now. Anybody who has a middle name of Rudolph has to have gone through life defending himself, so it’s no surprise he became a hockey player. Maybe back in school he was ribbed about it, but would you want to give him grief over it now? Didn’t think so.