Mike Knuble has seen the signs for “Knuble’s Knights,” but he wasn’t aware of the group’s grassroots “One More Year” campaign for the Capitals to bring him back.
Now he is. And while general manager George McPhee doesn’t base his decisions on homemade signs, Knuble will be back next season after inking a one-year, $2 million contract extension.
“I believe in the team and I believe in our guys here,” Knuble said. “I like playing here, I have a great role, I know the situation here, I’m treated well, my family likes it – there are so many positives. It’s not always about going out and chasing every last dollar that you can get for me.”
And the soon-to-be 39-year-old is flattered by the effort of fans to get him one more year.
“It’s nice that people appreciate it. I’m sure there’s a number of people that say, ‘Get him outta here,’ ” Knuble joked. “But it’s always nice when people kinda take a liking to you and kinda cheer behind the scenes for you. Every player would appreciate that.”
Naturally the Caps appreciate what Knuble has done, too. He scored 24 goals and added 16 assists this season – his eighth straight with 20 or more goals.
And while “you always wonder” about older players dropping off, coach Bruce Boudreau said, Knuble has taken on more minutes and excelled.
“He’s like fine wine, I guess. He just keeps getting better,” Boudreau said. “The last half of the year he’s been arguably our best player. You’d think when you’re getting up in age a little bit that at the end of the year you’d be a little bit more tired. …
“It’s not fatigue. He’s in great shape; he’s a consummate professional. We’re a lucky group to have him for another year.”