Chants of “Knoobs” echoed through Verizon Center. Pregame warm-ups featured 20 different Washington Capitals players in No. 22 jerseys. And in a touching ceremony, the team and NHL honored Mike Knuble for playing his 1,000th career game.
With Knuble’s wife, Megan, and children Cam, Anna and Cole standing with him on a red carpet rolled out from the zamboni entrance, a video tribute played with messages of congratulations from several teammates. But Knuble was happiest about the Caps’ 4-1 victory.
“I’m thrilled with the way the night went and you get a big win at the end,” Knuble said. “It turned out to be a great day.”
Ovechkin and alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom presented Knuble with a certificate for Sea-Doo watercraft, then Jim Gregory of the NHL presented him with a Tiffany crystal. Finally, general manager George McPhee presented Knuble with a silver stick, a traditional honor for players who reach the 1,000 games milestone.
The Sea-Doo appeared to be Knuble’s favorite part, thanks in part to his family.
“We were in the market for a new one, too, that’s the thing,” Knuble said. “We have one. But the kids are getting bigger and they want more power.”
Caps players were thrilled about the ceremony too - and showed it with the way they played. Goaltender Michal Neuvirth took a question about him and mentioned Knuble.
“I’m feeling great right now and I’m happy for Knuble’s family and great win,” Neuvirth said.
Knuble seemed relieved just to be done with the proceedings, too.
“It was good to get through it, good to get it over with and now I think everybody can move on and get back to normal,” Knuble said. “Tomorrow you wake up and it’s just a normal day again.”