The Washington Capitals’ line rushes on Tuesday night won’t be easy to spot. But that’s OK because this is Mike Knuble’s night.
Every Caps player will be wearing “Knuble 22” jerseys for pregame warm-ups as a tribute to the man who is playing his 1,000th NHL game.
“I didn’t really know that till I was on Twitter last night and I saw it on Twitter,” Knuble said Tuesday. “So other people knew. I know my wife has been up to things behind the scenes a little bit, so you kind of roll with what happens.
“I think it’s very nice. It’s a great chance to play this game in Washington as a Capital. I’m very happy with that. It’ll be very flattering. I’m sure when you see the guys on the ice, I think you’ll just be a little bit flattered.”
For Knuble’s teammates, it’s a fitting honor.
“He’s a class act, through and through. He’s a great player but an even greater person,” forward Matt Hendricks said. “It means a lot to me to be able to spend this day with him.”
Knuble said several people came to the District for his night, including his mother, brother, some in-laws, friends and high school coach. His agent, Kurt Overhardt, will also be in attendance as Knuble becomes the 269th player in NHL history to hit the 1,000-game mark.
The Caps will honor him with a pregame ceremony and a video tribute. Jim Gregory from the league will be in attendance, and general manager George McPhee will present Knuble with a gift from the team.
Knuble’s Knights will also commemorate the proceedings (more on that in a separate blog post).
“It’s a fun day. You just try to enjoy the day. There’s still a game to play. I guess there will be kind of some talk and some fun before the game,” Knuble said. “But once the puck drops, the game’s on and then you move on. Tomorrow I anticipate waking up, everything’s back to normal. But today’s a fun day and I think it’s a day you should enjoy as a player.”