It was not shocking to see Jay Beagle and Jason Chimera lapping the field during Saturday’s timed conditioning tests at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on the first day of camp.
But 39-year-old Mike Knuble? That’s a pleasant surprise for the Caps.
“Knubs was flying. I was right beside him trying to keep up to him,” Brooks Laich said. “I don’t know where he got it from.”
Knuble isn’t Ponce de Leon, and he’s not getting any younger. In fact, his general manager joked that he’s even older.
“Mike Knuble was remarkable at 39 or 49 or whatever he is,” George McPhee said with a chuckle. “It’s a great example of never judging a player based on age. You judge them on how they play and how they perform.”
Knuble wasn’t first in every heat – each player had to skate 900-foot sprints five different times – but he was ahead of the pack more often than not. The veteran who re-signed for one year and $2 million has been working out in Arlington since mid-August, when he and his family came back to town to get the kids registered for fall sports season.
That gave Knuble the chance to get in camp shape early, and, even with some gray hairs, whip some teammates on Day One.
“There are guys with more gray, let’s get that straight,” Knuble said.
Yes sir, but you’re still the senior citizen of this group, a bit older than Roman Hamrlik.
That didn’t stop Knuble from excelling in the on ice testing.
“It’s kind of, you just put your head down and don’t think much when you do that and that’s probably benefits me too that you don’t have to think,” Knuble said. “Go down to one end, pick your target at the other end and go there. Get through it any way you can.”