- The Washington Times - Monday, April 11, 2011

Mike Knuble comes from Michigan, not Napa Valley. But as long as he keeps producing for the Capitals, his coach’s comparison rings true.

“He’s like fine wine,” Bruce Boudreau said. “He just keeps getting better.”

Knuble has improved so much that the Caps on Monday inked the 38-year-old right winger to a one-year, $2 million contract extension through next season. He was set to be a free agent on July 1 and will turn 39 on July 4.

Next season may be his last in the NHL – and he wanted it to be in Washington.

“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.”

Knuble took a discount of sorts from the $2.8 million salary he was signed for the past two seasons. But his contributions haven’t dropped off. The winger reached the 20-goal plateau for the eighth straight year – an accomplishment he said he’s very proud of.

And Boudreau said increased minutes haven’t worn on Knuble’s “old bones.”

“The last half of the year he’s been arguably our best player,” Boudreau said. “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.”

Knuble already has a Stanley Cup ring, but even he has admitted that it’s not as special since he was a bit player on the 1998 Red Wings. He’d love to win one this year with Washington, but this extension gives him another chance in 2011-12.

“Whatever happens this year, it’s still gonna be the same group moving forward,” Knuble said, happy to just be a part of it for one more year.