Here are few more thoughts on Mike Knuble, who I suspect many national-type writers will be pointing out as one of the savviest signings of this Canada Day:
* George McPhee said Bruce Boudreau was looking for another right-handed shot on the power play, and Knuble will give the Caps a lot of flexibility with the man advantage. Knuble and Brooks Laich can be the guys who stand in front of the net on the two units. Boudreau likes to have two leftys and a righty or vice versa, so Boudreau can fiddle with some combinations like Backstrom(L)-Semin(R)-Knuble(R) and Fleischmann(L)-Fehr/Clark(both R)-Laich(L).
Ovechkin could also be bumped down from the point with Poti and Pothier healthy.
* Several of the national-type writers I’ve talked to the past month or so at the finals, awards show and draft all think Knuble is a great guy and a great leader. McPhee cerainly agreed.
“All the research we’ve done and all the people we’ve talked say this is a real stand-up guy,” McPhee said. “He’s really the ideal free agent signing for us today.”
* Playing with Ovechkin and Backstrom certainly shouldn’t be a problem, considering he played with Mike Richards and (when healthy) Simon Gagne in Philly. He also said he’s played with Joe Thornton and Peter Forsberg before.
“There is no guarantee you’re going to mesh with [Ovechkin], but I am pretty confident in the way I play the game and the things I do.”
* Hypothetically, would you rather have Knuble for the next two years at $2.8 million per season, or Viktor Kozlov? What about Sergei Fedorov? Bet most people would say Knuble.