Should the Red Wings Pursue Knuble?
In what will end up being a mediocre off-season in the eyes of Detroit Red Wings fans everywhere, the organization has done very little and seems to be all out of ideas.
After a small flurry of activity on July 1 (signing Jonas Gustavsson, Mikael Samuelsson, and Jordin Tootoo) and missing out on Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, as well as pulling out of the (expensive) running for guys like Alexander Semin and Shane Doan, the Red Wings have, in effect, done nothing. The only defenseman they have been able to acquire is Kyle Quincey, avoiding an arbitration hearing.
When looking at what players could potentially make the final roster, the Red Wings have one too many forwards. Does it make sense for the team to go after yet another forward?
What about forty-year-old veteran Mike Knuble?
The Washington Capitals made it clear at the beginning of June that they were not going to re-sign the right winger, and so Knuble has returned to his home in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has expressed interest in playing with the Red Wings, but as far as fans know, the Red Wings have said nothing on the matter.
Is signing someone like Knuble worth it for the Red Wings, who are constantly under media scrutiny for being “too old”? The Wings are known for bringing on veterans at the end of their career in an attempt at a Stanley Cup (Dallas Drake), especially if their hometown is somewhere in Michigan (Mike Modano). Plus, Knuble was on the roster for a handful of games back in the 1996-1997 and 1997-1998 seasons.
His statistics have been solid except for this past season with the arrival of head coach Dale Hunter in Washington. Three seasons ago, Knuble hit 53 points and managed to rake in 40 points in 2010-2011. But last season, he only managed six goals and twelve assists for
The Red Wings, however, bring out the young in some of these veterans. Before Modano’s unfortunate wrist injury that sidelined him for months and never saw him return to form, he had eight points in nine games and was starting to mesh well with his team mates. Could that same offensive output be drawn out of a guy like Knuble? He has proven that even in his “old age” (in hockey terms), he can still hit forty points, if given the opportunity and the team mates.
Knuble’s asking price is not outrageous like other free agent signings this year. His price tag last year was only $2 million, one the Red Wings can easily afford.
The final question comes down to: Do the Red Wings really need another forward?