Originally posted on Rock the Red  |  Last updated 5/26/12

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 15: Mike Knuble #22 of the Washington Capitals skates down the ice the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Verizon Center on January 15, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

As the 2011-12 season has come to a close, the time has come to evaluate what it meant for the Capitals, both as a team and as individuals.  As such, as the summer progresses, I will be writing a report card, or individual evaluation, for each player who played in 9 (~10%) of the team's games, or 4 playoff games. Next up is right winger Mike Knuble, who finished his third season with the Capitals and his 16th NHL season overall on this past campaign.

Season Summary: To say it was a rough year for Knuble would be an understatement.  The aging power forward saw his streak of 20-goal seasons end at nine, for one, and he scored six goals, his fewest since 1999-2000.  For another, his ice time plummeted, and he played 72 games, his fewest without an injury in more than five years.  Knuble saw himself go from top-line right winger under Bruce Boudreau, to the fourth line under Boudreau, to the fourth line under to Dale Hunter, to the dungeons under Hunter when he was benched late in the season.  In addition to those six goals, Knuble had 12 assists, a -15 rating (tied for worst on the team), and 32 penalty minutes.  His puck possession metrics were not very good, either, checking in with a -11.48 5v5 corsi rating (the worst on the team), though this did happen against the fourth-toughest competition a Capitals forward saw.  It's also important to note that he had the second-worst PDO on the team at 982, so that could have been a reason for his bad scoring output. Grade: C-

Role Play: This is tough, because Knuble's role off the ice as an alternate captain and a Stanley Cup champion is almost as important to what he brings on the ice.  Knuble's salary was pretty outlandish for what he accomplished on the ice, but after the fan base, and I think Knuble to an extent, accepted his checking line role, I actually think old Mike was pretty good and was a good sport about the whole thing.  He was strong on his skates, forechecked well, and crashed the net, hitting the post it seemed a countless number of times.  But he didn't complain and came in to work every day to play his tail off.  Still, his preseason expectations were at least 15 goals, and he didn't get that done or even come close. Grade: C+

Playoffs: It took a suspension to Nicklas Backstrom for Knuble to enter the lineup against the Bruins, but once he started to play, Knuble was a beast against the Cup champs. He created offense, forechecked well, and it was his net drive that let to the winning goal in game seven against Boston.  Overall, in 11 playoff games, he had two goals, three points, a plus-three rating, and six penalty minutes.  His puck possession also swung dramatically, from team-low in the regular season to the second best among forwards in the playoffs (-0.60) - though he saw very soft minutes, the second-easiest among all forwards. Grade: B

Future Potential: Knuble, who will be 40 by the time next season starts, is an unrestricted free agent.  He said in his end of year media availability that he feels great and that he wants to keep playing, and I would be happy to have him back in Washington at a price of no more than $1.1 million.  I think his playoffs proved he has a little bit left in the tank, and his terrible luck in the regular season indicates the same.  The 20 goal, 40-point Knuble is almost certainly gone, but the Caps could do a lot worse than a veteran who's won to help fill out their roster at a discount. Grade: C-

The next report card will feature center Jay Beagle.

As always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Celtics’ unwillingness to deal Crowder roadblock in Butler deal

Sammy Sosa compares himself to Jesus talking about PED accusations

Philip Rivers: ‘I will always be playing for San Diego’

Yankees dramatically increase ticket prices for Derek Jeter Night

Report: Sixers may consider Noel trade if Okafor is not moved

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Belichick wants to coach at least five more years, outlast Brady

Report: Bears likely to cut Cutler, focus on trading for Garoppolo

Jeanie Buss apologizes to Lakers fans for not firing brother sooner

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker