Originally written 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

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game

Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly philly airport fight

Russell Wilson contract $60 million guaranteed? Not so fast

Bernard Pollard backs Tom Brady, disagrees with suspension

Cardale Jones continues to show love toward Ronda Rousey

Joseph Randle on Steven Jackson: ‘He’s at home watching’

Evan Turner reps Ohio State after NBA Africa game

The Wind Up: a wild and crazy trade deadline

DeMarco Murray: fantasy football’s riskiest pick

Jim Harbaugh has interesting name for rival Ohio State

Jimmy Garoppolo: the most interesting QB in the world

San Francisco Giants: impact of adding Mike Leake

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

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

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

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