PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Mike Knuble’s hockey world came full circle Sunday morning when he slipped on a Red Wings’ jersey for the first time since he was drafted by Detroit more than 20 years ago.
And just like last time, the East Kentwood, Mich., native is a long-shot to make the Red Wings’ roster this time around.
“It seems like every time I’m in here, the odds are against me,” said Knuble who was invited to the Red Wings’ training camp on a professional tryout. “You come out here and you’re thankful for the opportunity. You could be sitting at home. I know a few guys who are sitting at home right now. When you’re sitting at home and the league is going on without you, it’s not a good thing.”
Knuble played the last three seasons in Washington, but things didn’t go as the veteran forward would have liked. He produced six goals in 72 games for the Capitals last season.
In order to make the Wings’ roster, he’ll have to do so as a fourth liner, beating out Cory Emmerton or Jan Mursak. But if things don’t work out with the Wings, the 40-year-old winger believes the compressed NHL schedule will present opportunities elsewhere.
“The bottom line is you can show people how you’re playing and show that you might be an option down the line,” said Knuble, who won a Stanley Cup with the Wings in 1998. “I think you’re really going to need depth guys this year. With guys going from absolutely stop to 100 percent, there’s going to be guys dropping. You’re definitely going to have to go get help. Where they go get it from is going to be determined.”
But without preseason games to showcase what he has left in the tank, Knuble knows the odds are against him, especially on a Wings’ team with so much up-front depth.
“You’ve got to see how this plays out,” he said. “All you can do is show them what you can do in a week.”
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