The Detroit Red Wings aren’t shy about embracing veterans, so perhaps it makes sense that they’re giving 40-year-old winger Mike Knuble a training camp tryout, according to CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley.
“No contract,” Knuble said in a text message. “Just a chance.”
Knuble is coming off a 2011-12 season in which he saw a huge drop-off in his production. After his eighth consecutive 20+ goal season in 2010-11, Knuble failed to even get 20 points in 2011-12, putting up 18 in 72 games.
To some, that might indicate that the power forward is at the end of the road. On the other hand, it seems reasonable to give a productive goal-scorer a chance to prove it was just an offseason, though MLive.com’s Ansar Khan explains why the odds are against him:
He is longshot to earn a spot on a crowded roster that includes 14 healthy forwards, plus Patrick Eaves, who will start the season on injured reserve due to a concussion. The Red Wings also have a few apparently NHL-ready forwards with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
Knuble has defied convention before in his career, however. After a middling hockey career through his twenties, The forward scored 30 goals for the first time when he turned 30 in 2002-03.
Maybe he’s just a player who succeeds the most when it’s unexpected, then.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”
Jake Virtanen, the sixth overall pick in the 2014 draft, will make his NHL debut tonight when his Canucks meet the Kings in Los Angeles.
The 19-year-old winger was a healthy scratch for Vancouver’s first three games of the regular season. He had two goals and two assists in six preseason games.
“I can’t wait,” he told reporters. “My energy is high. I want to get a couple of hits on my first shift.”
Big and physical with goal-scoring ability, the consensus is that Virtanen will remain in the NHL and not be returned to junior after he’s played nine games. That consensus could always change based on his play, of course.
The Canucks — who won last night in Anaheim — did not have a full skate this morning, so it’s unclear who will come out of the lineup. The best guess is rookie Jared McCann, who’s been playing third-line center.
If McCann does come out, the Canucks could move Brandon Sutter to third-line center and Virtanen could take Sutter’s spot on the first line with the Sedin twins. Or, there could be more extensive line juggling.