Washington winger Mike Knuble will join some select company Tuesday evening when he steps onto the ice to face the Predators. He’ll become just the 269th player in NHL history to play 1000 games…and the first-ever University of Michigan product to accomplish the feat.
Not bad for a guy taken in the fourth round of the 1991 Entry Draft.
“You’re going to have to burn my jersey to stop me from playing,” Knuble told the Grand Rapids Press. “You’re going to have to hide my jersey or trash it to keep me out of this league. I think as long as you’re fresh and you feel good and you like playing the game, I think you can play.”
Knuble, 39, has forged himself a pretty unique career. He played for one of the most storied collegiate hockey programs in America (where, under the tutelage of legendary coach Red Berenson, he played with the likes of Brendan Morrison, Marty Turco, John Madden, Aaron Ward, Bill Muckalt and Steve Shields) and his NHL career has taken him to some of the most passionate hockey markets in the country.
Knuble first broke in with Detroit — winning a Stanley Cup with the Wings in 1998 — before moving to New York to play for the Rangers. After that, he spent five years in Boston, then four more in Philly before signing with the resurgent Washington Capitals in 2009. He’s posted eight seasons of 20-plus goals, including a career-high 34 with the Flyers in 2005-06 — and established himself as something of an iron man, playing all 82 games in five of the last 10 seasons.
“A lot of things have to go right to be around this long,” Knuble told CSN Washington. “I appreciate it and I’m aware of it. I’m thankful. I’ve been around long enough that I can appreciate it. It’s been a good road.”