West Michigan Native Mike Knuble: Joining Red Wings Would Be 'Best Situation'

Washington CapitalsDetroit Red WingsSportsMike KnubleTomas Holmstrom

Mike Knuble only got a three-year term in the nation's capital and now would love to come home.

The West Michigan native told FOX 17 today that the Washington Capitals informed him they would not be bringing him back after three seasons in D.C. and said he would love to end his career where it started with the Detroit Red Wings.

"That would be a great situation," said the 39-year old East Kentwood alum about possibly signing with the Red Wings. "As they say, it takes two to tango, and you need Detroit to show interest in you.  If that would be the case, that would be the best situation.  That'd be awesome." 

Knuble will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and won't be returning to the Washington Capitals, who told Knuble last week that he would not be offered a contract to return to the team. 

Knuble is coming off a 1-year, $2 million deal. He joined Washington in 2009 and scored 29 and 24 goals respectively in his first two seasons with the Capitals.  But he managed only six goals last season and saw his ice time diminish significantly when Dale Hunter took over the coaching duties in November. 

Hunter is not returning to the Capitals and neither is Knuble.

"We knew coming into this season that, barring anything unforeseen, that this would probably be it," said Knuble. "It was a good run. It was a lot of fun playing here. I really enjoyed my time here."

Knuble and his family will enjoy the summer at their East Grand Rapids home, and he will hold his annual hockey camp at the Grand Rapids Edge Ice Arena starting on June 25.

He could be just what the Red Wings are looking for in one of their bottom two lines. Knuble is 6'3" and is listed at 230 pounds. He could also be a possible replacement for Tomas Holmstrom if he were to retire this offseason, and at this stage of his career Knuble recognizes his future as a role player.

"You feel like you want to compete, and you want to play more.  But, ultimately your going to be a spot-filler," said Knuble.  "Will you play every game?  Probably not unless someone's really injured.  I think coming in your going to be counted on for leadership and as a veteran guy, to help some younger guys along."

Knuble knows that nothing is set in stone and calls this time exciting and nerve-wracking.  He's not sure who will be interested in signing him come July, but would rule out offering the Red Wings a hometown discount.

"I'm pretty realistic about the situation I'm in being a more veteran player. At this point in your career, no one's going to give you the term or the dollars that you might want," said Knuble. "At this point, you're trying to play where you want to play and sometimes you have to be willing to take that cut."

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