How have you been since we last saw each other old friend?
Mike Knuble will be hearing that line rather often after the former unrestricted free agent arrives in town. The 40-year-old veteran, who played for the Washington Capitals last season, was signed by the Philadelphia Flyers in response to their need for offensive help.
The broken left foot that Scott Hartnell suffered in this week’s game against the New Jersey Devils left the Flyers with a deep hole on their forward lines. Since “Hartsy” is expected to be out for up to two months, general manager Paul Holmgren had to make a quick move.
This second-coming of Knuble likely won’t look like a top line player, but then again you never know.
After scoring 24 goals in 79 games for the Capitals two years ago, he had a sub-par season last year and hit the back of the net only six times in 72 games. So, it’s easy to conclude that this 15-year veteran might be at the end of his career.
Head coach Peter Laviolette will surely attempt to position Knuble for maximum effectiveness during 5-on-5 play and utilize his right-handed shot on the power play.
After leaving the Boston Bruins and being signed as a free agent by the Flyers in July 2004, Knuble had to wait through a lost season until he made his debut in Philadelphia in the fall of 2005.
It’s always exciting for the fans to see a well-liked player return to the fold and he’s sure to receive a strong ovation when the Flyers return home on Feb. 2. That will be the day after he plays against his previous employer, the Capitals, on the road. Then, once again after a lockout delay, the Ontario native will skate onto the Wells Fargo Center ice wearing his familiar orange and black jersey.