“Question: What will you do when you get to 1000?
Knuble: “I don’t know. Probably shoot for 1100! Just keep climbing, you know?””—Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble, Nov 27, 2009. He reaches the 900 game mark Oct 30, 2010, in Calgary.
Washington Capitals right wing Mike Knuble will play his 900th NHL game tonight in Calgary. Last season, in late November 2009, while he was out with a broken finger, Knuble spoke about the games he was missing:
Knuble: “I told (head coach) Bruce, like, I take a lot of pride in playing a lot of games. I don’t like being… I haven’t been injured that much and if I do get injured it’s because something is broken up, not because of these little day to day things. So that was my goal was to play 82 games — and now it’s going to be 72, so… because I am trying to get to 1000 games to for my career.”
MC: “Where are you now”?
Knuble: “840 or so. So that is my goal… to stay healthy enough to get to 1000 games. So it can’t be done this season or next season but the season after, so…”
MC: “What will you do when you get to 1000?”
Knuble: “I don’t know. Probably shoot for 1100! (laugh) Just keep climbing, you know? … I was just thrilled to be in the league and I think when you get into the league 400 is kind of like a big number – kind of like a magic number… So you hit 400 and then you keep going. At 600 and 10 years pro you get your own room on the road, you know, so you want to hit 600 so you can get your own room! But then after 600 you are shooting for probably 1000… we’ll see how it goes, maybe get to 1000 so…”
In May 2010, after his team’s exit from the playoffs, Knuble sat down to reflect on the season past, the season coming up… and the status of his career game total.
Knuble: “I can’t reach it next year. I’m short so I gotta go one more year. If I convince George to let me stay one more year…!”
MC: “You told us before that after you hit 1000, you want 1100!”
Knuble: (laugh) “I don’t know, but I’m dumb enough to try and do that, so… And then it becomes a game to see how many you can get in! But you know that’s my next immediate goal, individually, is to earn a contract for the next season and stay healthy enough to play 1000 games. I think that would be – um – really unique. I value that – I think that’s a mark of an excellent NHL career and I don’t really look at goals and stats and stuff like that but if you have the games played they’ll come around too…. Like I said, it was a slow start (to my career) so I’ve achieved a lot in the last little bit and I’ve gotten a lot more games in at a quicker rate, you know, the last little bit. You hate to miss games being injured or sick or anything like that cause you just want to get to that total and keep getting those games in, so… it won’t be next year but it’ll be the year after, so… That’s my motivation. That’s really a big motivating factor for me right now.” (laugh)
The Washington Post's Dan Steinberg spoke with Karl Alzner today about what it’s like to have a concussion — you might remember that Alzner was concussed during the 2008-2009 Hershey Bears playoff run. Japers’ Rink uses the piece to kick-off a lively concussion discussion this afternoon, too — check it out.
At the time of his concussion, Alzner was keeping an audio diary as part of our 2008-2009 season-long radio documentary Hockey Diaries: Ready To Play. You can hear excerpts from some of those diary entries, and interviews with Alzner from that time, around 50 minutes in.
We’ll post some more diary entries in a few minutes here too, just to give you a deeper listen into Alzner’s experience and recovery… and the frustration of being forced to play a waiting game during the post-season.
We’re excited to let you know that forward Matt Hendricks and goalie Braden Holtby will be your guides in a new radio documentary in the Hockey Diaries series. We’ll be following both players throughout the 2010-2011 season and post-season, in Washington and Hershey, recording their thoughts, activities, observations, feelings and fortunes. Behind the scenes and on the ice. We’ll learn from them what it takes to make it in professional hockey. We’ll post mini-updates and pictures here regularly; the hour-long doc will be produced next summer. And of course we’ll continue to check in with Washington Capitals Hockey Diaries alumni Karl Alzner, Brooks Laich, Mike Knuble and Tyler Sloan. We look forward to having you along for the ride.