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UFA options - Mike Knuble

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GP G A P +/- PIM PPG SHG GWG GTG SOG PCT
2008 - Mike Knuble 82 27 20 47 5 62 11 0 6 1 173 15.6

Advanced ES stats: QUAL COMP +0.04, QUAL TEAM +0.33, -3.5 corsi, 1.45 ESP/60

PDO: 99.7

Background

In his final season at the University of Michigan, Mike Knuble scored a remarkable 38 goals in 34 games. He didn't parlay that scoring touch into favorable stats at the NHL level, however, until he played with one Joe Thornton for the first time some 7 years after his notable amateur season. In 01/02, Knuble scored 30 on Thornton's wing and hasn't dropped below the 20 goal mark since that time.

Strengths

In direct contrast to Sullivan and Gionta, Knuble is a big, lumbering monster of a winger standing 6'03" and weighing in around 230 pounds. He does a majority of his damage down low and in front of the net during the PP. think Thomas Holmstrom.  His ES efficicency was lacking last season despite playing with some decent linemates, but he did manage a fairly healthy 5.04 PPP/60 with the man advantage. In addition, his 15.6% shooting rate seems high, but it's actually in line with his career norms (his SH% during the last 4 season have been 15.7,15.0, 16.4 and 15.7 respectively) no doubt because a lot of his shots are taken around the crease.  

Weaknesses

Knuble is neither quick nor agile. He's also 36 years old (going on 37) and bound to start hitting the wall in terms of overall effectiveness soonr rather than later. In addition, he spent most of the season with Simon Gagne and Mike Richards and put up some farily middling ES stats. His ceiling at this point of his career is 20-odd goals and 50-odd points, assuming he doesn't begin to repaidly decline, which is possible. 

Verdict

The Flyers have about 53M committed to 19 players next season, so Knuble will be hitting the open market come July. His stats were healthy if unspectacular last season and he's been fairly consistent in terms of goal scoring and health for several years, so the big guy should generate some interest around the league. His age is a concern, but his size and role on the PP will likely be looked upon favorably by Sutter. I wouldn't be against a brief contract @ a reasonable cap hit (2M or less).