Knuble not ready to call it quits, accepts PTO with Grand Rapids

DETROIT — The Wings also sent defenseman Brian Lashoff back to Grand Rapids and offered Mike Kunble a professional tryout with the Griffins.

“It gives me the most flexibility to decide what I’m going to do versus signing a two-way contract, where you’re stuck with one team,” Knuble said. “It gives you a better chance to be open to everybody.”

Knuble, 40, was a training camp invitee of the Wings, who were already deep at forward.

“It is (the best option),” Knuble said. “I was pretty realistic. I didn’t think I had any crazy illusions of something happening here this week. It gives me the chance to play and get back in the frame of playing again. And you get your name out there that you’re active.”

Knuble, who was drafted by the Wings in the fourth round in 1991, had six goals and 12 assists in 72 games last season with the Washington Capitals.

The lockout really hurt a player like Knuble, who began skating with the Griffins from their first day of training camp.

“I don’t want to be one of those statistics, but reality is last lockout I was very proactive, but I was at a different point of my career,” Knuble said. “You get to certain points you got to weigh the pluses and minuses all the time of what you’re doing with your time and how it affects people around you. For me to stay at home this year had been the best thing for all of us.

“Obviously your main goal is to play in the NHL,” Knuble added. “Another goal of mine was to play in Europe, which I did, and another goal of mine would be to play in my hometown.”

Knuble has 274 goals and 266 assists in 1,040 NHL games over 16 seasons with Detroit, the New York Rangers, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington.

“It’s a wild year, it’s going to be a crazy year and it’s extremely unpredictable,” Knuble said. “Guys are going to be dropping. They’re going to find young guys can’t handle the grind, they’re not ready. You stay with it, two weeks in, you should see how this whole year is going to shape out. Teams are in trouble already.”

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