PLYMOUTH — Mike Knuble knows his chances are slim to make the Wings’ roster, but for him it’s still a chance.
“I don’t know if that’s really possible,” Knuble said. “I’ve studied their lineup inside and out over the last eight months and all I can do is try and throw myself in the mix one way or another, but there’s still a long way to go for that.”
Knuble, 40, was a training camp invitee of the Wings, who are already deep at forward with 14 and possibly a 15th if Patrick Eaves (concussion) is cleared to resume playing.
“You are what you are in this league, compared to being a young guy trying to show what you’re all about because they’re not sure what you can do,” Knuble said. “As for me, being good in my own end and being around the net and being strong on pucks, that’s what I feel I can do and that’s going to get better as the conditioning catches up a little bit to.”
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.
He skated on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen during the Wings’ Red and White scrimmage at Compuware Arena Tuesday night.
“It was fast paced, there was nothing you could do to be in game shape but play games,” Knuble said. “A lot us probably feel the same way and I may feel worse than anybody, but it is what it is. After the first game there is nothing that surprises you with you feel.
Injuries to Darren Helm (back) and Mikael Samuelsson (groin) have opened the door slightly for Knuble, who played four season at Michigan.
“I don’t read that much into it,” when asked about playing on a line with Filppula and Franzen. “You don’t get wrapped up in that. It’s better than nothing. I’m not going to be negative about it. Did we have a great night? I don’t think so. We had two chances. For a lot of guys it’s about getting their feet under them as quickly as they can.”
Knuble does seem a bit away from being in game shape.
“It was pretty quick, but it was quick for everybody,” he said. “For guys not playing for eight months you could tell. Some guys handled it and some guys make it look easier than others. It takes a little bit to get your feet under you.
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.
“You’re not going to turn into a player that you’re not,” said. “I can only do things that has gotten me this far and you always revert back to them.”