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The Capitals won’t have Mike Knuble to kick around anymore

Nashville Predators v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 20: Mike Knuble #22 of the Washington Capitals reacts after a play against the Nashville Predators during the first period at Verizon Center on December 20, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

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Mike Knuble had a strenuous time in Washington this season. He went from the first line to being a healthy scratch then ultimately a fourth liner in the postseason. Now his time with the Capitals is at an end.

Katie Carrera of The Washington Post reports Caps GM George McPhee told Knuble the team will not be bringing him back next season. Knuble says it’s not all that unexpected of a decision.

“There are younger guys stepping up and those guys will need a spot to play and a chance to play…. It’s really the first time in my career that I’ve been told by a team they don’t want me back, but it’s not like I was blindsided.”

At 39-years-old Knuble’s skills aren’t quite what they used to be, but after the way he was handled in Washington this past season, you wonder if he’ll have a little left in the tank along with a chip on his shoulder. There were teams believed to be interested in acquiring him at the deadline but the Caps didn’t pull the trigger on a deal. Knuble will be 40 when the season starts again in October.