Mike Knuble wants to know, one way or the other.
He wants to know if the Capitals intend to play him or trade him. And on Wednesday he had no answer for either question.
I dont know, Knuble said when asked if he'd return to the Capitals lineup Friday night in Florida after sitting out three straight games as a healthy scratch. If he is, its a chance to play and try to stick in there. Who knows whats going to happen between now and Friday? Thats the way you have to look at it, be prepared either way.
On Tuesday, Knuble said he was considering asking general manager George McPhee for a trade. On Wednesday, he said he had not spoken to McPhee or coach Dale Hunter and seemed eager to get on with the business of playing hockey. In 53 games this season, Knuble has three goals and eight assists and is a team-worst minus-14.
Its already gone on too long, Knuble said. I feel like its a little bit too dramatic. I dont have anything else to say about it. You just want to vent, and I said my piece. It doesnt need to carry on. I consider this the end of it.
The Capitals are carrying just 12 forwards and are likely to recall another forward from the AHL Hershey Bears to take with them on their four-game road trip to Florida, Tampa, Carolina and Ottawa.
At Wednesdays practice, Hunter had Knuble playing on a line with center Brooks Laich and Matt Hendricks, but Hunter said he has not yet decided when Knuble will return to the lineup.
He looked good, he skated well, Hunter said. Hes chomping at the bit to go. Well have to wait and see.
Its entirely possible McPhee is trying to trade Knuble but has yet to find a team willing to give him what hes asking. McPhee declined an interview request.
Laich said Knubles reaction to being scratched for the past three games all losses should not be surprising.
Mike hasnt been in the lineup, and its upsetting, Laich said. He didnt play 1,000 games by just saying, Oh, its OK that Im not playing. I understand it; hes a fierce competitor and he wants to play.
I see the work ethic in practice today, and one of the hardest-working guys out there is Mike Knuble.