McPhee says he's not trading Knuble

McPhee says he's not trading Knuble
February 16, 2012, 5:03 pm

The Capitals would love to make some roster improvements between now and the Feb. 27 NHL trade deadline, but they wont be trading Mike Knuble to do it.

At least thats what Capitals general manager George McPhee said Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.

Mike has never asked for anything, McPhee said when asked if Knuble had requested a trade. We havent had any conversations, period. Hes a great pro, a great guy and we have no interest in trading him. He hasnt asked for that and we havent talked to him about it.

Knuble has been a healthy scratch for the past three games but is expected to be in the lineup Friday night when the Capitals begin a four-game road trip in Florida.

I dont expect him to be happy, but sometimes the best thing you can do for a player is to sit him down for a couple games, McPhee said. I think its healthy for players to sit down, get a fresh perspective and theyre almost always better when they come back.

Asked if Knuble will return to the lineup this weekend, McPhee said I expect he will be. Thats the plan.

McPhee also said he did not disagree with Olie Kolzigs assessment that Alex Ovechkin needs to improve his work ethic. He added there is no timetable for Nicklas Backstroms return from a concussion and that there are far more buyers than sellers in this years trade market, making deals difficult to make.