Knuble's agent, Kurt Overhardt, confirmed to me via email Thursday that the big winger would indeed be signing a one-year deal on Friday.
Some of the early-season Flyers offensive struggles have seen shots coming from the perimeter and not much traffic in front of the opposing goaltender. With a lack of big bodies in front of the net shots have been easy pickings for opposition netminders. Knuble brings a large 6' 3", 229-pound frame, as well as 15 years of experience crashing the opponent's crease.
"He's a big guy," said Max Talbot said after Thursday's contest. "He tips a lot of pucks and is a dangerous weapon in front of the net."
"I don't know much about him, he's a new guy," said winger Tom Sestito, who could eventually be affected by Knuble's presence in the lineup when everyone is finally healthy. "I wasn't down at Adirondack, but good for him. I'm sure he's gonna bring in a lot of offense and a big body."
In four seasons with the Flyers from 2005-2009, Knuble posted 114 goals, 221 points, and 270 PIMs in 310 games, including a 2005/06 campaign in which he posted career-highs in goals (34), assists (31), points (65), and PIMs (80).
When his pact ran out following the 2008/09 season, Knuble -- then 37 years old -- was permitted to test the free agent waters. The UFA signed with the Washington Capitals, where he spent the past three campaigns.
But the seasoned vet -- who recently attended training camp in a failed attempt to join the Detroit Red Wings and ended up signing a tryout contract with the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins -- brings much more than just his crease-disturbing presence.
"You know, he's a big, strong forward," head coach Peter Laviolette. "He's a quality person in the locker room. He brings a lot of experience. I think that can be real helpful. Our group of forwards are young, we're the youngest. To have a guy like that with his leadership and experience is important. The fact that he's a big, strong player and he's played a lot of games in the league can only help us."
"We always need a guy like that," added Talbot, another veteran who has seen the ingredients necessary for a team to win a Stanley Cup during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. "He's a veteran player, as well, which is good."
Further magnifying the necessity is the fact grinder Hartnell faces a long absence (4-8 weeks with a fracture in his left foot) in addition to Briere (fractured wrist), who has yet to play a game this season but is likely to return soon.
"When you put Danny (Briere) in there, he brings a lot of experience and when Scott (Hartnell) is in there, he brings a lot of experience," the coach added about some of the club's missing core leadership. "But Danny (Briere) is out, Scott (Hartnell) is now removed for awhile. (With the addition of Knuble) You replace some of that, I think."