Lockout could force vets into retirement 

October, 15, 2012

Mike Knuble John McDonnell/Getty ImagesMike Knuble is hoping his career won't end with the Caps' playoff ouster by the Rangers.
During the last lockout, forward Mike Knuble followed the path of many players and signed with a team in Europe. He scored 26 goals in 49 games for Linkopings in Sweden, never fully believing the NHL would miss an entire season because of a lockout.

He is not as naive this time around.

"Now everybody is aware that card has been played," Knuble said. "They're ready to play it again."

So it is with a giant dose of reality that Knuble prepares for the next phase of career -- most likely the final phase of his playing career. He is 40 years old and a free agent. He is preparing to play, but every day this lockout drags on is one day closer to the end.

And he's not alone.