We're apparently a couple days late to take note, but Mike's NHL career started with a bang thirteen years ago
This tweet pointed me to this tweet so I checked here and here and here
The Cliff's Notes version (but please do go check out the links) is that Gramps was called up from the Adirondack Red Wings on March 26, 1997 for a game against the Colorado Avalanche. A game that was subsequently dubbed "Fight Night at the Joe" and featured one (or several) of the awesomest brawls in hockey history. A goalie battle with Roy and Vernon, Lemieux/McCarty, Larionov/Forsberg (who left the game with, you guessed it, an injury), Shanahan/ Foote, and more - everybody was kung fu fighting.
You can see a wide-eyed #22 watching from the bench at about the 2:21 mark here:
Happy Anniversary, Mike Knuble! And PS - WingsNation still misses you and remembers you fondly.