Right-winger Mike Knuble was a hard-working role player on the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Rangers in the late 1990s. A prolific scorer as an amateur and in the minors, he accepted a more defensive role to stay in the NHL.
The Toronto native moved to Michigan as a teenager and scored in bunches for East Kentwood High School in 1989-90. He then spent a year with the Kalamazoo Jr. K-Wings before playing four years at the University of Michigan. Following his solid year in Kalamazoo, he was drafted 76th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft.
He enjoyed an excellent college career, leading the CCHA with 38 goals in 1994-95 and being placed on the CCHA Second All-Star Team twice and the NCAA West All-American Team once. In 1995 he was selected to play for the United States at the World Championships.
Knuble was a solid minor leaguer with the Adirondack Red Wings for two seasons before making the Red Wings roster in 1997-98. The defending Stanley Cup champions were looking for Knuble to utilize his speed and anticipation to forecheck and neutralize the speedy forwards on the opposition. He responded with a solid rookie season and decent work in three playoff games as the Wings repeated as Cup champions.
He was traded to the New York Rangers late in training camp in 1998 and gained a more versatile role with his new team. Knuble scored 15 goals and 35 points for the Blueshirts and represented the US at the 1999 World Championships. The hustling winger played 59 games for the struggling Rangers in 1999-00 before he was sent to the Boston Bruins. During his first year in Beantown, Knuble scored 20 points, played sound defensive hockey, and killed penalties while suiting up for all 82 regular season games.
In 2002-03, Knuble finished third on the Bruins in scoring with 59 points on 30 goals and 29 assists and went on to play parts of five seasons with the club before being signing as a free-agent with the Philadelphia Flyers in the summer of 2004.
Aside from his World Championship appearance in 1995, Knuble has gone on to represent the U.S. on three other occasions at the Worlds' (1999, 2001 and 2005), and once at the 2006 Winter Olympics.
After sever productive years offensively with the Flyers, Knuble inked a deal with the Washington Capitals on July 1, 2009 as an unrestricted free agent.