According to a joint statement from the NHL and NHLPA Thursday, Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight has entered the NHL/NHLPA player assistance program and will be unavailable to the Panthers for an indefinite period while he receives care.
The announcement comes after Knight was assigned to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday, in a move most assumed was meant to purely clear salary cap space for Anthony Duclair’s return to the lineup.
Knight will continue to be paid while receiving treatment and will rejoin the Panthers when he’s cleared to return to on-ice competition by program administrators.
Knight, Florida’s 2019 first-round draft pick, is supplanting himself as a high-end tandem netminder despite being just 21 years old. In 21 appearances (19 starts) this season, Knight has a 9-8-3 record, a .901 save percentage, and a shutout. He’d appeared just four times since January 1, however, as a variety of injuries and illnesses had kept him out of the lineup.
Alex Lyon, who has a .887 save percentage in six NHL appearances this year, will back up starter Sergei Bobrovsky for the time being as the Panthers continue to chase a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
PHR extends our wishes to Knight that he gets the support he needs.