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Laces Out: Panthers Goalie Spencer Knight Using New Kind of Skates

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Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight pictured during a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Oct. 8. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Florida Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight made a bit of an adjustment to his skates during the offseason.

Now, he has no laces to tie or replace.

The 21-year-old netminder made the switch to Bauer’s new Konekt skates, which replace traditional skate laces with a system of buckles aimed to find the perfect fit.

”At first it’s weird. It took me a while to get used to,” Knight said.

”I tried the prototype two summers ago and there was too much flex and it was so new and different and I didn’t want to switch. Then, this past summer, I got the new pair and at first I wasn’t sure and then eventually, I grew to like them a lot.”

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Knight likes to wear his skates tight with enough flexibility to withstand the motions that come with making big saves.

The Konekt skates are fitted with a custom-fitted liner and a Grilamid injected shell inspired by ski boots which give goalies 22 degrees of additional flex.

”They are consistent,” Knight said.

”With the system of buckles, you can still get them tight but still have a good flex. Laces aren’t coming undone or snapping, you don’t have to retie laces and it is super easy to get on and off.”

After using this past summer to get used to his new skates, Knight feels comfortable using them in game situations.

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Florida Panthers goalie Spencer Knight is using Bauer’s new Konekt skates, which replace traditional skate laces with a system of buckles and resemble a ski boot. — Photo @ColbyDGuy

”I don’t even know how to describe it. They are comfortable,” Knight said.

”In terms of control, I know I like them because I don’t think about them. When I’m not thinking ‘this feels different than this,’ that’s when you: when you’re not thinking about it too much.”

The Konekt skates are still relatively new, with Charlie Lindgren being the first known goaltender to wear them in an NHL game.

Fellow Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper joined him later on.

The skates have continued to due to the flexibility and control they give goaltenders.

And it seems like Knight will not be making the switch back to regular skates again.

“For me, I didn’t like the flex at first. I used to tie my skates really tight so I didn’t have any of that flexation in my boot when I had laces,” he said.

”There are benefits to it, so I eventually grew to like it.”

PANTHERS ON DECK

FLORIDA PANTHERS AT PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
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  • Last season: Florida won 3-0
  • All-time regular season series: Philadelphia leads 55-37-6, 7 ties
  • Season Series (Florida 1-0): Florida 4, Philadelphia 3 (Oct. 19)
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