Knight Speaks Out
The young goalie Spencer Knight
joined the Player Assistance Program last season. In a recent interview, he talked about the reasons that led him to seek help.Spencer Knight
, 22, dealt with personnal issues that forced him to miss out on the Pathers' amazing playoff run
In a long interview with The Hockey News, he opened up on his journey.
Here's what The Hockey News published:
"I was spiralling in a direction I didn't want to be going."
Knight said all of it started in 2019 when he was a freshman at Boston College. For reasons he can't explain, he started excessively washing his hands. The trips to the washroom to run his hands under the tap increased to the point where he talked to his parents about it after that season and thought he might need some help. But it never really hampered his ability to function. He was doing well in school, was one of the best goalies in U.S. college hockey and even won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2021 World Junior Championship.
But that all changed in December when he took the net for a game in Winnipeg and didn't feel well. He allowed three goals in that game and was pulled. By the time the Panthers' charter arrived home later that night, his fever had spiked, and he was shaking with chills. It turned out to simply be the flu, but that was when something in Knight's brain clicked, and he began to have thoughts of contracting diseases and getting sick. From that time until he left the team in late February, Knight was having trouble sleeping, and it got to the point where he couldn't function.
So instead of being a part of the Panthers' run to the final, he watched it with mixed feelings. He was thrilled for his teammates but felt terrible about not being with them.
«One of the feelings you get when something like this happens is that you just let everyone down,» Knight said. «I never wanted to feel like a burden.»
Knight spent the time off working 1-on-1 with an OCD expert and talking to others who manage the disorder in their daily lives. He feels he's much better equipped to live life on life's terms now, and while he faces a time of uncertainty and perhaps a period of adjustment to get back to his level of play, he's at peace with that and is prepared to approach things in a much more healthy way. And he's just 22 years old, meaning he won't have to endure years of suffering in silence. The truth is out in the open now, and Knight doesn't have to hide from anything.
And he believes that will ultimately make him a better NHL goaltender.
«I can still be the player I want to be, and I still believe I can be one of the best goalies in this league,» Knight said. «Maybe it's this year, maybe it's next year, maybe it's in three years or four years or five years. I don't know. I know what I'm capable of accomplishing. It was there before and it has been there the whole time.»
Knight got the help he needed and is now getting ready for another NHL campaign! We wish him the best going forward.
As seen on The Hockey News - EXCLUSIVE: KNIGHT ON WHY HE SOUGHT HELP
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