Tampa Bay’s emergency backup goalie dressed for the Blues Thursday night

St. Louis Blues

St. Louis Blues emergency goaltender Kyle Konin warms up before an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Konin was called into service when goaltender Jordan Binnington was diagnosed with coronavirus. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

TAMPA BAY, Fla. – A 23-year-old goalie mask designer was the emergency backup goalie for the Blues game in Tampa Bay Thursday night.

When Blues goalie Jordan Binnington tested positive for COVID Thursday morning,  Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong did not have the salary-cap space available to recall a backup goalie from the Springfield Thunderbirds for the game. So Kyle Konin, who serves as Tampa Bay’s emergency backup goalie went over to the Blues bench.

Kyle Konin who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida skates with a group of retired Tampa Bay Lightning players every Thursday morning including Dwayne Roloson, Mathieu Garon, Filip Kuba, and former Blue Glen Metropolit.

“I came home (from today’s skate), I’ve been airing out my gear and then I’m turning right back around to go to the rink,” Konin told stlouisblues.com. “It’s really cool, it’s what you dream of as a kid every day. For one night at least, I get to live (being in the NHL) with my family and friends.”

His family and friends bought tickets and came to Thursday’s game. The Lightning won 4-2 over the Blues.

Konin is originally from West Kingston, Rhode Island. He played two seasons of junior hockey for the New Hampshire Avalanche and the Vermont Lumberjacks of the Eastern Hockey League. He opened his custom airbrushing and goalie mask design business Nujax Airbrush after a semester of college hockey at Grand Valley State University.

Every NHL team has a local person as their emergency backup goaltender. They receive two tickets to every home game and if an emergency arises, they dress for either of the two teams playing that night.

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