The Montreal Canadiens first move of Free Agency consisted of signing former New Jersey Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid to a one-year deal. Kinkaid had 15 wins and posted a .891% save percentage during the 2018-19 regular season.
Keith Kinkaid struggled with the New Jersey Devils compared to his previous performances, though this cannot entirely be blamed on him as the Devils struggled as well finishing last in the Metropolitan division. One can only hope this year was an anomaly for Keith Kinkaid’s .891% save percentage as in previous years he was above .910%.
What Does Keith Kinkaid Bring to the Montreal Canadiens?
At 29 years of age, the 6’3 goaltender brings several years of NHL goaltending experience. Keith Kinkaid will be replacing former backup goaltender Antti Niemi behind Carey Price. The hope for the Montreal Canadiens organization is that Keith Kinkaid can step in and relieve Price of having to play more games than he needs to, allowing him to be well rested when playing the more important games and avoiding straining himself, leading to any possible injuries.
Working alongside goaltending coach Stephane Waite may also benefit Keith Kinkaid. Waite did wonders with past goaltenders, including Antti Niemi so given the chance, Kinkaid may be able to improve on last season’s numbers.
One Goalie too Many?
As of right now, the Montreal Canadiens have several goalies in their system. After signing Kinkaid, the Canadiens now have Charlie Lindgren, Michael McNiven, Cayden Primeau and Connor LaCouvee. With this many goalies, it is more than likely Marc Bergevin makes a deal that includes Charlie Lindgren or another one of their young goalies going to another team. The likeliest candidate is Charlie Lindgren. However, since Lindgren is coming off of an off-year, Marc Bergevin may be giving Lindgren away for less than he is normally worth.
Last season, as well as the playoffs, showed the Montreal Canadiens and the rest of the NHL how important goaltending is in the NHL. Kinkaid can be a reliable backup for the Habs and give Price some nights off if need be.
It’s not a big commitment in the slightest and the Habs can and will benefit from a strong year of Kinkaid. Good way to start the day for the Habs.
(Update: Kinkaid’s cap hit is $1.75 million)