The first trade of the day comes as the Columbus Blue Jackets add goaltender Keith Kinkaid to their roster. Kinkaid was set to start tonight in goal for the New Jersey Devils against the Montreal Canadiens but will take on a new task as he makes his way to Columbus.
The Devils are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division standings and Kinkaid was the second player over the last few days that they decided to trade for assets.
The Blue Jackets are clearly going all in for the season’s remainder while the acquisition of Keith Kinkaid raises multiple questions for what comes next for the Devils. The future of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is uncertain as well and rumours will circulate now that with the acquisition of Kinkaid, the Blue Jackets may want to move on from Bobrovsky though it is unlikely to occur.
The Blue Jackets are going all in this season and Bobrovsky is the team’s franchise goaltender that will take them far into the playoffs. Kinkaid will provide reliable depth for the Blue Jackets goal crease but may not see too much time in net, especially with Joonas Korpisalo currently serving as the backup goaltender.
Keith Kinkaid is in the last year of his contract with the New Jersey Devils this season. With Corey Schnieder signed long-term with a full no-trade clause and 22-year-old goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood looking ready to make the full transition to the NHL, Kinkaid was the odd man out, paving the way for this morning’s deal to Columbus.
He would likely walk as a free agent and instead of losing him for nothing in free agency, the Devils decided to trade him for an asset. With Bobrovsky likely not signing an extension with the Blue Jackets, Kinkaid may find himself a contract offer in Columbus during the offseason.
The Devils received a fifth round pick in 2022 in exchange for Kinkaid which is not necessarily a big move as one might expect. New Jersey simply tried to get something for Keith Kinkaid rather then losing him at the season’s end for nothing at all.
The Blue Jackets add to their multiple additions this trade deadline already to really push for a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The pick exchanged is not as notable a loss as the picks they lost in the Duchene and Dzingel trades respectively and seems to be a low-risk move overall at this time for Columbus.
In a statement from general manager Jarmo Kekalainen with regards to Kinkaid’s acquisition, he said, “While we believe goaltending is a position of strength for our club with Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo, we thought it was important to add depth to the position. Keith Kinkaid is an experienced National Hockey League goaltender who will provide that depth as we move through the final month of the regular season and into the spring.”