After a poor season from Antti Niemi, the Montreal Canadiens were in need of a veteran backup goalie for Carey Price. While it was originally thought that Charlie Lindgren was the heir to the role, the Canadiens opted to sign a more established option in the form of Keith Kinkaid.
MTL and goalie Keith Kincaid @Blockaid1 working to finalize a one-year contract. Many emojis to come.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2019
UPDATE: The deal is now official, with an average annual value of $1.75 million.
The Canadiens have agreed to terms on a one-year, one-way contract ($1.75 million) with goaltender Keith Kinkaid.#GoHabsGo— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) July 1, 2019
In 32 career starts at the NHL level, Kinkaid has a 64-55-17 record, with a 2.90 goals-against average and .906 save percentage. After a standout year in 2017-18 for the New Jersey Devils, Kinkaid struggled last year with an .891 save percentage with a poor Devils squad.
He was traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline but never started a game for them during the regular season or playoffs. The 29-year-old goalie is coming off a two-year contract that paid him $1.25 million per year.
The attention now turns to Lindgren, who may have been forced out of the Laval Rocket picture with the signing of Cayden Primeau and apears to have no future at the top level in the organization. A trade may be coming for the netminder.