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The New Jersey Devils should trade Keith Kinkaid

January 7, 2019, 12:34 PM ET [20 Comments]
Todd Cordell
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Unless anything completely unforeseen happens prior to the deadline, I think the New Jersey Devils should trade Keith Kinkaid.

He is an expiring contract and simply doesn't feature into the team's long-term plans.

It's early but Mackenzie Blackwood looks like a keeper. At the very least, he's earned the opportunity to showcase himself over a larger period of play. And, for better or for worse, the Devils look to be stuck with Cory Schneider for the long haul.

There's no room for Kinkaid moving forward. As a 29-year-old with a career .910 save percentage, it's not worth creating any.

Kinkaid wouldn't fetch a lot but perhaps he could help recoup a pick or two the Devils splurged on rentals a year ago.

As far as potential landing spots are concerned, a few teams stand out to me:

Calgary – David Rittich has taken over as the starter and handled himself admirably. He needs a more stable backup, though. Among 54 eligible goaltenders (500+ minutes at 5v5), Mike Smith ranks 53rd in save percentage and goals saved above average. If anything were to happen to Rittich, there is no reason to be confident Smith can come close to getting the job done. Depending on Schneider's health, it could even make sense to take Smith back in a deal. He is an expiring contract as well and he could help aid a tank if the Devils really want to sink down the standings.

Columbus – Since the beginning of 2017-18, 65 goaltenders have logged at least 1,000 minutes at 5v5. Joonas Korpisalo ranks 64th in save percentage. The only name behind him – Scott Darling – finds himself in the AHL. The Blue Jackets could use a better backup, especially if they want some kind of insurance in case Sergei Bobrovsky leaves. If things go well with Kinkaid, it could improve the chances he's willing to re-sign.

Tampa Bay – They seem to like Domingue but it's hard to trust someone with a .908 save percentage at 5v5 while playing behind an elite team. Even though Kinkaid's numbers have headed south of late, they're still better than Domingue's.

Vegas – Malcolm Subban owns a .904 save percentage through 32 career NHL appearances. If the Golden Knights trusted him, Marc-Andre Fleury wouldn't be leading the league in games played.

A couple other teams could make sense, and there's always the possibility someone jumps into the goalie market due to injury, but I think Kinkaid is likely to end up with one of the four above *if* he's dealt in the coming weeks – as he should be.

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