The NHL trade deadline is today at 3pm.
There has already been a trade by the New Jersey Devils a few days ago in the form of Ben Lovejoy. He was traded to the Dallas Stars and in return, the Devils got defensemen Connor Carrick and a 3rd round draft pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. There have been a lot of rumors floating around about the level of interest in Marcus Johansson. There has also been rumors that the Devils want to unload goaltender Keith Kinkaid. Unfortunately, I do not see that happening before the deadline and here’s why:
1. Kinkaid is extremely inconsistent and has not been playing well. Last season, Kinkaid stepped up (and in my opinion, got very lucky) and helped the team get to the playoffs. Some people like to say that he led the team to the playoffs, but that is not accurate. He did his job. So far during this 2018-19 season, Kinkaid stats are less than stellar. In the 41 games he’s played this season, Kinkaid’s GAA is 3.36, with a SV% of .891. Besides the stats, a majority of the goals he lets in are soft, basic goals that an AHL goalie could save.
2. His trade value has plummeted. Kinkaid’s trade value was at its peak during the off-season last year but nothing was done to capitalize on that. He just came off a playoff push (granted, he didn’t perform well) but still. The season started off well for him and the team, so his trade value remained strong. Then the team sank and so did his value. The only way the Devils could unload Kinkaid would be as part of a package deal. I just don’t see why any team that is in cup contention would be even remotely interested in Kinkaid.
3. Playing Kinkaid more could reap benefits. Since his trade value has hit rock bottom, it could make sense for the Devils to play him as much as possible for the rest of the season to try to improve his value. That way, maybe, we could attempt to do something with him in the off-season. This season has already become the season of the tank for the Devils (thanks in large part to Kinkaid and his horrendous performance). Why not make him your starter for the rest of the season? What’s the worst thing that could happen? It would be a win-win. If he does good, his trade value increases. If he does terrible, it only helps the tank to help our chances for the draft.
I think it is highly unlikely that Kinkaid will be traded by the deadline (currently, he is scheduled to start tonight against the Habs). Even if he is not traded by 3pm today, I don’t think Kinkaid will be a Devil come the 2019-20 season. GM Ray Shero needs to dump him in the off-season. Cory Schneider appears to be getting his game back and Mackenzie Blackwood should be in the NHL with him. There is just not enough room for Kinkaid anymore.
***Update: Kinkaid has been traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets in return of a 5th round pick in the 2022 NHL draft. GM Ray Shero is a trade wizard. This is the absolute best return he could have gotten. My friend Tom Marchiano (and fellow blogger here at NYC Sports Nation) and I have been arguing lately whether or not anyone would want Kinkaid. I insisted no because he is terrible but Tom insisted yes, someone will take him. So Tom, I’ve never been happier to say this in my life but YOU WERE RIGHT.***
Stats: nhl.com; hockey-reference.com; Cover Photo: Ed Mulholland/USA Today Sports