The New Jersey Devils placed veteran goaltender Keith Kinkaid on waivers Tuesday afternoon.
The Devils made the surprising decision to bring Kinkaid back for his second stint in New Jersey over the summer. His deal is worth $775,000 at the NHL level and $350,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level.
Prior to signing his deal with New Jersey, Kinkaid signed a one-year AHL deal with the independent Chicago Wolves. As a result, when Kinkaid isn’t playing in New Jersey, he’ll play in Chicago for the Wolves instead of with the Utica Comets.
Regardless, the 34-year-old goaltender will have to clear waivers to remain in New Jersey’s system.
New Jersey deployed Kinkaid in their first preseason game as part of split-squad action. He was part of the road team that visited the Montreal Canadiens in late September. Akira Schmid played the first 40 minutes and Kinkaid relieved the Devils goaltender for the final frame. That was until he took a bump while in the crease and left the game with an upper-body injury. In 12:38 of play, Kinkaid stopped all seven shots he faced.
Although he’s on waivers, the transaction is a good sign that the veteran goaltender is returning to full health. He’ll join the Wolves if he clears at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. It’s unclear at this moment who is the third goaltender in line for the Devils. General Manager Tom Fitzgerald also brought in goaltender Erik Kallgren this summer, adding to some significant goaltending depth in New Jersey. While Nico Daws continues his recovery from hip-labrum surgery, the battle for the No.3 goaltender in the Devils system appears to be between Kinkaid and Kallgren.