Fantasy Impact: The Columbus Blue Jackets acquire goaltender Keith Kinkaid from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2022.
The Devils get: a depth pick for a replaceable part. In fact, Kinkaid has already been replaced as the Devils recalled Mackenzie Blackwood.
The Blue Jackets get: an experienced backup goaltender. Kinkaid was great last season, but this season not so much. His SV% has dipped from 0.916 to 0.913 to 0.891 year over year. And the sample size for those numbers is just fine as he's already played 41 games this year, matching last year's total.
Fantasy Players Impacted: This isn't a precursor for a Sergei Bobrovsky trade. The Jackets would give up all those assets to land Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel only to rest their hopes on Kinkaid in net. No, this is to cover the team off in terms of goaltending depth. Kinkaid adds experience and becomes the team's No.2 goaltender. Previously an injury to Bobrovsky meant that 24-year-old Joonas Korpisalo (0.896 SV%) would become the starter. It just makes the club feel a little better knowing that Kinkaid would be the guy instead. With a great, well-coached team in front of him, Kinkaid will probably do well.
Cory Schneider had three very good games before giving up four goals Saturday, but that wasn't exactly horrible when he faced 33 shots. He'll see a lot of starts. Blackwood has been the best goalie all year for the Devils so he'll see his share. I can see a 60-40 split in favor of Schneider going forward (follow the contract!), and this is an effort to get their money goalie back on track. Schneider is owed $6 million each of the next three seasons after this one. They would rather that money not go to a backup. Schneider is still recovering from hip surgery and getting his full rhythm back. His former goaltending partner Roberto Luongo said that it takes over 18 months to completely recover from that, so don't write him off just yet for next season. If he struggles in the coming weeks, rather than let him humiliate himself, Blackwood would definitely then gobble up the majority of starts (so the 60-40 scenario is by no means in stone).
Fantasy players this helps, in order
1. Blackwood (fantasy profile here)
2. Schneider (fantasy profile here)
Fantasy players this hurts, in order
1. Kinkaid (fantasy profile here)
2. Korpisalo (fantasy profile here)
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