Tuesday: Both players have cleared waivers and can be sent to the minor leagues.
Monday: The Montreal Canadiens have decided to place goaltender Keith Kinkaid on waivers today, according to Bob McKenzie of TSN. Kinkaid will be assigned to the Laval Rocket of the AHL should he clear, where the organization will give him a chance to rebuild some confidence facing minor league opposition. The Pittsburgh Penguins have also placed Joseph Blandisi on waivers, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet.
After signing a one-year, $1.75MM contract in the offseason, Kinkaid has been an utter disappointment so far for the Canadiens. In six appearances he has allowed a total of 24 goals and sits with a 1-1-3 record. His .875 save percentage is second-worst in the league among goaltenders who have made more than one appearance, only coming in ahead of Cory Schneider’s .852. That performance simply isn’t good enough for a team hoping to make a playoff run this season, and after the Canadiens lost their eighth straight game on Sunday, something had to change.
There is at least an argument to be made in favor of Kinkaid, who had a career save percentage of .906 coming into the year. Carey Price has looked completely mortal in net for the Canadiens as well, left out to dry too often, leading to an .898 save percentage of his own. That’s easily the worst of his career, and perhaps not entirely a product of bad goaltending. Montreal needs to figure out some way to protect their net more regularly, or hope that Price and his next backup can find some next level of performance.
Blandisi meanwhile already cleared waivers before the season began and needs them again to continue bouncing up and down between the AHL and NHL. The 25-year old has played nine games for Pittsburgh and ten games for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on the season, and will likely continue to split time should he clear.