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Kinkaid: 'Maybe it can inspire me to finish my degree'

Keith Kinkaid will be paying tribute to fellow NCAA product Ken Dryden on December 3 at the Bell Centre

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

BROSSARD - It didn't take Keith Kinkaid long to pick the goaltender he'd be representing at the upcoming Captains' Reunion.

Having claimed the Ken Dryden Award as the ECAC's top netminder during his college days, the 30-year-old Farmingville, NY native thought sporting Dryden's retired No. 29 jersey during the pregame warmup on December 3 would serve as a fitting nod to the Hall of Famer.

"He's a legend, of course, but I picked him because I won the award. I thought wearing the jersey might be a little tribute to him," said Kinkaid, who secured the honor following his stellar sophomore season as a member of the Union College Dutchmen in 2010-11. "If you have an award named after you, you've done some pretty good things along the way. It'll be an honor to wear his jersey that night."

Like Kinkaid, Dryden tended goal in the ECAC. He donned the colors of the Cornell Big Red during the mid-to-late 1960's and led the squad to a national title in 1967 and three straight league championship, too.

The fact that Dryden also made education a top priority south of the border - and then back home in Canada - certainly caught Kinkaid's attention as well.

Dryden completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at Cornell in 1969, before earning a Bachelor of Laws degree from McGill University in 1973 while with the Canadiens.

"Maybe it can inspire me to finish my degree and maybe take some classes over the summer. I left after my sophomore year [to sign with the New Jersey Devils in April 2011], and I dropped a class when I signed. I guess I have a lot to go, so I can use that as motivation to get back in the groove," mentioned Kinkaid, who majored in economics at the private liberal arts institution in Schenectady, NY. "I still have to take many of the core classes, so I have two years and one class left."

Kinkaid is also eager to check out some of Dryden's written work as a best-selling author, and we're pretty sure The Game would be of interest to him.

It chronicles the six-time Stanley Cup champion's final NHL campaign in 1978-79, and provides unique insight into the goaltending profession.

"If I was going to pick up something, it would probably be something to do with the mental side of the game and just experience from other goalies," responded Kinkaid, when asked which types of books would likely intrigue him most. "Maybe that's something I can look into. You can learn a lot from what other goalies have been through, whether they're playing or not."

Video: BOS@MTL: Ken Dryden passes the torch to Carey Price

In his short time in Montreal, Kinkaid has quickly realized just how special being a goaltender for the Canadiens really is.

He joined a long list of goalies who've come before him, including Dryden, who ranks second in team history in wins (258), third in shutouts (46) and fourth in games played (397) in the regular season.

The five-time Vezina Trophy winner's playoff numbers aren't too shabby, either, with a franchise-leading 80 postseson wins on his resume, along with 10 shutouts - which ranks him first in that category alongside fellow Hall of Famer, Jacques Plante.

"There were so many franchise goalies, from Plante, Dryden and Patrick Roy, to Carey Price right now. There are a lot of good names out there," said Kinkaid. "It's a dynasty here. It's an honor to be here and see the whole culture."

Fans are invited to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the pregame ceremony, which will feature 11 of the team's 12 retired captains - plus current captain Shea Weber. Henri Richard won't be in attendance due to health issues, but will be honored during the festivities.

Tickets are still available for this historic evening and can be purchased HERE.

The jerseys will be auctioned off and all proceeds will be donated to the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation in support of the 11th annual #ourGOALtoASSIST RadioTéléDON, which will take place during the game.

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