With training camp only a few weeks away, the Leafs have added the final piece of the puzzle landing a backup goaltender and a proven one at that.
The Leafs brass announced on Monday the signing of veteran NHLer Trevor Kidd to a two-year-contract plus a series of club options. As per team policy the monetary terms were not announced.
"I'm pretty excited about it." Kidd said via a conference call Monday. "It's been a little bit of a process, but I'm really glad everything worked out."
| Trevor Kidd will join the Leafs hoping to play 20 to 30 games. |
Head coach and general manager Pat Quinn sees Kidd as a reaction goalie that can anticipate the play and provide solid play should anything happen to Ed Belfour. The Leafs initially inquired about the 30-year-old after Curtis Joseph went down with a broken hand last season.
"We think this is a good acquisition. Trevor was really supposed to be a good one, he was a high pick, and has had times when he has been really good. Even at 30 he's got lots of playing time left," Quinn said.
Kidd has spent the last three seasons with the Florida Panthers where he posted goals against averages of 2.63, 3.31 and 3.21. It became more difficult in Florida as phenom Roberto Luongo developed into the Panthers No. 1 starter.
Head coach Mike Keenan probably would have liked to have kept Kidd around as a backup, but his large pricetag and desire for a starter's role contributed to his departure.
Florida would not have given him much playing time but the Leafs can offer him more of chance. Kidd is hoping to play at least 20 games this season.
"I believe I can still be a No. 1 goalie in this league," Kidd said. "Right now I think I need to find a situation that affords me a few more games."
Kidd will join Belfour in the new all-Manitoba-born crease of the Leafs. Kidd says he doesn't know Belfour, but is looking forward to playing with the veteran. Quinn said Belfour feels the same way.
"I don't think they know each other at this point but I think they are a couple of Western kids, so they have maybe a basis to build a relationship. I know Eddie feels it's important and I know he'll work hard at it because he's always felt strongly that it's a two-man system even though one of the guys is going to play the majority of the games."
Kidd has known success throughout his career, winning a Silver Medal as a member of the 1992 Canadian Olympic team in Albertville, France as well as being named the 1990 Canadian Major Junior Goaltender of the Year. Kidd was drafted by the Calgary Flames, selected 11th overall at the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.
On a personal note, Kidd and his family have been fighting a more serious battle this off-season. His wife, Tiffany, was diagnosed early this spring with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.
Tiffany has endured surgery and a series of chemotherapy sessions but is responding well. Tests recently found no new cancerous cells so both the Kidds and their doctors remain optimistic.
"Everything looks really good and we're hoping next Thursday will be her last chemo," Kidd said. " news