The time has come for Jarred Tinordi to step up and show everyone why the Canadiens chose him 22nd overall 4 years ago.
Marc Bergevin has begun to steer the Montreal Canadiens into a youth movement. The team was already young, but now, the youth is going to come to the forefront.
One expectation heading into free agency was that Marc Bergevin would go out and acquire a top 6 scoring winger — if not via free agency, via trade. That didn’t happen. Well, he did make a trade. Though, not one anyone could have guessed.
By trading Josh Gorges to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2nd-round pick in 2016, Bergevin has placed the onus on his young defensemen to
take over and lead the defense into the night. And by not adding a top 6 scoring winger, (although he did add P.A. Parenteau) he has given Alex Galchenyuk a very bright spotlight to step into.
The Canadiens have prided themselves on their strong defense over the past two seasons. They have been tight, they have been hard to penetrate and they have been deep. P.K. Subban has risen to elite-defender status; Markov has been there to guide the young guys while still performing like he was 25; and Gorges has been our number one shut-down defenseman. Now that Gorges is gone, Jarred Tinordi — you’re up.
The 22 year-old from Burnsville, MN is entering the final year of his entry-level deal, meaning he has plenty of motivation to make his re-signing worth the Canadiens’ while. In 30 career NHL games (22 of which were played last season) he has 4 assists and 40 PIM. At 6’6″ 227, he is expected to be a shut-down defensive defenseman. His father, Mark Tinordi, had a 663-game NHL career with the North Stars, Stars and Capitals, racking up 200 points and 1514 penalty minutes.
Jarred has shown both the strengths and weaknesses of his game. He has been coming in and out of the lineup playing 3rd-pair minutes. Now, he’ll be expected to play 2nd-pair minutes and chip in on the penalty kill.
Importantly, he will be expected to be a physical presence out there. His size can’t go to waste. I expect him to be a dominant force behind his blueline that induces fear in opponents’ forwards. I want him to be a machine.
I think Tinordi has what it takes to be a top-tier, shut-down, even elite defenseman in this league and on this team. Question is, will it happen this year before his contract runs out? With Josh Gorges gone, it better. Get some sleep Bergy. We’ll see if this plan of yours works soon enough.