Drafted 22nd overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens and Trevor Timmins, the 6'6'', 215-lb rugged defenseman has made great strides offensively and defensively since last season. Tinordi played eight games with the Habs in 2012-13, notching two assists, after spending most of the campaign in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs. In 67 games with the farm club, Tinordi scored 2 goals and 9 assists for 11 points to go along with 71 penalty minutes. The son of Mark worked very hard on his positioning and his skating during the lock-out with great success.
With Alexei Emelin out at least until December with a serious knee injury and Davis Drewiske slated to miss a least one month with a shoulder injury, Tinordi is bound to begin the season in Montreal, we just don't know his role yet. A left-handed defenseman, Tinordi would be guaranteed a regular spot if he was right-handed with only P.K. Subban and Raphael Diaz as RHD on the Habs' defensive brigade.
As a result, Tinordi will have to battle with veteran Francis Bouillon and newcomer Douglas Murray for playing time on the left side (assuming Josh Gorges and Andrei Markov are the top-two defensemen on the left side).
While Josh Gorges and Francis Bouillon can also play on the right side, head coach Jarred Tinordi is not convinced the rookie would be able to make such a transition as shown last night against the New Jersey Devils when JT was tried on his unnatural side without much success. With Emelin out of the line-up, Tinordi is the best option to replace the physical element that Emelin Boom gave the team last season before his terrible knee injury. With Subban, Markov and Diaz all offensive-minded rearguards, the remaining four defensemen, namely Gorges, Bouillon, Murray and Tinordi, will be asked to provide toughness and grit in front of Carey Price and play heavy minutes on the penalty kill.
Will Michel Therrien go with the experience and defensive awareness and dress Bouillon and Murray, or will he go with speed and toughness and dress Tinordi? With two exhibition games remaining before the start of the season on October 1st, I'm fairly certain we'll see Tinordi at least one more time, especially if Douglas Murray is unable to go as he is still nursing a groin injury.
I consider Tinordi to be the team's fourth best defenseman already behind Subban, Markov and Gorges, and you where do you see him?
No Foolin' Fred Poulin