Tinordi on life in the American Hockey League
From London to Montreal via Hamilton. At least that is the path former London Knights captain Jarred Tinordi hopes to take to reach the NHL. Tinordi is currently suiting up for the Hamilton Bulldogs in the American Hockey League this season.
But how has he adjusted to life in the AHL?
"I think the players are a lot smarter, the hockey is really good as are lots of good players, especially because of the lockout. It's a tough league."
Tough indeed for Tinordi, he's only managed two points in 18 outings and is an ugly minus six for the Bulldogs this season, a far cry from his final season in London where he put up 16 points in 48 games, and was a plus 39 rating.
Despite the dismal numbers, Tinordi is putting up good displays on the ice at the Copps Coliseum and on the road. Montreal Canadiens assistant GM Rick Dudley is on record saying Tinordi will be a minor leaguer for a brief spell before lining up with the likes of P.K. Subban, Tomáš Kaberle and the rest of the Canadiens blue liners in the big leagues,
"As long as you keep working hard you'll make it," words which Tinordi echoed himself as his motivation to do even better than he is doing right now. "I'm working on my defensive zone coverage, my positioning and puck skills at the moment." All areas which Tinordi needs to improve on slightly, in addition to his offensive up side.
The Knights have a few from last years class in the AHL: Greg McKegg is in Toronto, Vladislav Namestnikov is suiting up for Syracuse, Austin Watson is having a solid season in Milwaukee and Jared Knight's pro career took a bit of an injury hit after just two games with the Providence Bruins, so it's interesting to see how Dale Hunter's coaching tips work against each other.
Hamilton has played Toronto five times this season already, winning two and losing three. "I've got to see Greg play, it seems like he's doing well. I've talked to him a few times. Vladdy was hurt the two times we played Syracuse, so I haven't got the chance to see him play yet, but he should be back soon."
Tinordi fondly remembers last season in London. After all, he was only the second captain in franchise history to lift the J. Ross Robertson Cup and came inches away from hoisting the Memorial Cup. "I've been looking to do that [come to London] for a while now," said Tinordi. "Obviously the schedules are a little different so it's tough to catch a home game in London when we have the night off. But yeah, if the schedule works out, I'll be back to see the guys play."
The next step is obviously the big leagues, but Tinordi is taking it slowly. The NHL lockout doesn't faze the Millersville, Maryland native. "I think you just have to look at the positive side. There are a lot of good players in this league right now, players who would have been in the National Hockey League. Having that is a benefit for us young guys, to play against those players. Us being a young team, we benefit from that."
The 6'7" defenceman has a lot to learn from his dad, Mark Tinordi, who played 663 career NHL games, scoring 52 goals and 148 assists for 200 points and 1514 penalty minutes. Jarred is taking it in one game at a time in the pro leagues, averaging about a shot-on-goal per contest in his first pro season.
Give it a season or so, before another Tinordi gets his shot at dazzling the National Hockey League.
Image Credit: LaPress.ca