Monday, 11 June 2012

Is Jared Tinordi the next Canadiens' enforcer, or the next Rod Langway?

I hear too many fans wax enthusiastically about Jared Tinordi and how he'll beat up anyone and everyone when he makes the Grand Club.  I think it's selling him short and setting him up for failure.  We didn't pick him in the first round to goon up the league.
Mr. Tinordi will bring a physical presence to the team, and will drop the gloves when necessary as he showed in his OHL career.  While he didn't dominate in all his fights, he still has lots of maturing to do.  He’s still quite a young man, he’s going to fill out even more, he has the frame for it. He’s got the nastiness and the will. Now what we have to do is hope that he won’t be typecast as Godzilla, just here to wreak havoc on other cities.
Way back when, we had a young defenceman from the States join the Canadiens at training camp by the name of Kent Carlson. He was a U.S. College player, we’d never heard of him, and he showed up and seemed to have great size, but also good talent. He had a couple of fights with established NHL tough guys during exhibitions and he won them handily, the call-in shows were buzzing about him, how he was a kid who’d never fought in organized hockey who was taking on all comers.
Unfortunately he developed that reputation, and had to fight against other goons constantly, he was always challenged, and he had to respond, despite the fact we had other tough guys on the roster, like Chris Nilan and Mike McPhee and even Normand Baron. Kent was constantly injured, lost some development time and got pigeonholed as an enforcer instead of a physical defenceman.
What I don’t want to hear or see happen is for Montréal fans to expect Jared Tinordi to charge after Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara the minute he hits the NHL. It’s too much pressure to put on a young kid to attack grown men to avenge past wrongs, it’s not his fault Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell don’t do their jobs.
So let’s appreciate Jared for what he can become, a tough stay-at-home defenceman who moves well and who will inspire confidence in his teammates, respect in the opposition, and can adjust an opponent’s attitude whenever the refs forget where they put their whistles.

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