I want to address the Jarred Tinordi question, because it boggles my mind that there is still doubt, still in effect a question in some posters' minds as to what exactly will happen with him this training camp and pre-season.
Jarred Tinordi will be on the 23-man roster this season.
There's no need to hedge our bets or wring our hands on this, there really isn't any other option. He won't be sent down to the AHL, even if he has a relatively poor camp, since as we've noted many times, he's now eligible for waivers, and would not pass through, he would get claimed by another team.
He also won't be traded. I could say unless and list a bunch of exceptions and outlandish hypotheticals, but really, the Canadiens have invested a lot in terms of draft picks (a first-rounder plus a second to move up four slots to pick him) and player development time. They've done the heavy lifting, and now that he's close to paying off, they're not going to ship him somewhere else.
Marc Bergevin keeps telling us, even though sometimes we don't quite listen, that defencemen take longer to develop. He's told us that he might have had a better, easier journey in his own career if he himself had spent a couple seasons in the minors, instead of playing in the NHL right away as a 20-year old right out of Chicoutimi. He tells us that the big defencemen take even longer to get their timing and skills down.
He's not going to fire-sale the kid now, just as he's ready to take off. There's no urgency, no time constraints. This isn't like the Flames unloading former first-round pick Sven Baertschi for a second-rounder and being glad to get that, since they didn't think they could carry him on their 23-man roster next season, and had kind of lost patience anyway.
The Canadiens can quite easily carry Jarred all season. Imagine the following eight-player defensive corps next season:
There it is, easy-peasy. Add in 13 forwards and two goalies and we're set. No need to bend over backwards to keep Jarred, it's actually quite simple. Trade away someone else like Tom Gilbert, that makes it even easier. Tom's skillset is kind of redundant now that Jeff Petry is here to stay.
I see a lot of posts stating that we have to consider Mark Barberio also, that he's eligible for waivers, what about that?, but to me that is so off-base. There is no investment in Mark Barberio, he was acquired as a UFA at minimum wage. Further, and not to demean the young man, I believe that he has talent and potential and could help this season if called upon, but in truth he's eminently replaceable. You say Mark Barberio, I say Adam Clendening or John Blum or Bruno Gervais. There are a lot of AHL-NHL tweener puck-movers out there.
Jarred Tinordi, with his great size and strength, his surprising mobility, his pedigree, his vaunted leadership and good abilities as a teammate, is much more precious, much harder to find. You'll pick up a Torey Krug as an undrafted college free agent, but not a Jarred Tinordi. What he brings to the table you don't get cheaply from another team or on the waiver wire.
And as we consider the team makeup in the next couple of seasons, and with the demise of the NHL enforcer, we find that Jarred Tinordi will be a linchpin of the team. He and Mike McCarron, along with possible support players like Zack Kassian, Greg Pateryn, Brett Lernout and Jacob de la Rose, will be needed to counter other teams' attempts to intimidate our team. Sure, Colton Orr and John Scott won't be around, but the Ryan Malones and Wayne Simmonds will be, the Dion Phaneufs who bravely crosscheck Tomas Plekanec in the mouth when they think they can get away with it, when Douglas Murray or Brad Staubitz aren't in the immediate vicinity.
I have to believe that when Marc Bergevin moves his little magnets around on his dry-erase board, trying to figure out his roster for 2018, that the twin towers of Jarred Tinordi and Mike McCarron are integral to the plan. He's a GM who appreciates tough players and character, Jarred Tinordi is right up his alley. He didn't bring in Brandon Prust and Douglas Murray and George Parros, and make a point of drafting Mike McCarron and moving up to draft Brett Lernout only to turn around and defeat the purpose by giving up on Jarred Tinordi.