In the eyes of many, Jarred Tinordi’s situation has gone from unfortunate to ridiculous. He has yet to suit up in 19 games which begs the question, should the Habs just take what they can get for him and move on?
What might the Canadiens get for Tinordi in a trade? Our writers offer up their opinions on what the former first round pick is worth on the trade market and whether it’s enough to justify trading him now or if it’s better to wait.
Gordon Black: Bergevin has proven that he’s not a stupid GM. Tinordi would clearly be better served by logging heavy minutes in the AHL than sitting in the press box in Montreal, so we can assume that he believes Tinordi has some value in the league and would be claimed off waivers. That being said, he hasn’t been put into a showcase scenario either; if Bergevin had already decided that he wanted to move Tinordi, you would think he would have gotten him some game action by now.
In a sense, Tinordi is a victim of how good the Habs have been thus far; you don’t want to put him in if you don’t believe he’s better than someone you’re taking out. That would send the wrong message to a team that is pushing to contend this season. However, in terms of asset management, Tinordi clearly presents the Habs with a problem in that if he’s not yet good enough to make the team, not playing is never going to make him better.
Elliotte Friedman speculated that the asking price could be two second round picks – and I would be thrilled with that return – but I think a single second round pick, or a similar former first round prospect is more likely. With the salary cap stagnant, high picks are worth far more than they were and Tinordi hasn’t proven he can make it as a full time NHL’er (even though he most likely would be on half the teams in the league).
I like to believe that Bergevin has already figured out how much he is worth in terms of having solid defensive depth and has decided to jack the price up on his former blue-chipper because he can afford to wait it out. In other words, Tinordi’s true value to the team is options; if injuries dictate they need him, they have him – if not he’d be an awfully juicy spare part in any deadline acquisition to play with Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. And if Bergevin’s brief tenure as GM has taught us anything, it is that we should probably expect such a trade well before the trade deadline.
Brian La Rose: Before the season, I speculated that Tinordi’s value could drop as low as a fourth round pick if he were to merely make the team due to his waiver status which, based on his non-existent playing time, is the only reason he’s actually on the team. Although a third of the league is either in LTIR or right near the cap, teams that might want Tinordi because he’s cheap, I still peg his realistic value around a fourth round pick, maybe a late third.
Obviously, that’s not too appealing so if I were Bergevin, I’d instead look to deal for a similarly underachieving prospect in what would amount to a swap of lottery tickets. If they could get a prospect a year or two younger, it would buy themselves an extra year or two of development time. That’s not particularly exciting either but in my opinion, well worth doing and is better than the current situation.
I don’t have a lot of confidence that Tinordi is going to become this dominant physical force on the back end. Maybe he pulls it together as a third pairing guy with limited minutes but to me, that’s his ceiling. With that in mind, there isn’t a ton of risk in moving him.
Sitting Tinordi even longer in a process equivalent to a ‘hold for trade’ stock isn’t going to change that ceiling nor improve his trade value. The organization is smart enough to know that a conditioning stint would be beneficial so either Tinordi won’t go or they won’t send him down in case he gets hurt which would suggest they have no intentions of playing him any time soon, even if injuries arise (presumably Mark Barberio is ahead of him on the depth chart in that regard). Either way, that’s not good for anyone.
For Tinordi’s sake and for Montreal’s, get what you can and move on. Dragging this out longer probably isn’t going to result in anything worth the wait.
Alex Létourneau: Outside of a deal where he’s packaged I don’t see much trade value there. It’s a pity it hasn’t worked out for Tinordi. He’s physically gifted and seemed to have the tools needed to fit into a reasonable role in the NHL, but it really looks like he hit a wall. I’d argue he should be kept for depth reasons, but with Greg Pateryn able to step in, and Bergevin’s track record of identifying players wasting away or misused on other NHL rosters, it’s a tough argument.
I don’t see what he could feasibly fetch in the market. I’d have to say package him or a swap for another player who didn’t meet expectations. Maybe a mid-range pick if Bergevin could pull on the heart strings of a West Coast team that likes bulky players; I’d have to call that a pretty good deal.
Paul MacLeod: I am beginning to think that all of the rhetoric around Tinordi is a bit overblown. As Angry Gallo on TSN Radio points out, there were seven defencemen chosen in the first round of 2010 draft, namely:
Erik Gudbranson (FLA, 3rd overall, 262 NHL games played)
Dylan McIlrath (NYR, 10th overall, 7 NHL games played)
Cam Fowler (ANA, 12th overall, 362 NHL games played)
Brandon Gormley (ARI, 13th overall, 41 NHL games played)
Derek Forbort (LA, 15th overall, 5 NHL games played)
Jarred Tinordi (MTL, 22nd overall, 43 NHL games played)
Mark Pysyk (BUF, 23rd overall, 87 NHL games played)
As you can see, aside from Gudbranson and Fowler (who dropped in his draft year due to injuries), all of the defensemen chosen in the first round all are struggling to stick at the NHL level while Gormley has already been traded once.
My point? There is a case to be made that Tinordi’s development is going just fine but that he is trying to crack the Montreal Canadiens who happen to have one of the best and (knock on wood) healthiest group of blueliners in the league. If they were to swap Tinordi for Pysyk, Pysyk would be sitting while Tinordi would be playing for the Sabres.
Also, if not for the famous name, Jarred would not be garnering so much attention. Are Ranger fans having debates over McIlrath’s playing time or are LA fans lamenting Forbort? Somehow, I don’t think that they have garnered the level of attention that Tinordi has been receiving in Montreal.
In short, I don’t see a real need for the Habs to trade Tinordi and I don’t see him being traded unless a team is willing to give Bergevin a significant asset in return. I am not sure what that would be but a second round pick or a slightly shop worn young power forward with upside might do the trick. Most likely, the Canadiens hold on to Tinordi – as they should – and he gets to play when there is another injury on D. When and if that happens, we will get a better understanding of his value.
Craig Scharien: Trade chatter has been following Tinordi forever it seems, but the Habs should be in no rush to trade the big guy. The return would likely be minimal, though having him sit in the press box all season certainly isn’t going to help his value either.
One has to think a trade would bring back something along the lines of a second round pick, or perhaps a swap for a similar player having a hard time breaking through, similar to the Danny Kristo for Christian Thomas trade of 2013. Travis Yost points out in his February TSN article, Playing the Percentages in the NHL Draft, a second round pick has a 44% chance of being a serviceable NHL player. Tinordi may not be a star, but he can do the job of a physical number 7 or 8 defenceman at this point in his career, and he’s only 23. For a team looking to win now, trading a serviceable NHL defenceman for a 44% chance at drafting another doesn’t make a ton of sense.
Additionally, swapping him for another so-called underachiever really doesn’t solve the problem (Montreal has plenty of guys in St. John’s looking to break through), but patience just may. Hanging on to an asset who can step in if and when injuries hit is never a bad idea – the Habs have been rather lucky with injuries recently, as they missed just 84 games to injury last season, good for seventh in the NHL, so they may be due to get a little banged up.
Bergevin continually preaches that you can never have too many defencemen, so I’d be rather surprised if he traded Tinordi unless someone blew his socks off. The Canadiens would do well to hang on to him at least for the time being and if the scoring issues of last season pop up, then perhaps he can packaged in the new year in a deal for some offensive help. Until then, patience, and maybe give the kid some minutes so they can see where he’s at before dumping him for a pick.