Jarred Tinordi was included in almost every mid-summer projection of the Canadiens defence makeup for the coming season. With Alexei Emelin on the shelf until December, there was little choice even though the development curve for most NHL defenceman runs from three to five years and Tinordi, at the age of 21, would be entering only his second year as a professional.
Marc Bergevin and his player development department solved the problem Thursday. To avoid the potential ruin of a young talent, they signed veteran Douglas Murray to a one year contract. Including Tinori and Emelin, the signing leaves nine defencemen on their roster. They will start the season with seven. Emelin is on ‘injury reserve’ and there is room now for Tinordi to return to Hamilton for further schooling. And that leaves seven.
If there is any speed left in Murray’s game, and that’s a major question, he’ll be given a chance to take over Emelin’s spot next to Andrei Markov leaving Subban and Gorges together and Diaz on the third pair with Bouillon. Davis Drewiske would be the seventh man.
Looks good on paper. Funny how seldom what’s written on paper turns out to be reality in hockey.