Habs 2010 draft pick Jarred Tinordi chooses OHL over Notre Dame, sparks further debate

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jarredtinordi1.jpgIn what continues to be a bad summer for college hockey fans, continues to be a great one for fans of Canadian junior hockey. 2010 first round pick of the Montreal Canadiens Jarred Tinordi will be playing hockey for the OHL’s London Knights this season rather than in the NCAA for Notre Dame. While it’s been rumored about much lately, the London Knights confirmed Tinordi’s decision to join them today via Twitter.

The 6’6″ 210 pound defenseman was originally committed to join the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame, however after bad 2009-2010 season followed by an off-season that saw them lose Kyle Palmieri to the Anaheim Ducks and some off-ice problems as well, Tinordi’s decision to switch from developing his game in the NCAA to the OHL was made a lot easier.

College hockey has seen a lot of things like this happen this summer and there could be more to come. On top of Tinordi’s switch and Palmieri’s departure, Canadiens 2009 first round draft pick Louis Leblanc left Harvard to join the QMJHL Montreal Juniors and 2009 sixth round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Team USA WJC hero Jerry D’Amigo, currently attending RPI, is rumored to be close to signing with the Maple Leafs

Guys leaving college early to sign pro deals is nothing new but it is getting a lot more attention these days now that college hockey is getting a bit more notice from the casual observers in America. While the NCAA and the CHL competition for players has never been hotter, the debate over which league is better for a player’s development has been raging for a long time. For every Crosby and Gretzky that’s come out of the CHL, there’s an Oates, Nieuwendyk or Hull to hold up as former NCAA greats.

While each side will trumpet their own efforts in producing the better players over time, it’s clearer that this is a battle between Canada and the United States over control of the amateur ranks. There are no Canadian universities in the NCAA and the number of American teams that play in the CHL are few but it’s all about keeping dominion over your own properties and the CHL doesn’t want the NCAA getting in on their turf as being the top pro hockey developmental league in North America.  While the sides aren’t ever going to play nice, at least we can just try to enjoy all the good hockey that’s being produced by everyone.

Video: Oshie’s sweet dish sets up a nice Backstrom goal for Capitals

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There’s time for the Pittsburgh Penguins to flip the scrip, but so far on Monday, it looks like the patterns continue to go the Washington Capitals’ way.

The Caps are aiming for a 10th straight win (and Pittsburgh’s fourth consecutive loss) after taking a 2-0 lead through the first period.

The strong play of Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie stands as one of the reasons why Washington has been blazing such an impressive path, and they combined for a really nice goal to give their team that added cushion. Both Oshie’s pass and Backstrom’s goal are impressive in the clip above.

Also, here’s the Andre Burakovsky goal that began the scoring:

And, just for the heck of it:

Shane Doan isn’t asking to be traded by Coyotes, but isn’t saying no either

TORONTO, ON - DECEMBER 15:  Shane Doan #19 of the Arizona Coyotes skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 15, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Coyotes defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in an overtime shoot-out. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Imagine, for a second, Shane Doan wearing another team’s jersey. Apparently it’s not out of the question.

During the weekend, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Doan would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for the right situation. Despite his 1,500+ games with the Jets/Coyotes, Doan responded mostly in the affirmative to NHL.com, although the rugged forward notes that it would take a “perfect” scenario to make everything work.

(He said that he hasn’t been asked to waive his no-trade clause … but he might be open to suggestion.)

“I’d talk about it with my family and make a decision on that if it was to come up but it would have to be so perfect and so right that it’s pretty hard for it to all line up perfectly,” Doan said. “It would have to be exactly perfect and that just doesn’t happen too often in our sport.”

The 40-year-old interestingly notes that the discussion has come up before, only word hasn’t surfaced in reports. He even said that there were times when he gave his approval, although in most cases, his answer was “No.”

What is perfect?

What’s the perfect situation? That’s where things are fuzzier, as Doan explains that picking a “contender” can be a little trickier when you consider where, say, the Penguins and Sharks were around this time last year.

Doan says family matters, yet he also seems somewhat flexible in that area. After all, it might just be for a few months as a “rental.”

Measuring his value

On the other end, of course, you must also wonder who will want him.

The pluses are easy to see: he’s big, physical and checks off a ton of the “intangibles” boxes. Chances are, a perspective team would weigh his 28 goals from 2015-16 more heavily than his mere 12 points in 42 games this season.

That said, at his age, and considering his numbers this season, there’s the obvious question regarding how much he has left in the tank.

Then again, if the price is reasonable – and the Coyotes certainly are looking to sell off expiring contracts – then it could make for an interesting situation.

If anything happens at all.

WATCH LIVE: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 11:  Evgeny Kuznetsov #92 of the Washington Capitals and Carl Hagelin #62 of the Pittsburgh Penguins fight in the third period at Verizon Center on January 11, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Last time, the Washington Capitals were just a little hotter than the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the game as Alex Ovechkin crossed the 1,000-point threshold.

A week or so later, the Capitals are still red-hot while the Penguins are waddling through some uncertainty. Pittsburgh aims to end a three-game losing streak while the Caps hope to get their 10th win in a row on Monday night.

You can check out the action on NBCSN, watch online and also via the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the livestream.

Watch Jonathan Drouin’s assist of the year candidate

NEWARK, NJ - OCTOBER 29:  Jonathan Drouin #27 of the Tampa Bay Lightning in action against the New Jersey Devils during their game at the Prudential Center on October 29, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Jonathan Drouin‘s been playing some of his best hockey of late, with five points in his last four contests.

He isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, either.

This is Drouin’s effort from today’s Lightning-Kings game at Staples, setting up Tyler Johnson to even the score at one late in the first period:

Not bad. Tanner Pearson may still be looking for his protective undergarment.

Little has gone right for Tampa Bay lately — or this season, to be honest — but Drouin could be on the verge of changing that. He was terrific in December, with eight goals and 15 points in 13 games, and appears to have carried that form over to the new year. He’s been a point-a-game guy in January, a trend that continued this afternoon.