Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Notre Dame hockey fans, today it was announced that the program was losing another key player from their 2010-11 plans. Incoming freshman defenceman Jarred Tinordi has decided to detour from his NCAA path to the London Knights of the OHL.
The "luck of the Irish" right now must feel like a Karate Kid crane kick in the junk to Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson.
Earlier this off season it was players Kyle Palmieri and Riley Sheahan making headlines the wrong way with legal problems. If that black eye wasn't enough, 9 players were involved in a massive police action last month ensuring that roughly half the team had been in hot water.
Ian Cole signed a pro deal with St. Louis in time to play a couple AHL games at the end of the year, a big blow to the blueline group. A reader just reminded me that Teddy Ruth also left the program and signed with Columbus in early April. Then more recently, Palmieri opted to sign with the Anaheim Ducks leaving the team without one of its more dynamic scoring forwards.
Now the loss of Tinordi who was drafted in the 1st round in June by the Montréal Canadiens. That's two players leaving Notre Dame in a week, similar to Minnesota's loss of Nick Leddy and Josh Birkholz in rapid succession. (The Habs also pilfered Harvard's Louis Leblanc in the last couple of weeks).
Tinordi was on The Pipeline Show before the draft and told us that he fully intended to join the Irish. We knew that his father's relationship with Dale Hunter, teammates in the NHL, might complicate things but one wonders how much the summer of hell in Notre Dame has played a role. We speculated on that last month in this space.
What more could go wrong for Jeff Jackson and his program? His team's appearance at the 2008 Frozen Four sure seems like a long time ago right now.