Thursday, February 22, 2007

A Mark Tinordi Update

An interesting article on what the former Capitals defenseman is up to these days. Courtesy of

Coaching Feature

Former NHLer giving back to nation's capital's Washington Nationals

By John Raffel Feb. 21, 2007
Special to

The transition from an NHL career to coaching in the junior ranks has been a smooth and enjoyable one for Mark Tinordi.

For the past three seasons, Tinordi has coached in the Washington Nationals in the junior hockey ranks in Laurel, Md.

A longtime pro defenseman, Tinordi was thought of as an imposing force at both ends of the ice throughout an NHL career that endured for nearly 700 games. At 6-foot-4, he was recognized as a blueliner who was a punishing hitter with a hard shot from the point. His tenacious style eventually wore down his body after a dozen big league seasons.

After 663 games in the NHL, most of them with the Minnesota North Stars, Tinordi had 52 goals and 148 assists for 200 points, plus 1,514 penalty minutes. In 70 NHL playoff games, he had seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points and 165 penalty minutes.

Tinordi saw action in the old International Hockey League with the Colorado Rangers in 1987-88 and had eight goals and 19 assists that season. A season later, he played with the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Wings of the IHL.

After spending several seasons in the minors, Tinordi’s NHL career took off in 1988 when he joined the North Stars. He was a key player for the team when it reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1991. One of the best seasons for the NHL defenseman was 1992-93, when he had 15 goals and 27 assists. He also played a year for the franchise after it relocated to Dallas.

He was traded to Washington in 1994 and played there for five years, leading the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup finals appearance in 1998. He was claimed by Atlanta from Washington in the expansion draft on June 25, 1999.

He retired after playing 48 games and battling injuries in 1998-99.

Including his own youth hockey days, Tinordi said he’s been involved with hockey since his youth for about 30 years. When he retired from pro hockey, he had a personal reason for staying involved in the sport.

“I have a son who is 16 now,” he said. “When he was in Junior B, I started coaching the team. This year, he moved up to Junior A.

Tinordi appreciates the efforts that he sees from his players.

“The Washington Nationals have been the youngest team in the league, and yet we’ve made the playoffs. I’ve coached the sons of other pro players.”

It’s a profession that suits Tinordi just fine.

“I wanted to keep coaching,” he said. “I like the kids. They’re at an age, from 16 to 19, where they’re fun to coach.”

Tinordi’s team is having a strong 2006-07 season. It’s been competing in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League.

“It’s a very good league,” Tinordi said. “We’re happy with it. I think it’s come a long way.

“We have to get more kids to play. We don’t want to see them eliminate programs. There are a lot of teams guys can play with. We’ve just struggled to get some recognition. We have had a few players on the U.S. National Teams. There are quite a few kids who have gone on to higher levels since I’ve been here.”

Like any junior program, one of the primary goals of the Capitals program is to get its players some notice from the collegiate ranks.

“You have to go to a lot of different places to get some good recognition,” Tinordi said. “We have a lot of good players and we’re working at giving them some notice.”

Tinordi said his program will use the Washington Capitals’ new practice rink next season.

“That will be a very good deal for the kids,” said Tinordi, who also has a son that plays Bantam Major Hockey. “Probably next year, I’ll be watching him a lot.”

Story courtesy Red Line Editorial, Inc.

No comments: