Jarred Tinordi Announced Nashville’s Masterton Trophy Candidate

The Masterton award is always an awkward one for many teams.

The Nashville chapter of the PHWA has chosen Jarred Tinordi as the Predators’ candidate for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, given annually to the player “who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”

From the Preds’ announcement:

“I didn’t see myself being nominated for too many awards in the NHL,” Tinordi said with a laugh via phone on Tuesday morning. “But to be recognized for something like that; there’s lots of guys in the League going through a bunch of different things, so it’s an honor.”

Finding ice time in the NHL hasn’t always been an easy task for Tinordi, who was selected in the first round of the NHL Draft back in 2010 by Montreal. A decade later, the 6-foot-6 blueliner attained career highs with the Predators in games played (28), goals (1), assists (4), points (5) and hits (71), just to name a few.

The award is named after North Stars center Bill Masterton, whose 1968 death due to a head injury sustained during a game brought the debate over whether helmets should be required by the NHL into sharp focus. Because of the tragic history of the Masterton Trophy, it’s always a contentious subject.

Tinordi won’t be a finalist, with a list that includes stars who lost major time to injury like Connor McDavid, Evgeni Malkin, and Shea Weber, as well as less marquee names with more serious health concerns like Oskar Lindblom and Stephen Johns. It’s not even impossible that someone like Henrik Lundqvist might win it just for, well, playing goalie for the New York Rangers.

And every team has to nominate someone. The Preds were lucky enough not to have a big injury, illness, or personal tragedy story on their roster this year, and that’s nothing to complain about. We talked about it behind the scenes at OTF after the announcement—the closest we got to a consensus was the possibility of Rocco Grimaldi, who persevered with dedication despite being short enough that the NHL didn’t want him, though Nick Bonino’s name was also mentioned.

Ultimately, though, Tinordi seems to be the Nashville nominee for the Masterton Trophy for not giving up despite not really being very good at hockey for a player in the NHL (which, to be clear, does still mean he’s probably among the best thousand or so men’s hockey players in a world that contains several billion men). It’s easy to make jokes about it, but it’s been a rough year for a lot of us, and thinking about being recognized for stubbornly trying your best even if you’re in over your head is a nice thought.

Congratulations and best wishes to all of this year’s Masterton nominees.