A veteran of 319 games in five AHL seasons and the most recent captain of the Grand Rapids Griffins, Jamie Tardif will switch conferences for this season after transferring his rights to the Boston Bruins system.
Change in environment and opponents aside, Tardif will be in a relatively familiar setting with the P-Bruins. Not unlike Providence, the Griffins are the development club for a stable NHL franchise (Detroit) yet have underachieved and missed the Calder Cup playoffs in each of the last two seasons.
Accordingly, rather than pick one up as he checks in at the threshold to his new office, Tardif ought to bring in his own appetite for personal enhancement and team-wide improvement.
2010-11 Highlights (With Grand Rapids)
• Led the Griffins with 27 goals and placed third on the team leaderboard with 54 points.
• Surpassed his previous career highs by 10 goals and 20 points.
• Took at least one shot on goal (season total: 230) in 73 out of 77 appearances.
• Scored 10 power-play goals and three shorthanded.
• Broke his own 2010-11 ice with four goals in a span of three games (Oct. 29-Nov. 5), including a two-goal night and game-clincher Oct. 30 to beat the Manitoba Moose, 4-2.
• Had a hand in three goals, scoring two and setting up another, as part of 10-8 barn-burning victory at Chicago Nov. 27.
• Accumulated two goals and four assists in a four-game point streak between Dec. 11 and Dec. 17.
• Tallied a playmaker hat trick to help spell the difference in a 5-2 win at Hamilton Feb. 27.
• Managed only one point, an assist, over the first seven outings of the season.
• Endured a seven-game scoring drought between Nov. 10 and Nov. 24.
• One of six players ejected from a Nov. 24 match with the Toronto Marlies for “secondary altercation” during a line brawl.
• Took 13 shots on net, but still went pointless in a Feb. 13 bout with Rochester.
• Mustered only one goal within the final 14 games and none in any of the last seven.
• Steadily dropped his overall rating from a minus-1 to a minus-9 over the final 10 games.
If Tardif could load up what he did last year in bunches during the middle months, imagine how much he could sprinkle over the course of a 76-game season if he doesn’t perk up late and/or go into hibernation early?
That question should be the basis for Tardif’s priority this season as the semi-grizzled winger teams up with the likes of Josh Hennessy to try to inject the P-Bruins with that prized formula of battle-tested aptitude.