By Lindsay Kramer
Maybe Manitoba should have given right wing Jamie Tardif a longer look this season. Iowa, too.
Grand Rapids’ patience with him is certainly paying off. Since being recalled from Toledo of the ECHL, where he was selected to the ECHL All-Star Game, on Valentine’s Day, the rookie has eight goals and five assists in 19 games for the Griffins. That effort comes after Tardif was scoreless in one game with the Moose and two more with the Stars earlier this season.
“It’s not only surprising, it’s a welcome addition,’’ said Griffins coach Greg Ireland. “He’s a pace-setter for our team. I think it’s just his willingness to work and battle. He never quits. He puts himself in smart situations.’’
In fairness to the other teams that passed on him, it makes sense that Tardif feels most at home with Grand Rapids. Toledo is affiliated with Grand Rapids and Detroit, which means that Tardif was able to give the organization a slice of coming attractions during rookie camp and then regular preseason.
“They definitely know what I’m about. When they did call me up, they knew what to do with me,’’ Tardif said. “You’re in that groove where everything that’s going off your stick is going into the net, you’re making plays.’’