It was a little more than 25 years ago when David Poile, then the general manager of the Washington Capitals, acquired defenseman Mark Tinordi from the Dallas Stars.
A quarter of a century later, Poile has another Tinordi - one who used to run around the Capitals practice facility as a youngster - on his blue line.
Jarred Tinordi - a physical 6-foot-6 defender, much like his 6-foot-4 father - has appeared in 12 games for the Nashville Predators this season, and in doing so, has allowed Poile to attain yet another feat in his remarkable career.
For all the things the NHL's winningest GM has experienced over the past 40-plus years in the League, he has never had the son of a former player skate for his club - until now.
The Tinordis are the first father-son pair to ever play for Poile, Mark for four seasons with the Capitals, and now Jarred with the Preds.
Jarred has actually been in the Predators organization for two seasons now, but a majority of his time has been spent captaining Nashville's AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. After setting plenty of career-highs with the Ads last season, the Preds inked Jarred to a two-year contract this past summer, and two days after Christmas, he got the call to the big club.
Originally selected by Montreal in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft, Jarred has seen his first NHL action over the past two months since the 2015-16 season with the Arizona Coyotes. And while Poile's first thought wasn't to bring Jarred up just so he could add a father-son duo to his resume - the physicality and leadership abilities took precedent - the GM says it's something he appreciates nonetheless.
"It's actually pretty cool," Poile said of the Tinordi connection. "There's a few stories in hockey about that. My father [Bud] was a player, and then he was a manager, and now my son [Brian] is into the management side, so I think it's really cool… Mark Tinordi was a really good player in the National Hockey League, a big man, very physical, and obviously his son got a lot of his attributes."
Already a milestone of sorts as soon as Jarred took to the ice in the Predators uniform, the story got even better last Wednesday in Washington.
Midway through the opening period of a contest between the Preds and Caps, Filip Forsberg found Jarred at the left point, and the d-man one timed a shot into the cage for his first NHL goal. In a rink where he used to watch games. In the city where he grew up. With his dad in the crowd.
"I love that symmetry when stuff like that happens," Poile said. "We need contributions from everybody right now, and for Jarred, honestly we're just hoping and wanting him to be a shut-down defensive guy, but that's icing on the cake when somebody like Jarred gets a goal."
The elder Tinordi enjoyed it too, even though he thought his son passed up a perfect opportunity for another shot earlier in the same game.
"He had that other real chance in the first period and didn't shoot, and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, shoot the puck,'" Mark laughed via phone, while recalling the moment. "But then, five minutes later, there it is. It was a pretty fun moment… We had a good crowd, probably 15 of us… and when he scored, we're the only ones in the stands cheering, so that was a little awkward, but it was fun."
Mark has had a number of enjoyable instances over the past few weeks watching his son back in the NHL again. It hasn't always been an easy path for Jarred, but the 27-year-old never lost sight of his NHL dreams. Now, he's just living in the moment.
"It's been great [to be here in Nashville]," Jarred said. "I've been working hard down there in Milwaukee, and you never want to see guys go out [with injuries], but it's an opportunity for me and I'm just trying to take advantage of it. I don't know if I'm going to be here for a day or a week or the rest of the year. You never know, and I've been through stuff like that before, so I'm just trying to take it day by day and try to be the best I can every day."
Whatever Jarred is doing has been working. He's earned a spot alongside Mattias Ekholm on the backend, and he has seen his ice time per game rise predominately when he's been in the Nashville lineup. He's led the team by dishing out eight hits on two separate occasions this season and had points in three-straight games (from Jan. 16 to Jan. 30), assists on either end of his first-career tally.
Mark has enjoyed seeing his son succeed in the NHL, and understandably so. The elder Tinordi enjoyed a career that spanned 12 seasons in the League, and Mark wanted his son to find the same prosperity. Jarred is too young to remember much of his father's career, but as he began to advance in his own on-ice activities, he began to look to his dad for inspiration.
Conversations between the two nowadays don't include much hockey talk, but Jarred knows he has quite a sounding board if he ever needs to discuss a topic both Tinordis know quite well.
"He's usually pretty hands off unless I come to him with questions," Jarred said of his father. "A lot of times, I'll talk to him maybe the day after a game or something… I'll just ask him what he thought of the game and what do you see and things like that, and it's nice to have that to fall back on. He played the game for a long time, and I always looked up to his career and what he did in the League. That was something that I always looked up to, and I wanted that for me."
Video: NSH@WSH: Tinordi blasts slap shot for first NHL goal
As would be the case with any parent, Mark is full of pride when he sees Jarred on the ice sporting No. 24, the same digits he wore all those years ago - although, he wouldn't mind if there were a few less nerves involved.
"I'm very proud, and I'm excited to watch him play, but also, it's also a little scary," Mark laughed. "I'd hate to be a goalie's parent, and even on defense, you're kind of the last line of defense there. [My older son was a forward through college] and it's a lot more relaxed… When you're watching a defenseman or a goalie in your own end, it's a little more stressful. But I'm still pretty proud of him."
Poile saw something all those years ago when he wanted Mark on his team, and a couple of decades later, another Tinordi is getting the job done too. The future in this sport is never guaranteed, and although it remains to be seen what role Jarred will play on this Predators team in the weeks, months and potentially years to come, his services are in demand right now.
One this is certain, however - the Tinordi's have appreciated playing for Poile, and the feeling is mutual.
"Jarred has stuck with it and adapted to the game," Poile said. "He's improved, and maybe he can be what we love to talk about as a little bit of a late bloomer. This can be fantastic… I'm sure his dad was very, very proud of his son, and I think his son is getting more confidence all the time that he can do this. He's got an element, he's got a role, and this is something that could work out for him, not only in the short run, but maybe this is his time to be full-time NHL player.
"You never know where that's going to take you or where your confidence level is, but I'm really happy for Jarred. It's a really good story right now."