The Afternoon Shift – March 16

Jamie Tardif/Photo by Mark Newman

With very little fanfare – but probably still more than his team-first personality would prefer – Jamie Tardif has rocketed up the Griffins’ all-time leaders chart in numerous categories this season. In fact, the captain now stands among the very elite who’ve ever donned a Grand Rapids uniform.

Tardif has scored a team-leading 26 goals this season and 77 during his Griffins career. His second goal last Friday in Oklahoma City was his 76th as a Griffin, moving him past Kip Miller (75) into second place on the franchise’s all-time list. Only Michel Picard (158) has scored more goals for Grand Rapids.

Then, on Sunday in San Antonio, Tardif logged his 303rd game in a Griffins uniform, moving past Ryan Oulahen (302) into third place all time. Only Picard (364) and Travis Richards (655) have appeared in more games.

Richards, Picard and Tardif…pretty good company for a player who was unheralded and largely unknown when he signed a tryout with the Griffins on Jan. 26, 2007. And what a fitting testament to his tireless work ethic over the last four-plus years.

Goals and games played are just two of the eight categories in which Tardif already ranks among the franchise’s all-time greats. He also stands in the top 10 with 146 points (7th), 22 power play goals (7th), four shorthanded goals (T10th), 13 first goals (T4th), six unassisted goals (T5th) and 801 shots (4th).

More relevant, of course, is Tardif’s recent performance, as he has registered points in 11 of 16 games during the team’s 10-2-1-3 surge. Included among his 18 points (11-7–18) over that span have been three two-goal games and six multi-point contests, as he has literally willed Grand Rapids to victory on several nights.

If the Griffins can cap off their incredible run by earning a playoff berth, much of the credit will belong to Tardif. Not that he’d want it, though. Playing for the right to hoist the Calder Cup is all the reward he’s after.

Today’s Griffins links:

AHL/opponent links:

Alumni news and notes:

Video – NHL alumni goals:

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