It's tough to classify Tinordi as too big of a loss, since he had yet to actually play in a game, but his departure does make Notre Dame that much thinner on defense, and it certainly must be frustrating to have a person go back on their word mere weeks before the start of the fall semester of school, but some people are like that.
There's a couple issues at play here. First, I don't think you can understate the relationship between the Hunters in London with Tinordi's father, Mark.
Second, is the greater flexibility this gives Tinordi's NHL team, the Montreal Canadiens. It may benefit the Canadiens, but it doesn't seem to benefit Tinordi much. It's no coincidence that NCAA players tend to get better bonuses on their first NHL contract. One of the basic rules of negotiating in hockey--or any sort of negotiation; cue Don Draper's "They want me, but they can't have me,"--is to give yourself other options for leverage, all the way back to when Hod Stuart threatened to return to working at his gravel pit if he wasn't given more money at the turn of the 20th century. Tinordi will have nowhere near the negotiating power that say, Ryan McDonagh did, when McDonagh dealt with the Rangers this summer.
Finally, just when you thought this stuff was over. From the London Free Press:
Tinordi said at the NHL draft last month he saw Notre Dame as a place to help him get to Montreal "in two or three years" if he continues to improve.
Dale Hunter believes the Knights program could help Tinordi get to the pros within a year.
Let's put 365 days up on the clock, aaaaaaaand go!
Like I mentioned last week, five out of the six first round draft picks from the 2009 NHL Draft had the option of signing an NHL contract after just one year of college hockey, and since then, news has come out that 2009 sixth round draft pick Jerry D'Amigo signed an NHL contract too. Any advantage, which based on this evidence, it looks like there isn't any, in the CHL getting players to the pros quicker, is mitigated by the fact that the players that went to college actually got a year of education under their belts, and could have had more if they didn't feel like they were guaranteed an NHL deal they liked. Tinordi on the other hand, is near guaranteed to never get any sort of education paid for, aside from a few classes taken between bus trips, because as a first round pick, even in the worst case scenario, he's going to stick with hockey long enough to play in the minors long enough to void his education package.
I'd be willing to take odds that Tinordi playing in the NHL next year will end up exactly like that slander lawsuit against Jeff Jackson that is coming any day now, David Branch's "Fairness Czar"--which they don't really need anymore now that they've figured out a perfect system where a team that can't sign first round draft picks gets more first round draft picks--and Cam Fowler's now-voided education package. They all share a common theme of being something that looks good in print for one day, and then is never spoken of again, lest reality get in the way.