Nikita Soshnikov called up by Leafs, Corrado fake-freed

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

The Toronto Maple Leafs have slightly shuffled the roster this afternoon, calling up Nikita Soshnikov from the Toronto Marlies.

There was a little bit of hesitation from some, as Soshnikov has just three points in his first six games with the Marlies and has played sporadically in multi-game weekends. But according to Mike Babcock, the staff were impressed with what they saw in Albany this weekend and feel that, after having a slow start of the year thanks to a late-summer injury, the 23-year-old is ready to go.

Soshnikov was one of the most impressive Leafs during the post-deadline stretch, putting up 5 points in 11 games while playing relatively possession-neutral hockey and injecting an infectious level of energy into the team.

Tonight, it looks like he’ll take Seth Griffith’s spot on the fourth line with Ben Smith and Matt Martin.

As well, our hopes and dreams (well, at least mine) were all lifted and re-shattered in one fell swoop. For a solid ten minutes, everyone believed that Frank Corrado was going to play tonight; he was taking line rushes with dressed players and everything.

Alas, it was later confirmed that the situation was just a mirage. Corrado will remain scratched, Matt Hunwick remains on the IR, and the starting six for tonight will be the same as they’ve been for the past few games.

  • Tigon

    I feel frustrated and conflicted with this feeling. Soshnikov is taking Griffith spot who was taking Holland’s, both are better players than Smith, who we claimed off waivers because… faceoffs? This feels like a different version of keeping Orr and McLaren over Colbourne.

    And the Corrado situation, let the man get a game. It’s not like our results have shown any reason not to change things up with him getting a game. And the MM with Rielly experiment we keep seeing. Frustrating and conflicted because we have Babcock as our coach and I know it’s only been 9 games; but I cant help this feeling.

    • The Russian Rocket

      Sosh and Griffith are both high energy players while Smith seems like the type of guy that would dive into the lane to block a shot. Holland seems like a great dude off the ice but on the ice he’s hot and cold (engaged and distracted). For a fourth liner you can’t look like you’re floating for even one shift. I think that’s why things have shaken out this way.

    • Brent Wisken

      I agree with Tigon. The fourth line looked better with Holland on it, along with Martin and Brown. Not sure why Corrado isn’t being played; i prefer him to Hunwick and Polak. Sometimes i think there is a bit of a disconnect between management/scouting staff and Babcock – Corrado and Leivo sit (even before Leivo was “injured”), yet management won’t cut bait and trade the players or risk sending them down to the Marlies. So the players sit in limbo.

  • STAN

    Intriguing move with nothing to lose for the Leafs. Holland refuses to use his size to advantage (always has) and I think the coaches want someone with a better mix of skill AND grit.

  • Stan Smith

    I was expecting Brown to be the odd man out. While he has shown flashes, and hasn’t been playing consistently with talented players, he has been overshadowed by Matthews, Nylander, Marner and Zaitsev. At present he is definitely not in the same class as they are.

    As for Corrado, while I do feel sorry for him, Babcock and crew must see something in his performance during practices to feel he doesn’t deserve starting over the other seven (now six).

    • macqus

      I was expecting it to be Brown out as well. He has really looked a step behind the game this entire year…

      I really had high hopes for him based on how he’s led his team in scoring since he was 17 (except last year when he was hurt half the year) and had 6pts in 7gp last year with the Leafs, but he’s been losing seemingly all the races and board battles (which he was generally winning in the pre-season).

      Hopefully he’ll figure it out, but it could be that he’s one of those guys who’s just too slow for the NHL.

      He does seem to play the game a little differently, so maybe his linemates need to get used to him before he’ll start producing. 4 of his pts last year were on the PP where speed isn’t as important, but he hasn’t gotten any PP time this year.

    • Tigon

      Brown has been more than fine. He was the best player on a line with Holland and Martin and All the offence was usually created by him. He was getting the 3rd least amount of minutes a night. It has only been 2 or 3 games now that he is playing with Kadri and Komarov with a more offensive minded group and more minutes and he has created many chances, just hasn’t scored but he is doing what’s right at both ends.