Frank Corrado clears waivers, expected to head to Marlies

Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/

It looks like Frank Corrado‘s time with the Leafs organization isn’t quite over yet. After being placed on waivers yesterday to make room for Alexey Marchenko, the 23-year-old has passed through without a claim. It’s expected that he’ll eventually be assigned to the Toronto Marlies.

Corrado’s time in Toronto has been interesting, to say the least. He was originally claimed by his hometown team in October 2015 after missing out on being on the Canucks’ opening night roster. The Leafs, however, felt he wasn’t fit to play yet as a result of his extended recovery from injuries suffered late in the prior season with the Utica Comets, Vancouver’s AHL affiliate.

Because of this, it took him months to be fully integrated into the Leafs lineup, a stretch which included a rather surprising two-week conditioning assignment with the Marlies. Once he drew in, he looked as good or better than his peers, though, by the end of the season, his peers had largely become the Marlies on spot duty.

This season, however, somehow topped that. Despite a solid training camp, Corrado found himself as the fourth right-handed defenceman behind Roman Polak. To his frustration, he drew into just one game in his first three months. Eventually, the Leafs went the conditioning stint route once again, assigning him in early January. Corrado did well under the circumstances and even got to play in a second Leafs game after Morgan Rielly was hurt, but was placed on his off-side on a pair with Polak and, combining that with rust, had a poor showing and wasn’t seen from again.

There was a lot of debate as to whether Corrado would clear waivers yesterday. In an early-season situation, I couldn’t really see it happening; the seventy games he’s played at the NHL level indicate that there may be something there, and as a young RFA on a near-minimum contract, there’s not a ton of risk. But there is a risk in the sense that claiming him would involve throwing him back in for regular minutes, and in a league where everybody other than Colorado (who just claimed Mark Barberio) and Arizona (who would have to waive someone else to make space for him) is still in the playoff picture to some extent. Corrado essentially needs an in-season training camp right now, and when the points are this valuable, nobody can afford to give that to him.

With that in mind, this was the right time to waive him, so while I feel bad for Frank, it’s extremely beneficial to the Leafs organization. This gives them more flexibility come the deadline; if Marchenko ends up being at least as good as Polak (a presumably easy task) in Babcock’s eyes (a harder but doable task), then they’d be able to sell their veteran rightie at the deadline for a second consecutive season, like they did with Daniel Winnik in 2015 and 2016.

It also gives the Marlies a huge boost; they only have two right-handed defencemen on even a semi-regular basis, and while Justin Holl is a mainstay, there are nights where William Wrenn doesn’t get a chance. Corrado was their #1 in both minutes played and performance for most of his stint, so having another top rightie will be huge.

If there’s any silver lining for Corrado personally, it’s that he can get his game together close to home, and either make one last push to crack the Leafs full time or get huge minutes with one of the more closely-watched AHL teams to audition to the other 29 teams. I believe there’s still something in him; we’ll see if that’s true soon enough.

The Marlies have a 1 PM start today, so I wouldn’t expect him to draw in, but you could see him as soon as Tuesday night when they take on the Utica Comets.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Perhaps Frankie can get it through his head that he plays for an organization that prides “The Team” over the individual. Obviously 29 other GM’s agree with the Leafs assessment or he would have been claimed. I have no doubt he has the talent to play in the NHL as a 4, 5, 6 d-man however until he shows both the coach and management the team comes first he won’t get another opportunity with the Maple Leafs.
    Unless every other defenceman ahead of him on the depth chart, and that includes Justin Holl goes down to injury, his time with the big club is over.

  • STAN

    Shrewd move to get Marchenko. Either he takes a regular spot in the starting six D, or he ends up (possibly, depending on waivers) being useful to the Marlies. From al accounts, Marchenko is a solid, dependable DEFENSIVE defenseman. His size, shot, skating, age and familiarly with Babcock’s philosophy should be excellent traits to fit the Leafs. We shall see over the next few weeks.

    • LukeDaDrifter

      I think Marchenko could be a nice fit for the Leafs. Let’s not forget we are looking at bubble players. We should not expect miracles. It we can end up with a young steady bottom six D-man, who can get the puck out of our end, we should be content.

  • Stan Smith

    I wasn’t surprised when Corrado cleared waivers. If teams pick in where they sit in the standings, and thinking the lower teams would be the teams most in need of help, and then having Macrhenko make it all the way up to the Leafs, I thought the chances Corrado would be picked up were somewhere between slim and none.

    Hopefully he can earn a solid spot with the Marlies. At least he is playing hockey, and may get another chance to prove he can play in the NHL.

    Going to nitpick here on your one comment in regards to his stint with the Marlies,

    You stated: “Corrado was their #1 in both minutes played and performance for most of his stint”

    Sheldon Keefe, after his conditioning stint stated: “Early on he was really good, outstanding, a real standout on the ice. I thought he was a little more human and blended in amongst the group for the remainder of the games.”

    It sounds like Keefe didn’t quite agree with your assessment.

  • LukeDaDrifter

    Re- “There was a lot of debate as to whether Corrado would clear waivers yesterday”…. Turns out nobody wanted him for free.

    Re- “if Marchenko ends up being at least as good as Polak (a presumably easy task)”

    If it was such an easy task, then how come Corrado couldn’t do it after almost 2 years of opportunity?

  • LukeWarmWater

    Well Belichick’s players did their jobs today as they manufactured the greatest come back in the history of the Super Bowl. Did anyone else notice that as the commissioner handed the Vince Lombardi trophy that it looked a bit deflated as if it needed a little Commissioner eating crow air in it.

  • LukeWarmWater

    The fact that he couldn’t crack the Canuck defence is what surprised me. A young man making $600,000.00 who obviously the whole league feels isn’t worthy being on their roster.

  • LukeWarmWater

    Steve a thoughtful reply to my posting. I can see your point of view and we totally agree on Jim Benning. Now I live in Vancouver and I occasionally get insomia but thanks to Benning’s Canucks I immediately fall asleep watching them try to score more than two goals.

    I’m not sure you were around when old crazy Ballard got his acting gopher to draft 5 foot 10 inch 172 lb. Benning as his number one pick. About a month before the draft I ran into the old leaf defenceman Marcel Pronovost who was scouting the western jr. league for the leafs. I pleaded with the guy to tell Ballard to takel Grant Fuhr as the leafs first pick. The leafs next two picks were also two defencemen, Bob McGill and Freddy Boinstruck I might have spelled the last guys name wrong. Uncle Harold then had the coach use all three as 18 year old rookies on defence. Of course it was a disaster, particularly Benning who was a flop. Well some people remain flops and as you pointed out Benning was too stupid to even know the proper procedure on the I.R. I enjoy your comments. The Canucks thanks to their ownership are a badly run organization with a rookie G.M. a rookie coach.

  • Getrdone

    I did not stick around for the end of the overtime as I had seen the shift and the Patriots do not give up in those kind of situations.(dislike them), but they are a great organization and any reference to them and their coaching(team) philosophies should be noted.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Steve, Corrado said and I quote…
    “It’s frustrating now,” … “When you don’t get to play for a month and a half, and you’ve played in one game all year, it takes its toll on you mentally… Yeah, you’re in the NHL. It’s not that the novelty has worn off; it’s just that it’s time to play. It’s time to have a career. I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.” …

    “Everyone on our back end gets a chance to play except me, I’d love to play. I had a good camp. I put on ten pounds in the summer. I sacrificed a lot to earn a job here when there might not have been one for me. I’m sure Holly’s situation was similar in ways, but for me, it’s really frustrating right now.” …

    “I talked to Lou and he’s been supportive with me, He told me he likes me, and he wants me here. It does make me feel better about the situation, but at the end of the day, the coach is the one who makes the lineup and if the coach doesn’t like you, then you’re not going to play. And that’s where I’m at right now.”

    ***”I feel like the more I’m not playing, that’s food off my table. That’s kind of the way I see it right now.”***

    Steve, that’s the most selfish comment I’ve seen from a Maple Leafs player since Shanahan assumed the role of franchise saviour. How can it be interpreted any other way. He is saying that the team is cheating him out of what is rightfully his? That’s bullshit. It’s obvious that the team believes he has more to offer however he needs to dig deeper to find his next level.
    If he is such a stud defenceman, why did 29 other GM’s take a pass? Even if he was picked up on waivers and the claiming team sent him to the minors, it’s unlikely the Leafs reclaim him due to their SPC situation and active roster limits.
    I’m also certain that the Leafs would have flipped him had ANY DRFT PICK BEEN OFFERED….

    On Dev. 15/16, Frankie told David Alter of the Athletic “(Lamoriello’s support) does make me feel better about the situation. But at the end of the day, the coach is the one who makes the lineup and if the coach doesn’t like you, then you’re not going to play. And that’s where I’m at right now.”

    It’s fine to feel that way and I understand Frankie’s frustration however by making those statements he is obviously putting himself and his self interests ahead of the team. It’s not about Mike Babcock not LIKING him, it’s about Mike Babcock not TRUSTING him to play within the system and structure the coach has laid out.

    He is making $600,000/season or $3,208 per day even while playing for the Marlies. For those talented individuals who find themselves unemployed or underemployed during the economic downturn, that’s a ridiculous statement.
    I hope he can get his career back on track by
    1. Stop complaining (to the media)
    2. Use his talent and experience instead of his mouth to help the Marlies reach the post season.
    3. Become the stud d-man he believes he is for the remainder of the season.
    4. Prove Babcock wrong.

    I doubt Babcock will be upset if Corrado proves him wrong but that will only happen through his play, not his opinions.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Wow, I’ve never seen anyone take everything I say as a negative, but everyone has an opinion.
    I said “The most selfish I’ve heard from a Leaf since Shanahan took over”. I’m not hating on Corrado and was hopeful he could find his game for the Leafs and maybe still does. My opinion is when you play for the Leafs, an organization that’s the centre of the hockey universe, run by the group that is, you don’t air that stuff in public, period.