Frank Corrado is 23 years old. He’s appeared in 68 career NHL contests for Toronto and Vancouver, and another 100 more at the AHL level.
This year, though, he’s not playing at all. Quite literally.
Corrado’s appeared in just one of Toronto’s 28 games this season and, in that contest — a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 –he received just 16:24 of ice time, the least of any Leafs defenseman.
So take it away, Frank!
“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,” he said on Thursday, per The Athletic. “And that’s where I’m at right now.”
Corrado was asked about his situation following the trade of another little-used Leaf — Peter Holland, who was flipped to Arizona after a series of healthy scratches. Holland, like Corrado, was never regarded as a Babcock favorite.
Corrado repeated several times he finds this current situation frustrating, though he did say that GM Lou Lamoriello has been supportive, and insists the club wants the d-man in the mix. But Lamoriello doesn’t want to lose an asset for nothing — which could happen if he waives Corrado to try and send him to the Marlies — so he has to keep him with the Leafs.
That, in turn, means the issue essentially comes down to the head coach.
And to hear Corrado explain it, things might be near their breaking point.
“It’s frustrating now,” Corrado said. “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.”
It’s fair to suggest Corrado would have some market value. He’s on a team-friendly contract (one-year, $600,000), is a right-shot blueliner and has shown to be a good offensive producer at times — like in ’14-15, when he had seven goals and 16 points in 35 games for AHL Utica.