If Frank Corrado was hoping for a fresh start in 2017, he sorta got his wish.
On Monday, the Leafs announced Corrado had been sent to the AHL Marlies on a conditioning stint. This puts a halt to one of the most infamous NHL “campaigns” of the year — Corrado, 25, has been on the active roster the entire season yet sat as a healthy scratch for 35 of Toronto’s 36 games.
His lone appearance came in a 4-1 loss to Pittsburgh on Nov. 12 –he received just 16:24 of ice time, the least of any Leafs defenseman.
Back in mid-December, a visibly frustrated Corrado voiced his displeasure.
“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.
Or, send him for a two-week stint with the Marlies.
It’ll be curious to see how Corrado reacts to this latest development because, back in mid-December, he sounded like a guy nearing his 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.”