WWYDW: What Would You Do With Frank Corrado?

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Imagine the disappointment of being put on waivers. Imagine the disappointment of realizing that being put on waivers means you are potentially moving to Utica, New York. Imagine the excitement you would have felt knowing that instead of going to Utica, you’d be staying in the NHL and playing for your hometown team.

That was a month and a half and 19 games ago and we are still yet to see Frank Corrado dress for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s had a brief conditioning stint on the Marlies where he’s played seven games and picked up 3 assists, a perfectly reasonable showing for a defenseman, but even that conditioning stint has been over for two weeks and still no sign of Corrado.

It’s entirely possible that Corrado is presently a victim of the Leafs success, and as long as the Leafs are winning, he’s going to be sitting. The Leafs top four is set and unless there’s an injury nothing will be disrupting those pairings. 

The bottom pairing already has a rotation going on the left side between Harrington and Marincin, and with Corrado’s right handed shot, it’s unlikely he’ll be in the mix with Harrington or Marincin for that spot, so that leaves the option of sitting Roman Polak.

Roman Polak hasn’t exactly had a great year, in fact you could say he’s having a terrible season that has just marginally improved lately. He’s sat in favour of Harrington and Marincin being in the lineup together before, but since the rise of James Reimer he’s stayed put. That brings us back to the original question…

What do you do with Frank Corrado?

The clearest options seem to be:

  • Sit Polak, let Corrado play
  • Waive Corrado, potentially use him on the Marlies or give him a shot to play elsewhere
  • Continue to sit Corrado, recognize injuries will eventually happen
Of course, those are just the clear options, I trust the internet can do better than me, and come up with something better. Or at least make a strong case for one of the above. I’m sure many of us believe in the sitting Polak option, but that’s where I’ll ask you to get more thoughtful. 

Since it’s the simple, easy solution, why hasn’t it happened yet? 

Do we believe that Polak is playing because the Leafs believe it will create a market for him, or do we accept that even great coaches can have horrible blind spots for players they consider to be hard workers?

  • Javid

    I don’t get this either. Why bother picking him up and not playing him at all? I am really hoping that they are moving Polak (or Phaneuf???) and the trade is just taking time. Is it possible that Babcock wants to work on something specific before he gets into the lineup?

  • MatsSundin#13

    I honestly think Polak deserves to be in the lineup at this point in time – Winnipeg game was case in point. Without him, the Leafs just don’t have enough physicality (with where the young guys Gards Rielly Marincin Harrington are at right now) to fend off big forecheckers. With that said, though, I would still like to see Frank Corrado in Polak’s spot on the second night of the Leafs next back-to-back (which would be Saturday in Beantown). Gotta at least give the guy a game before potentially being dealt.

    • magesticRAGE

      Actually, Rielly has been holding his own. He’s only 6’1, but the kids is beefy. When he pins someone to the boards, they don’t move. Gardiner is hitting now, which is kinda cute. That being said, I hear you, Polak is a beast.

  • Gary Empey

    If you put Corrado on waivers there is no way he makes it to the Marlies. Vancouver will claim him back and send him to Utica, as they are not required to have him clear waivers a second time. Then Toronto would have to make a trade for him if they really wanted him.

    Sit Polak and let Corrado play? Babcock thinks Polak is his best defenceman on the penalty kill.

    Gardiner has already been out with injuries and Corrado did not get into the lineup.

    The players say there is nothing wrong with Babcock’s eyesight. He has the best peripheral vision in the NHL. If he spots you floating out there (Harrington, Boyes) one finds themselves sitting beside Corrado watching the next game.

    Martin Marincin added some extra offense against Colorado. He fired some real bombs from the blueline He wasn’t terrible on defence but not quite as good as Harrington, yet.

    Corrado must be doing something good or I think he would of already been waived again.So I would hang on to him for now.

    • Gary Empey

      He can’t be sent to the minors without clearing waivers. Except for a 2 week conditioning period.I don’t think he can be traded either without playing a lot of games for the Leafs.

      If you like conspiracy theories. Toronto could be doing Vancouver a favour by claiming him, keeping him long enough so no one notices, then putting him back on waivers. Vancouver could then re-claim him back and this time send him to the AHL without having to clear waivers again.

      That would mean Vancouver owes us something in the future. It is not likely to be a conspiracy but just may play out that way.

      It doesn’t make sense that Toronto would claim him, pay him, but not play him.

      There is some history of Babcock having absolute control over who is in his game line up. I think when the Sochi 2014 Olympics’ executive director Steve Yzerman told Babcock, he wanted Martin St. Louis on the team, Babcock told him, “if you do I won’t play him”.

      Babcock a very strong ideas on the makeup of his forward lines and the defensive pairings.
      Ex: He split Reily and Gardiner up. He put Komarov on the first line. He plays Polak every game now and his ice time keeps going up.

      • Jeremy Ian

        “There is some history of Babcock having absolute control over who is in his game line up. I think when the Sochi 2014 Olympics’ executive director Steve Yzerman told Babcock, he wanted Martin St. Louis on the team, Babcock told him, “if you do I won’t play him”.”

        Interesting. Do you have a citation for that? Source?

        • Gary Empey

          No that is from memory. I spent about 30 minutes trying to find it yesterday. Found tons of stuff about Sochi but not that bit. St. Louis did eventually make the team as a replacement for an injured Steve Stamkos. Babcock received a tremendous amount of criticism for not playing Suban and St.Louis in game three. I did find this quote from By Jack Todd-Montreal Gazette.

          “But if Babcock doesn’t learn a little flexibility, he’s going to sink this ship. Babcock will go down with his jaw thrust out, motivational clichés dripping off him like rain from a leaky roof, his D-men locked into lefty-righty, players restricted to 34-second shifts — and Subban and St. Louis watching in street clothes.”

          “One of Babcock’s preconceptions is that Pernell Karl is too high-risk. Another is that St. Louis is — well, we can’t imagine what he has against St. Louis, but if Babcock can point out any way in which Kunitz is a better player than the diminutive leader of the Lightning, we’d like to know what it is.”

          “We came here to be tested,” Babcock said after the game, dropping another of his trademark clichés.

          “Whatever, the testing has already begun and Babcock himself isn’t doing better than a B-minus. If you’re going to lose in a situation like this, lose with your best — a list that definitely includes Subban and St. Louis.”

          “Frankly, I wish Bowman were behind that Team Canada bench right now. Because unless this management team sees it wasted two very good players by leaving Subban and St. Louis on the sideline Sunday, I’m afraid this one is going to slip away.”

          “Before this tournament began, a Detroit fan gave me heck for failing to realize Babcock is another Scotty Bowman. Trouble is, Babcock is not Bowman. Not even close.”

      • Jeremy Ian

        For that to work, Corrado’s waivers can’t expire (ie he plays 10 games or is on the roster for 30 days). Once expired, Van would have first refusal on him if the Leafs put him on waivers, but would need to waive him again if they want to assign him to the AHL. Even with the conditioning stint (which I think counts anyway), I think he’s beyond that threshold.

        • Gary Empey

          You may be a little mixed up. Waiver rules can be confusing. The rule you are quoting is regarding a player that has cleared waivers but remains with the team. After 30 days or 10 games he must clear waivers again. This does not apply to Corrado as he didn’t clear waivers but was claimed.

          Here is a description of what applies to Corrado.

          Once a team claims a player from waivers, it may not trade that player unless it first offers him to any other teams who made waiver claims for him. If the claiming team places the player on waivers in the same season and his original team claims him, the team may send the player to the AHL without placing him on waivers again.

          13.2
          The “Playing Season Waiver Period” shall begin on the twelfth (12
          th
          ) day prior to the
          start of the Regular Season and end on the day following the last day of a Club’s Playing Season.

          According to that clause it looks like the Leafs could send him to the Marlies for the playoffs if they don’t make it themselves.

          I had to download the CBA.

  • magesticRAGE

    Maybe Sweet Lou is working on a deal for Polak, having him play every night for optics.
    Very interested in seeing Corrado play, as Babcock loves his D to be mobile.
    Maybe Corrado hasn’t nailed down certain aspects of the system yet? Maybe the sky is falling?
    ???

  • elvis15

    One thing to remember, is if Corrado doesn’t get playing time and injuries don’t happen to help with that and he gets put back on waivers, any other teams that had originally put in a claim behind the Leafs gets first crack at him. If none of them bite, or no one else put in a claim, then the Canucks can get him back and send him to the AHL directly. The Canucks wouldn’t mind this at all, but the Leafs will have to figure out what they want to do soon as they can’t keep applying for conditioning stints if they aren’t going to play him.

  • Gary Empey

    Gary good work on your part to find the Jack Todd story. Trust me Todd is of course a Hab’s cheer leader. It was obvious that he and other hab so called impartial media couldn’t handle the fact that Subban didn’t play. It is now hilarious to read his sour grape article as Jackie lad, who won Gold at Sochi. No further questions your honour.

    But heh Jack always looks good in his suits but it must be hot as heck with that Habs jersey underneath.

  • FlareKnight

    My first choice is just to sit Polak for a game. It won’t kill anyone to have Polak take a game off every now and then so Corrado can get in the lineup.

    If there is no desire to play the guy then waive him. Let someone that will actually do something with him have the guy.

    Better than leaving the guy hoping a teammate is going to get hurt so he might be able to actually get into a game.

  • Gary Empey

    With 25 NHL games to his credit and this Talent Analysis

    “Corrado exhibits poise and control uncommon for a young defenseman. He has tremendous speed and closes gaps very well with it. He has strong recovery speed if he makes a gaffe with the puck. Corrado identifies simple plays and effectively sees them through. He can be counted on to move the puck safely out of the defensive zone.”

    one would think he would have seen some ice time by now. Is there an important piece of information us fans are not privy to?

    • Gary Empey

      That talent assessment was written when he was 19 (I’m guessing). The reason he hasn’t played for T.O. is probably the same reason the Canucks waived him. His development seems to have stagnated. Coaches are not impressed with what he’s bringing to practice. All speculation of course, but unless he does something to impress someone, he’ll ride pine wherever he ends up.

  • Gary Empey

    There is a new article on TSN’s website where Babcock address’ the situation. In the comments section I found this nugget.

    I Marlie fan who attends the home games stated Corrado was constantly being out-muscled for the puck in the corners.

    If his assessment is correct that would explain why we haven’t seen him dress for a game yet. Upper body strength is a must for an NHL defenceman.