Photo Credit: Christian Bonin/TSGPhoto.com
It was weird enough when things got to this point last year, but this year, the Frank Corrado saga has hit a whole new degree of interesting. This morning, the 23-year-old was loaned to the Toronto Marlies on a 14-day conditioning stint.
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) January 2, 2017
The Maple Leafs did the very same thing with Corrado last season, sending him to the Marlies on October 22nd to play seven games with the AHL affiliate. In that stretch, he picked up three assists, seven shots, two penalty minutes, and had a +3 rating.
Up until that point, Corrado had yet to make his Leafs debut, and still took nearly a month and a half to draw in after his time with the team was done. This edition of the loan comes much later into this season, with Corrado having played just one game; a 16:24 effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins where he had two hits, a blocked shot, and took a penalty in a 4-1 loss.
Here’s what the CBA says about these types of loans:
13.8 Conditioning Loan. Unless a Player consents, he shall not be Loaned on a Conditioning Loan to a minor league club. Such Conditioning Loan shall not extend for more than fourteen (14) consecutive days. The Commissioner may take whatever steps he deems necessary to investigate the circumstances under which a Player is Loaned on a Conditioning Loan.
If the Commissioner has reason to believe or determines that the Club has used the Conditioning Loan to evade Waivers, or otherwise Circumvent any provision of this Agreement, he may take such disciplinary action against the Club, as he deems appropriate. The Player shall continue, during the period of such Conditioning Loan, to receive the same Paragraph 1 NHL Salary, and be entitled to the same benefits, that he would have received had he continued to play with the Club.
Last year’s loan drew a lot of conversation and speculation from fans and analysts across the league, who felt that the arrangement was a circumvention of waivers and that Corrado wasn’t the type of player who would need a stint like this. That rings even more true this year; while he was recovering from injuries sustained in Vancouver & Utica the year prior, he’s mentioned being in better shape more than a few times this year.
The Leafs’ focus is likely to get him up to speed in terms of game action. Will the league like it? Probably not, but once again, it’ll likely get a blind eye from the league, given that it sets a precedent for other teams to do the same. The PA will likely be less amused, but since a move like this is typically a mutual agreement, Corrado has likely spoken for himself with the consideration that this gives him a chance to play regularly again.
As for how many games he’ll play, well, it could be another seven; Toronto’s next two weeks involve a pair of road games in Manitoba tomorrow and Wednesday, a pair of home games against Rochester on the 7th and 8th, a home matchup against Wilkes/Barre-Scranton on the 11th, and a home-and-away weekend against Syracuse and Rochester on the 13th and 14th.
In other news, Byron Froese also returns to the Marlies in this transaction. He was called up as an injury replacement on December 21st, and quickly joined by Frederik Gauthier. The Leafs have decided to stay with “The Goat” for now, though; while both play similar NHL roles, the decision is presumably a combination of him being part of their long-term plans and the Marlies needing scoring punch more than two-way help. Froese was pointless and had a fight in his two games with the Leafs, but is second on the Marlies in goals with a dozen over 27 games.