Maple Leafs defenseman Frank Corrado finds himself in nearly an identical situation as last season when it comes to not getting into the lineup. While he has been healthy for all of Toronto’s 28 games this year, he has played just once, spending the rest of the time as a scratch. Last year, he kept quiet about his displeasure but speaking with David Alter of The Athletic, Corrado isn’t hiding his frustration this time around:
“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.”
Corrado joined the Leafs just before the season opener in 2015-16 after being claimed off of waivers from Vancouver. Despite being fully healthy, he didn’t make it into Toronto’s lineup until the middle of December and it was only in late January where he started to play regularly. He finished the season with six points in 39 games and was hoping to be more of a regular this year. Unfortunately for Corrado, that hasn’t been the case.
The 23 year old confirmed to Alter that he has not asked for a trade although he noted that he has been in contact with GM Lou Lamoriello regarding his lack of playing time.
“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.”
Toronto has been carrying eight defensemen this season, in part because they don’t want to risk losing Corrado to waivers like Vancouver did last year. With Martin Marincin out indefinitely with a back injury, Corrado should at least move up one slot on the depth chart for the time being. However, given how little he has played this year, it’s not out of the question that if another injury were to strike, the team could opt to pull someone up from their AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies, to avoid the risk of putting someone who has been scratched this long into the lineup. In the meantime, Corrado will continue to bide his time while he awaits his second appearance in a Maple Leaf uniform this season.
[Related: Maple Leafs Depth Chart]