Frank Corrado’s stay in Pittsburgh is over and the hunt for a another top-six defenseman continues for the defending Stanley Cup champs. The team announced that they have reassigned the young blue liner to the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and appear to be happy to move forward with Matt Hunwick or Chad Ruhwedel as their final starter.
Corrado, 24, was acquired by the Penguins from the Toronto Maple Leafs at the trade deadline last season in exchange for a package of Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy, and a fourth-round pick. The former Canuck was unhappy with his play time in Toronto, but things have hardly changed in Pittsburgh. Corrado played in only two games with the team last season, missed out on the entire playoff run, and is now back in the AHL after only three games this season. Corrado suited up for the Pens in their first three games of November, being held scoreless and averaging only eleven minutes of ice time, and had been sitting in the press box ever since.
With Hunwick recently activated from injured reserve, the Penguins have made the unsurprising choice to move forward without Corrado. Hunwick has played in only seven games this season, while Ruhwedel has been forced into 18 already. The pair have a combined three points and an even rating and could work as a serviceable sixth man duo for Pittsburgh this season. However, given the injury-prone nature of Kris Letang and Justin Schultz as well as the team’s shockingly low goals-for and goals-against rankings, “serviceable” may not be enough. GM Jim Rutherford may stick with the veteran options for now, but will surely be looking for an upgrade come the trade deadline. This season, the likes of Corrado won’t be the target.