Maple Leafs claim Corrado; Biega and Vey reassigned to Comets

Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY Sports

Frank Corrado is no longer a member of the Vancouver Canucks organization.

The 22-year-old right-handed shooting defender, a fifth-round pick at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, was placed on waivers on Monday in order to make room on the 23-man roster for surprising 22-year-old left-handed shooting defender Ben Hutton. He was claimed right at the top of the waiver priority order by the Toronto Maple Leafs and it seems unlikely they were the only team that put in a claim. Corrado, a native of Woodbridge, ON, is going home.

Though the Canucks failed to get Corrado through waivers, they did manage to sneak Linden Vey through. He’ll help offset the offseason departure of ace AHL playmaker Cal O’Reilly. Alex Biega and his big AHL salary similarly passed through waivers.

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Corrado, 22, was the youngest player on the waiver wire by 416 days. His fate may have been sealed back in 2013 when the club opted to burn a year of his entry-level deal and his exemption from waivers (a move that didn’t work out, but which I supported at the time). In the two ensuing seasons with the Canucks, Corrado never managed to establish himself as a regular for the club, although his poorly timed injury – he hurt himself immediately before everyone on the Canucks blue line got hurt in February – didn’t help.

In limited action with the Canucks, Corrado was an effective NHL players. A right-handed shooting defenseman with a distinct defensive profile to his game, Corrado has the speed and the defensive awareness to develop into an effective second pair defender in my opinion, with some utility on the penalty kill. He’s still young and still has a good deal of upside, so this is a good pickup for the Maple Leafs.

We won’t belabour the point beyond this, but the Canucks had other options and could’ve avoided waiving Corrado. That the Canucks decided not to protect Corrado is mystifying. It’s perhaps a reflection of their strict ‘merit-based approach’ to training camp, or perhaps a reflection of them wanting to give a young player whom they didn’t see a future for in Vancouver an opportunity to flourish elsewhere. It seems wasteful that they were unable to recoup an asset for Corrado’s services though. 

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There’s been a lot written about Vancouver’s lack of depth along the blue line in recent months, and one might reasonably argue that the club couldn’t afford to lose a promising 22-year-old defender. If we’re discussing asset management, it’s probably also worth noting that the club has now dealt Gustav Forsling for Adam Clendenning, traded Clendenning this summer, and have now lost Corrado on waivers – further depleting an area of need in the system.

While Corrado was claimed, it’s a marginal surprise that Vey made it through, and a pleasant one. 

Vey hasn’t impressed at the NHL level and may never be more than a replacement level NHL piece, but the Canucks’ newfound centre depth is built on the principal that Adam Cracknell can be useful (far from a foregone conclusion) and that Jared McCann will continue to impress in the regular season (another long-shot bet). It’s not a stretch to imagine that the club will need Vey at some point this season.

And the same goes for Biega. Biega is an elite defensive defenseman at the AHL level and a serviceable depth guy at the NHL level. It seems likely that he’ll spend some time in Vancouver this upcoming season.

  • Orville Wright

    Bit surprised Frankie was claimed. People see something there I don’t. I guess with two injuries on the defense Toronto can get a look at Corrado before they have to make a decision . Not to say I thought he was brutal just that he wasn’t and might not ever be an NHL regular. Wished there was some noticeable improvements over the last two years. Definitely missing some depth now, here is hoping one or more of the Utica rookies step up. Good luck with your career Frankie.

  • Not Dressed For Tonight's Game

    Frankie Corrado has been around long enough to know that if you are invisible in camp and preseason, someone hungrier might take your job. It appeared to me he figured the job was his and merely went through the motions. Well surprise! Canucks brass said over and over it was a competitive camp and the best man WILL win. I wish him well in TO, its a shame to lose him but he was a no show.

  • acg5151

    I saw this coming. Ever since that SJ series no coach has really given Corrado much of a chance to stick and the chances he did get he didn’t do much. I don’t like wasting assets and Bennings MO so far has been to waste assets for little return. It’s annoying to say the least and I think at some point poor asset management is going to get Benning fired.

  • pheenster

    To those saying we should have traded Corrado for a 7th round pick instead of subjecting him to waivers:

    There is a difference between waivers and trading. If you trade a guy, he is gone. Period.

    If you waive a guy, he has a chance of remaining in your organization.

    So what management did here is not ‘give away a prospect for nothing’. Rather, they ‘took a chance that they would lose a prospect for nothing’.

    It is okay if you want to act like it was a foregone conclusion that Corrado would get claimed, but that is not at all the case. Sure, various commentators thought he would get claimed (Ferraro, probably others). But others thought he would pass through unclaimed. Management took a roll of the dice, and in this case they lost. But let’s not pretend that there was no dice, and that they just threw their asset away, because that is not accurate.

    Look at Vey – they threw the dice on him (albeit dice with different probability weightings), and he made it through waivers. Now he will be a great asset for our AHL team and may help the NHL team at some point, which is a much better outcome than trading him for, say, a 7th rounder.

    • pheenster

      Just because there were “dice”, let’s not pretend that it was a good bet.

      No one is going to applaud you for shoving 5-2 offsuit into pocket aces, even if you win 15% of the time.

    • Sports commentators give two different opinions on basically everything they talk about cause that’s how the broadcasters make commentating interesting.

      I was never too high on Corrado either but the realistic odds that an inexpensive 22 year old defender with NHL experience and good scouting reviews was going to clear waivers seem low to say the least.

  • TrueBlue

    Toronto picked up Corrado. They also picked up ex-Canucks Booth, Raymond, Santorelli and Mathias. Crap, they’ve even made Mathias a 2nd line player. Just because Corrado was picked up by the Leafs doesn’t mean he has NHL talent.

    • pheenster

      As one of my buddy’s once put it, just because some homeless bum’s picking through your garbage doesn’t make him the smart guy and you the dummy. You’ve got to look at the broader context.

  • pheenster

    59 comments and counting here on Canucks Army and four comments at Leaf’s Nation on actually acquiring Corrado. No one over-evaluates their own talent quite like us Canucks fans.