Franks for the Memories: Leafs Add Marchenko, Waive Corrado

    An active Leafs management pounced on Detroit’s defenceman Alexey Marchenko Saturday. Not only does the former Red Wing add depth to the blueline, he has created another dramatic twist in the Frank Corrado saga. Corrado once again finds himself on waivers.

    Let’s analyze.

    Marchenk-who?

    Detroit drafted Alexey Marchenko, a big defenceman with professional experience, in the 7th round of the 2011 NHL Entry draft. He is 25 years old.

    In his draft year, while a part of Krasnaya Armiya Moskva of the Russian major junior league, Marchenko was recognized as the league’s Best Defenceman, Defenceman of the Month in September, and his 38 points (5 goals and 33 assists) in 36 games lead the league’s d-men in points. He’d also spent 32 games with the KHL’s CSKA Moscow (0 goals and 2 assists) before Babcock’s Red Wings took him 205th overall. He’d play four seasons and 83 games for CSKA before heading to North America in 2013-14.

    As of Friday, Marchenko has played in 110 NHL games, including 30 this year (0 goals and 6 assists), all of which have been with Detroit. He has 19 career points (3 goals and 16 assists).

    The Leafs know what they’re getting from the Russian. At 6’2” and 209 pounds, he’s now one of the Leafs largest defencemen. He averaged 17:59 TOI per game in Detroit this year, which is tied with Matt Hunwick for 5th on Toronto.

    Some healthy speculation:

    Franks for the Memories

    The Leafs picked up Toronto-born Frank Corrado in October 2015 after Vancouver put him on waivers. Corrado played in 39 games with the Leafs last year, most of which following the Phaneuf trade, but has been a healthy scratch in 35 of 42 games this year in 2016-17. The team was unwilling to put Corrado on waivers until now, which has limited his playing to just two NHL games. Most of his action this year game as part of a seven-game, loophole “conditioning stint” with the Marlies in early January. It’s hard to blame him for being upset with the situation.

    The Breakdown

    Marchenko has a new team, Corrado’s future is in limbo still. What can the fans expect?

    Marchenko brings more professional experience, discipline, and defensive and offensive skill. Although he’s not a physical player, he does have three inches and 20 pounds on Corrado. Frank is younger and has a smaller cap hit.

    It’s another low-risk, high-reward move by the Leafs. Even if Marchenko is destined for the press box, he’s a better 7th-defenceman than Corrado. That being said, Frank never had the chance to become an effective D-man in Toronto.

    Here is Marchenko’s HERO chart, from Domenic Galamini’s Own The Puck:

    Marchenko HERO Chart

    What next? #FreeFrankie

    Being waived puts Corrado in an interesting spot. He’s a 23-year-old defenceman (24 in March) with 69* NHL games under his belt. Should he clear waivers, he’ll finally get playing time and could sign with a new team when his contract expires this summer. However, his game hasn’t developed at all this year having only played nine professional games in the past ten months. At 6-foot, 190 pounds, it doesn’t help that he’s smaller than the average NHL defenceman.

    Should Frank clear waivers, he’ll finally get consistent playing time while with the Marlies.

    Colorado should consider picking him up off waivers. At this point, why not? The team will need young talent in a rebuild, especially with a rebuild that features soon-to-be 34-year-old Fedor Tyutin and 38-year-old Francois Beauchemin.

    Arizona, maybe? The Coyotes have a young group of defenceman lead by Ekman-Larsson. Holland and Schenn can help him with the move.

    Florida is an eclectic mix of vets, fringe players, and young talent. Corrado could fill in behind guys Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, and Aaron Ekblad.

    And lastly, Vancouver might want to take a look. A team hurting all over could come full circle.

    Emotions

    Goodbye, Francesco.

    *Nice.