— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 4, 2017
Leafs Claim Alexey Marchenko
Alexey Marchenko was placed on waivers by the Detroit Red Wings yesterday to make room for Brendan Smith, who was coming off of injured reserve. The 25-year-old Russian has played 30 games for the Red Wings this year, registering six assists. Marchenko, a right-shot defenceman, was signed to a two-year, $2.9 million deal after his solid play down the stretch for Detroit. The interesting thing about his contract, is that he is already eligible for the expansion draft. He has played 96 games this season and last (30 this year, 66 last year) making him potentially one of the 40/70 exposed players, giving the Maple Leafs flexibility on the back-end.
Marchenko will be an upgrade for the Leafs. A right-shot, he directly replaces Corrado on the depth chart. At 6’2″, 209 lbs, it is a very real possibility he can replace Roman Polak on the third pairing as well. It seems Martin Marincin has already surpassed Matt Hunwick, and Marchenko could do the same with Polak. Coming up to the trade deadline, this waiver claim gives the Leafs the ability to move Polak. Without any real replacement beforehand, the Leafs may have been tentative to move the big Czech. Now with Marchenko, they have more options.
Leafs Waive Frank Corrado
Well, Frankie is now literally free. With his placement on waivers, he may actually find some playing time. In two years in Toronto, Corrado has played 41 games with the Maple Leafs, with just two this season. It has been a weird situation to say the least, with Corrado practically begging for ice-time. Two NHL games played, with no injuries to keep him on the sideline. He also had one seven-game conditioning stint with the Marlies, where he played well with three assists. Finally, with Marchenko in, he finally has a chance to play.
At just 23 years old, Corrado could be an intriguing piece for some teams. Also a right-shot defenceman, a poor team such as the Colorado Avalanche could be interested in picking up Corrado. The deterrent would be his lack of game time. Corrado does not have much data, as he has barely played. Will a team roll the dice on the Toronto boy, or will tiny sample size sneak him to the Marlies?
DETROIT, MI – JANUARY 18: Alexey Marchenko #53 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena on January 18, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)