Canucks must like what they see in defenceman Frank Corrado
Notebook: First year of three-year entry contract used up on talented young blueliner
SAN JOSE — Wow, did that year ever fly by fast. Just like that, defenceman Frank Corrado has burned through the first year of his three-year entry level contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
Corrado played his sixth game with the Canucks on Sunday night and that means he now only has two years left on his contract.
He was allowed five freebies in this shortened season (including playoffs) before his contract status would be affected. The Canucks obviously like what they see and do not want to remove him from their playoff lineup.
Corrado, who split his season between the OHL's Sudbury Wolves and Kitchener Rangers, said his contract status was not on his mind as he prepared for Game 3 of the series with the San Jose Sharks.
"Obviously, that's not something I think about," Corrado said after Sunday's game-day skate. "That's their decision, not mine. I'm happy with whatever decision they make. I'm just happy to be in the lineup."
Corrado, 20, was Vancouver's fifth-round pick (150th overall) in the 2011 draft and he has exceeded early expectations. When Vancouver ran short of right-hand shot defencemen, Corrado got the call after just three pro games with the Chicago Wolves and has not looked out of place.
He played the first two games of this series alongside Andrew Alberts, but it looked like he was going to have a new defensive partner on Sunday night. During Sunday morning's skate, Corrado was paired with Alex Edler, while Kevin Bieksa skated with Alberts. Coach Alain Vigneault likely wanted to try and add more balance to his second and third defensive pairs as San Jose gets the last line change at home.
Corrado likened getting a new defensive partner with his favourite off-ice hobby.
"It's just like picking up a new guitar," said Corrado, who has a dozen of them at home. "You do the same things, it's just a different guitar."
On a more serious note, Corrado said not a whole lot changes playing with Edler.
"He likes to move the puck and get in the rush," Corrado said of Edler. "I am just going to try and do the same thing, get pucks out of our zone, get up in the play and be physical in our own zone."
A NON-STARTER: Roberto Luongo has received well-deserved praise for the way he has handled the Canucks' goaltending soap opera this season and he displayed his sense of humour again on Sunday.
As Luongo arrived at his dressing room stall following extra on-ice work at the game-day skate, a Canuck media relations staffer reminded reporters that the team's backup goalie does not give interviews on game days.
As he was peeling off his sweat-soaked jersey, Luongo said with a smile: "Does that mean I'm not starting?"
FORMER CLIPPERS: Matt Irwin remembers Canucks' defenceman Jason Garrison being a brief teammate of his. The feeling apparently is not mutual.
Irwin, a rookie defenceman with the Sharks, was called up by the B.C. Hockey League's Nanaimo Clippers late in the 2004-05 season and played three games. That was Garrison's last year with the Clippers and Irwin said Sunday he clearly remembers playing with Garrison.
"Yeah, it was only for three or four games," Irwin, a Brentwood Bay, B.C., native said before Sunday's game. "I was an affiliate player and got called up from my Junior B team (in Saanich). I don't know him too well, but I have followed his career pretty closely through college, the minors and of course the NHL.
"It's a testament to the Clippers' organization that we have two former players in this series. They did a good job of providing for their players and moving them on to the next level."
Garrison sent word through the Canucks media relations department Sunday that he didn't recall playing with Irwin.
GOMEZ BACK: Scott Gomez, another B.C. Hockey league product, returned to the San Jose lineup Sunday night and joked earlier in the day that he thinks it had something to do with a very significant day in the Silicon Valley.
"It is Cinco de Mayo so it might sell some more tickets," said Gomez, who missed Games 1 and 2 with a foot injury.
They take Cinco de Mayo very seriously in San Jose, which has a large Hispanic population. Cars draped with Mexican flags are all over the streets and the Sharks had a party planned outside the HP Pavilion before Sunday night's game to honour the day.
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