The Canucks content team visited Corrado at his home in Vaughn, Ontario, last year, so to spice things up this time we took the defenceman to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Come along, won’t you.
2:00 p.m. – “Welcome to the Hockey Hall of Fame, we’re excited to have you Frankie,” said Kelly Masse, who runs media relations for the Hall. “Today is Florida Panthers card, it’s a Roberto Luongo!” Well this is awkward.
2:05 p.m. – We start the tour off with a look at all things Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, our man Frankie grew up a Leafs fan because he had no choice. “Dad was a Leafs fan and it wasn’t a democracy, it was a dictatorship!”
2:07 p.m. – The Stanley Cup rings exhibit. These things are big. We look and admire, then get angry and jealous and leave.
2:08 p.m. – “OMG is that Eddie Lack’s jersey from last season? AND it’s game-worn? Happy day! I’m so taking a selfie with this; I’m hoping to meet Lack one day. Big fan of his.”
2:10 p.m. – “Excuse me,” says the pre-teen with a French accent and a slouchy red tuque, “are you James Corrado?” “I’m Frankie, nice to meet you.” “Cool! Do you have Dale Weise’s phone number? That guy is a beauty.” (Pause for laughter) “I only have his old Vancouver number, sorry buddy.” “How about a Sedin, can we call a Sedin?” “They’re in Sweden right now, sorry. But do you know Derek Jory?” “No…” And that was that, the kid ran away.
2:15 – 2:30 p.m. – We tour around with Frankie and check out all the Hall of Fame has to offer. There’s a display for every NHL team, so we run the gauntlet and shoot Corrado with rapid fire questions. I say a team name and he says the first thing that comes to mind. For example: “Anaheim”…”Goldberg.” “Nashville”…”Cool jerseys.” “Toronto”…”Old home.” “Vancouver”…”New home.” “Winnipeg”…”Cold. It was so cold when we went there I couldn’t even believe it. I don’t know how people live in a place that is so cold like that.” Nailed it!
2:36 p.m. – A quick game of bubble hockey pins Corrado against a youngster named Crosby (named after a family friend, not Sid the kid). Frankie shuts the door to earn a clutch 2-0 win. He does not celebrate in the kid’s face.
2:37 p.m. – “You tweeted a picture of me?!?” says the pre-teen with a French accent and a slouchy red tuque, who actually has a name and it’s Aaron. “Which one of you is tweeting from the Canucks account?” he asked. “That would be me,” I responded. “Can I get a follow?” “Hey, why not.” “Do you want a follow from me?” asked Frankie. “Uh, sure,” he replied. This kid is awesome.
2:45 p.m. – Next stop: the Great Hall. This is where all the hardware is kept, the ol’ Stanley Cup and his compadres. As soon as Corrado sees the Cup, he puts his hands behind his back. “No chance I’m touching that thing,” he said. “I’m not posing with it either. The Cup has to be earned.” Respect.
2:47 p.m. – I notice some of the Hall of Fame induction photos are amazing, some are a touch off. Frankie is challenged with drawing his induction photo (right). Note to self: do not ask Frankie to draw anything. Frankie no draw good. “Can I go again? I really messed that up! That was supposed to be back when I had the hair!”
3:00 p.m. – “Do you want to shoot or be in net?” we ask Corrado, pointing to the interactive games. “I haven’t played goalie since my first ever hockey game when I was seven. I played for the Bolton Bruins and I went in net and that was that, my dad put a stop to it immediately. Let’s bring back some memories and I’ll see what I can do between the pipes.”
3:05 p.m. – I’d like to report that Frankie was stellar in goal, buuuuuuut that would be a lie. He stopped four of 10 shots (two high, two low) and was overall abused by the virtual shooters, but he stopped virtual Henrik Sedin so that’s something.
3:07 p.m. – Aaron, the pre-teen with a French accent and a slouchy red tuque, passes Frankie in the hallway and calls him “Follow back.” “I ain’t no follow back gurl,” Corrado sings. And you thought we’d get through this adventure without singing a Gwen Stefani song. Dream on.
3:10 p.m. – As Jessica, Jason and Rory set up cameras and lights and other fancy stuff that is heavy to carry (not that I ever help them), Frankie checks his phone. He turns it to me and shows me his background photo. It’s of him and Keith Ballard from back in the day. What the what!?! “It’s from when I was first up with Van and I was playing well, then I went down and was playing bad, so I changed it back and it’s just been a shot of me and my boy ever since!”
3:15 p.m. – We wrap up with Frankie after his interview revealed the following: he’s excited to be playing in the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton in September (great seats are still available), he skates and hits the gym with fellow Canucks prospects Kellan Lain and Alex Friesen and is itching to crack the Canucks line-up and stay in Vancouver. “I’ll just keep working as hard as I can and you never know what can happen.”
3:20 p.m. – Hugs and handshakes all around and adios to Corrado. Thanks for spending the day with us. Up next: Shawn Matthias on Thursday.