New Leafs defenceman Frank Corrado
arrived at Mastercard Centre on Tuesday afternoon and had the chance to speak with media upon his arrival. Here's what he had to say...
What's it like to be a Maple Leaf?
There's not a lot of words to describe it. It's an honour and a privilege and it really is a dream come true. Being from the area and growing up with the Leafs, it's as good as it gets I think.
Take us through the last 24 hours for you.
I was pretty disappointed being waived, I thought I had a good enough camp to show that I played in the NHL. The 24 hours that passed were pretty nerve-wracking, not knowing what was happening. Obviously finding out this morning that Toronto was the team that picked me up was pretty special and it was quite a rollercoaster.
Where were you when you found out?
I flew home right after Vancouver put me on waivers because even if I cleared I'd have to go to Utica so this is where I'd get my car and stuff. I actually flew home and I was at my grandmother's house today when I found out... in Woodbridge, Ont.
What did your grandmother have to say?
She didn't have much to say, we just started jumping around and hugging each other and it was a great moment.... I got a call from Lou and I came here.
Have they talked to you about what your role is going to be?
Honestly I just got here so I think we're going to go over that stuff tomorrow. Right now it's just getting to meet everyone and getting everything sorted out and we'll see how it goes tomorrow.
Who have you met in these few minutes you've been here?
I've talked to Mike and Lou and a few of the players. It seems like a good group of guys and it seems like a group that's pretty committed and focused and has a plan and I'm really excited to be joining that.
What do you think about being coached by Mike Babcock?
I think as a player, when you see all that he's accomplished, there's just so much you can learn from him. Those are the types of guys you want to be coached by and there's so much to learn. I just want to be a sponge and try to be the best player possible and get better everyday.
What did the Canucks tell you?
That's always tough to describe what happens behind closed doors in meetings. In my head I thought I was good enough to play and had done well enough. Just by the decision they made they clearly thought it wasn't good enough and that's their decision. They have a lot of good defencemen there who can play. It's over now and I'm here now and I want to make the best of this opportunity.
Have you been told you might be in the lineup tomorrow night?
Honestly I haven't been told. Whenever I do get the chance I just want to play my game and just show why I belong here.
Are you ready for the media every day?
I was saying to my dad on the way here, I got the best education for Toronto media by being in Vancouver. It's not as much but it's definitely a close second.
Have they given you a number yet?
I haven't even found out yet.
How do you characterize yourself as a player?
I would say I'm a mobile, smart two-way defenceman who's defence-first and can jump up in the rush and make plays and chip in offensively. I would definitely say I'm committed to defence first and breaking pucks out and being strong in front of the net. Like every defenceman would tell you, an all-around good defenceman, it's my job to show you with my play.