Report: Roman Polak Garnering Trade Interest

Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf might be the biggest trade chips the Maple Leafs have to offer, but according to the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle, there might be another Toronto blueliner that other teams could call on

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One veteran whose name is out there, however, is defenceman Roman Polak, who has one year remaining on a deal with a $2.75-million cap hit. After adding Marincin and re-signing Tim Erixon, T.J. Brennan and Petter Granberg, the Leafs have a lot of young defencemen to find minutes for, and Polak will be easy to move.

It’s actually a little bit insane how much depth the Leafs suddenly have on the blueline, though let’s not pretend that outside of Dion Phaneuf, Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner any of them are dependable NHL defenders. Marincin, Erixon and Granberg are young and have varying amounts of upside, but aren’t quite established just yet, while T.J. Brennan is an accomplished AHL blueliner that just can’t seem to find a good opportunity to stick at the next level. Stephane Robidas is well past his prime – the injury prone 38-year old will likely hobble his way to retirement when his contract is up in another two years. 

A little further down the pecking order, Stuart Percy and Viktor Loov could both push for ice time at some point this season as well.

On one hand, I think keeping Polak around to shelter some of the younger players from what’s expected to be a miserable year in Toronto isn’t a half bad idea. On the other, I’m not all the worried if Brennan, Erixon or Granberg gets shell shocked, and Marincin played in friggin’ Edmonton, so he’s used to being outclassed on a nightly basis. 

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So maybe Polak is expendable. And if the Marincin trade, in which Toronto gave up Germany-bound Brad Ross and a fourth round pick, means that the Leafs have enough depth to ship Polak off, then that deal just keeps on giving.

I can’t imagine the asking price could be too high for one year of Polak, but that’s not to say you should give him away either. Relatively inexpensive, I could see a number of teams with playoff ambitions come calling. If they do, ask for a 2nd round pick or a B-level prospect… or both! If you don’t get it, no big deal. Just sit on Polak until the trade deadline and flip him then; he’s exactly the kind of player that teams just love to overpay for in February.

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  • MatsSundin#13

    I heard a report that Polak also wanted out of Toronto? My guess is that he is gone before the end of next season as you mentioned Justin but I really like his toughness and resiliency – if he stays he’ll rub off on the young D for sure.

    • TGT23

      Dude, didn’t you get the memo? You’re not allowed to talk about ‘toughness and resilliency’ on this site.

      This is how you do it:

      Yes, I agree that we should get rid of this horrible brutish pylon with an albatross 2.75 million per year contact for an entire season but if we trade him now we’ll be left with only one ‘healthy’ right-handed defenceman in Robidas. We should probably wait until the trade deadline and hope that in the meanwhile he doesn’t destroy the kids around him by setting a horrible example.

  • Ajwl27

    Grandberg won’t be playing anytime soon. He’ll be out till xmas and may never skate as well again. Those Achilles injuries can be devastating. He may need a year on the farm just to fully re hab the injury.

  • STAN

    I’m wondering whether the new Leafs management troika even KNEW that Dougie Hamilton was available.

    It would have been poetic justice and rather ironic for the Leafs to nab him.

    Too bad.

    • STAN

      I’m glad we didn’t trade for Dougie. He wanted $7/y in Boston, and while he may be a potential #1/2 we are getting out of the business of handing those albatross contracts out. He looks better in Calgary, who can afford to lose a few draft picks and in fact had been saving them up for a situation like this.

    • TGT23

      Even if they did it isn’t very likely the Leafs could have matched what Calgary gave. The 1st Calgary had was lower than T.O’s 2nd first rounder, unless you’re advocating trading the #4 pick plus other picks for Hamilton, and Toronto didn’t have a 2nd until they used their first to trade down twice.

      I’d have loved Dougie, but I can’t really see a scenario where Toronto could match OR where Boston would be like “yeah, sure, here you go Toronto”.