Dreger: “There Is Interest . . . In Roman Polak”

Trade chatter has been pretty quiet on the Leafs front this season.  But with the trade deadline now just a shade under four weeks away, we’re getting to that point in the season where the rumors are going to start coming in fast and furious.

While people might like to imagine scenarios that see the Leafs massively overhaul the shape of their roster – think trades involving the likes of Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Bozak, or Leo Komarov – such moves may be unlikely.  After all, it’s difficult to move players with term on their contracts mid-season.  Likewise, you need somebody on your team to finish out the season, and given some of the smaller pieces that the Leafs may have an easier time moving, the focus should probably shift to the veterans on expiring deals.

That notion was echoed by Darren Dreger tonight in TSN’s latest segment of Insider Trading.  On the Leafs, and in particular reference to Roman Polak (who TSN has 7th on their ambiguous “trade bait” board), Dreger had this to say:

“There is interest, will be interest in Roman Polak.  He’s 29 years old, right-shot defenseman, and he’s hard-working, had a decent year.  But I’d look beyond him as well and I’d look at Shawn Matthias, I’d look at P.A. Parenteau, some of the experienced players on short-term deals will likely be on the move out of Toronto as well.”

The other unmentioned veterans set to become unrestricted free agents this June on the Leafs’ roster include Michael Grabner, Nick Spaling, and Brad Boyes (we actually profiled all of the Leafs on expiring contracts last week).

Other players that might conceivably fit the bill of “experienced players on short-term deals” would be Daniel Winnik and Matt Hunwick, both of whom carry a cap hit below $2M, and both of whom have one season past this one remaining on their contracts.

But hey, if a team misses out on Roman Polak, the Leafs have another experienced player on a short-term deal that’s a right-shot defenseman known for being hard-working.  But, given that he hasn’t played in a game this season, maybe we shouldn’t hold out hope for the Stephane Robidas shoe to drop.

  • Jeremy Ian

    i think he may go back to st. louis. it has been rumoured since last year that they miss him and he was well liked there. gunnarsson has had injury problems and i think they miss his leadership, physicality and blocked shots on the pk (lol). next best guess is washington and then islanders for depth. washington likes it’s tough, phsyical, shot blocking veteran pylons like orpik so what’s one more who is actually better than him?

  • CMpuck

    Silly proposal, Polak + Komarov + Leipsic for Vatanan.

    Ducks get RHD back on an expiring deal, Komarov would fit in nicely with their forward and Leipsic is a throw in out my guilt for posting this in the first place.

    • Gary Empey

      I think this trade has some merit. I do like your thinking on the Leafs need to improve their defence core. To get a defenceman of Vatanen’s calibre someone would have to part with some decent players.

    • CMpuck

      they deserve more than just vatanen. he’s an excellent player but the leafs at least deserve another top pick + prospect… you could say polak + leipsic for vatanen + a b-level prospect. komarov is almost a 20 goal scorer and does everything else right… we could get a lot more. he’s also an all star! i’d love montour 🙂