Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, Fourth-Round Pick For Roman Polak


Dave Nonis and the Toronto Maple Leafs made an attempt to shore up their ailing defense corps, trading Carl Gunnarsson and their 94th overall draft pick to the St. Louis Blues for 28-year-old stay-at-home defenseman Roman Polak. The Leafs also retained $200,000 in salary in the deal.

Right off the bat, this trade looks like a massive overpayment. Gunnarsson had a difficult year paired alongside Dion Phaneuf, but also faced some of the toughest competition in the league. Polak was one of the worst possession players on the Blues while not facing near as difficult competition.

Gunnarsson expected to be traded, according to Jonas Siegel of TSN:

This is another example of the Leafs trying desperately to add some defensive stability, and they’ve failed miserably. Polak’s foot speed can be described as “glacial”. If Nonis or Randy Carlyle expects him to be able to take Gunnarsson’s minutes and actually do well, they’re in for a rude awakening.

The retained salary means the Leafs only save $200,000 in cap space. Just when you think this management group might be smartening up by drafting William Nylander last night, they turn around and set the entire team back with this trade. So long, Gunnar. Good luck with the Blues.

Tags: Carl Gunnarsson Roman Polak Toronto Maple Leafs

20 Comments on Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Carl Gunnarsson, Fourth-Round Pick For Roman Polak

  1. Stan Smith says:

    Once again you state poor possession stats for a defensive dman. When are you ever going to understand defensive dmen are never going to have good possession stats.

    • Tim Bayer says:

      It’s almost like slow defenseman who can’t move the puck well aren’t that useful.

      • Stan Smith says:

        It is not always about offense and possession. Someone has to prevent the other team from scoring. There is a reason why teams do not have 6 Gardiners or 6 Rielly’s on their defence. Teams need solid physical defensemen that can make forwards pay the price for standing in front of the net or venturing near the boards with the puck, not to mention blocking shots, and standing up for those smaller skilled players you covet.

        • Tim Bayer says:

          Absolutely there is value in being physical. But being able to keep the puck out of your end and moving it out quickly is more important in my view. I don’t think Polak can provide that, but I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

          • Stan Smith says:

            But someone has to actually get the puck. They all can’t just stand there yelling “give it to me!”

          • Tim Bayer says:

            What? “Moving it out quickly” includes making good exit passes.

  2. old hockey fan says:

    Wow!! not much love for Nonis in this little article. Do we really believe that the Leaf organization is so stupid as to hire Nonis who knows nothing about hockey? Or should we take it that the Armchair(computer) Managers are all unemployed NHL wannabe managers and they are way off base.

    • Tim Bayer says:

      Nonis has made a lot of bad moves. Not sure how anybody can defend him at this point.

      • old hockey fan says:

        Tim, you speak as though you have the answer to all that ails the Leafs, but I will defend the fact that the brain thrust that hired Nonis knows more about the business of hockey than a computer blogger knows about the business of hockey. Are all his moves good, no. Are all your articles good, no. That is what I am talking about and Nonis should be given some credit for being in the position he is, that he may know something about the game.

        • Tim Bayer says:

          Just because someone is a hockey executive doesn’t mean he’s some all-powerful, blameless demigod who holds all the answers to the game of hockey. I happily give Nonis credit when he makes good moves (like drafting Nylander), but I also criticize him when he makes bad moves. It’s just the bad often outweighs the good in my opinion.

  3. JJVmlf says:

    I absolutely agree with you guys on both issues. Can someone share the amazing possession stats of Gunner, or are they poor too (wink wink, choosing stats at ones convenience I suspect)

    • Tim Bayer says:

      I stated his stats were poor, but he was also playing with a hip injury and had some of the toughest competition in the league. What’s Polak’s excuse?

  4. jimithy says:

    This is one step in the right direction. Next to go — Kuleman.

  5. A13276 says:

    Typical anti-Nonis knee jerk reaction from Bayer! Polak is a beast in his own end and a right handed shot! The man is strong as an OX! And he’s not a poor skater and rarely gets beat one on one. Excellent on the penalty kill, shot blocker and clearing the crease! Remember that their top 4 were Pieterangelo, Bowmeester, Shinkaruk and Jackman! This trade makes the Leafs defense much tougher to play against!!!

    • Tim Bayer says:

      Yeah, just like Tim Gleason made the Leafs’ defense “much tougher to play against”.

      • Stan Smith says:

        Actually Tim, Geason did make them tougher to play against, but he couldn’t do it by himself.

        • Tim Bayer says:

          Then why was he just bought out? Nonis seems to be on this endless quest for “compete” and “toughness” and “leadership”, when really he should be looking for good hockey players.

          • Stan Smith says:

            Polak brings similar aspects to the team for less money and they can use the extra cap space, what little it does bring. I would think the ideal player would have all four of those qualities.

  6. old hockey fan says:

    See Tim, you write an article someone does not like and you do not get the love either.

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