Apr 19, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Roman Polak (46) takes a shot against the Chicago Blackhawks during overtime in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Blackhawks 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Trade: Toronto acquires Roman Polak from St. Louis

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A big issue for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2013-14 season was the team’s inability of defend in its own zone. On Saturday, general manager Dave Nonis addressed the needs for a powerful defenseman with the acquisition of Roman Polak from the St. Louis Blues.

A seven-year veteran, all with St. Louis, Polak just finished up the third year of his five-year, $13.75 million contract that he signed with the team in 2011. The contract comes with a $2.75 annual cap hit.

Heading back to St. Louis in the deal are the 94th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, and defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. The 27-year old blue liner has two years left on a three-year, $9.45 million contract that he signed just last year.

Gunnarsson’s deal comes with a cap hit of $3.15 million per season.

Sound of Blues and Maple Leafs fans! What do you think of the deal? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Mike’s Musings: Toronto was a team that gave up more than 40 shots a game more times than they’d care to admit last season. The Maple Leafs’ inability to get the puck out of their own zone was a big reason why they suffered an eight-game losing streak, and missed the playoffs once again. Hopefully for Toronto, Polak can help turn the play in the defensive zone into something that isn’t laughed at.

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Tags: NHL St. Louis Blues Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Andrew

    Good deal both ways. The Leafs get a big strong stay-at-home defenseman that can clear the front of the net. The team had been getting too one-dimensional with lots of good skating puck-movers, but not enough man movers.