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.