NHL Trade: Maple Leafs Trade Gunnarsson to Blues For Polak

The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Carl Gunnarsson and 4th round pick (# 94) to the St. Louis Blues for Roman Polak.

The 27-year old Gunnarson was drafted 194th in the 7th round of the 2007 draft by the Maple Leafs. He carries a $3.15 million cap hit.

The 28-year old Polak was drafted 180th overall in the 6th round of the 2004 draft by the Blues. He carries a $2.75 million cap hit.

Pierre LeBrun: The Leafs retain $200,000 cap hit for Gunnarsson.

James Mirtle: Gunnarsson had pretty significant hip surgery recently. Another factor to consider.

What do you think about this trade? Who do you think wins it?

Carl Gunnarson

Roman Polak

18 Comments

  1. the dude

    June 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Blues must have another deal in the works, as they don’t need another left handed defensemen(Jackman,Leopold,Cole,Bouwmeester) and now only 2 righties(petro,shattenkirk). Interesting to see what Armstrong has up his sleeve.

  2. ArmChairGM

    June 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    I think Leopold is out. Cole will stay. I hope we sign Stoner #blues

  3. Mark

    June 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I think it was a bad trade.So far we don’t look any different then last year…Another year out of playoffs.

  4. bri

    June 28, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    Good trade for Blues. They get the better d-man with a great plus minus and they get a draft pick. Leafs as usual a crappy trade.

  5. MattG

    June 28, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Good trade, the leafs are soft defensively and every team knows it. No one on the blue line is very physical or clears the net. With Palak we get a mean tough guy on our blue line to really help in that area. He will be great beside Rielly or Gardiner.

  6. Chris

    June 28, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    The number of people slamming this trade is hilarious.

    Be honest, how many games have you seen this guy play? Probably zero.

    Roman Polak was a #4 on one of the best teams in the NHL (St. Louis had 52 wins and 111 points in the vastly superior Western Conference); Carl Gunnarson was #2/#3 on one of the worst teams in the NHL. Polak hits. Gunnarson doesn’t. Polak is a right shot of which they only had one last year (Franson).

    Polak is what the Leafs need. Gunnarson is steady and if he plays with a physical guy will be very good at being steady but he won’t win a puck battle, he won’t clear the front of the net and being a left shot he has to play his off side or has to force somebody else to.

    As of now the Leafs have two right handed shots in their top 6 and potentially 3 in their top 7 (if Granberg becomes the 6/7 guy). Having a tough, stay at home, PROVEN defensive d man to play with Gardiner or Rielly will help them immensely.

    I just love how people think that a guy who is good enough to play in St.Louis’s top 4 isn’t going to help the Leafs. If he can play in St.Louis’s top 4 then he can play in the top 4 of all but maybe 4 teams in the NHL. In the West Polak played against the likes of Toews, Kane, Getzlaf, Kopitar, etc. every single night. How many guys in the East are even in their league? Three? Four? Pretty sure if he can man the blue line against Toews or Getzlaf he’ll be fine against the best of what the East has to offer after you get past Crosby.

    People also act like the season starts tomorrow. Why don’t you let the off season play out before you start making judgements?

  7. Fog Horn

    June 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Well said Chris.

  8. Keith

    June 28, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Yes Chris…. hit the nail on the head. The leafs, for sure, have not finished making moves so chill all…But this move definitely addresses any that the Toronto D lacked last year

  9. Mark

    June 29, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Why? This is an awful trade for the Leafs. No value here at all. Trading Carl for a 3rd or 4th would have been a better trade.
    Not saying that Carl is a great player but this is a useless trade.

  10. Chris

    June 29, 2014 at 12:45 am

    Brendan Shannahan says he’s hard to play against (he played against him from 2006-2009. You probably know more about Polak than Brendan Shannahan though right?

  11. Steve

    June 29, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Thanks Toronto! Defenseman Carl Gunnarsson can be a top four pairing guy and a potential match with Kevin Shattenkirk, and a + Defender, and the Leafs even traded a pick to boot.

    Roman Polak is the kind of defenseman that you can literally hear Leafs fans tearing apart for his ineffectiveness by midseason, and you will be disappointed to find out he’s nothing more then a 3rd pairing Defender.

  12. Bob Mackenzie

    June 29, 2014 at 3:28 am

    The Toronto Maple Leafs lost this trade hands down. Polak will be another outcast, as was Gleason, Komisarek, and O’Byrne. It is all about FIT. Which players fit the team and the style of play. Polak is a 5th or 6th Defenceman. What the leafs need is a TOP pairing Defenceman to keep the pressure of Phaneuf, allowing him to play less minutes. Something big needs to happen. A Yandle, Seabrook, Giordano, Suter, needs to come to Toronto. Toronto has the big name forwards in Van Riemsdyk, Kessel, Lupul, Clarkson, Kadri, and in net with Bernier. But they lack big name Defencemen.

  13. ChrisD

    June 29, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    @chris
    According to daily faceoff, the blues top four D were pietrangelo bouwmeester shattenkirk Jackman. I don’t watch the blues enough to say whether or not that is true. But gunnarson did have close to 3x the points of polak last season.

  14. Chris

    June 29, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Polak and Jackman averaged almost the same amount of ice time per game and more importantly played on their PK which was 2nd best in the NHL.

    I watched a few St. Louis games this year and Bowmeester/Pietrangelo handled the lion’s share of minutes. Jackman and Polak both played 4/5 minutes behind Bowmeester/Pietrangelo and Shattinkirk. All three of these d men are better than anything Toronto has. Gunnarson will be a #5 behind Jackman.

    Neither guy had many points. It’s not about points. The Leafs have enough d who can get points or have the potential to.

    A lot of people seem to think that Gunnarson is this Norris trophy calibre D man that the Leafs have just traded for a bag of pucks. Gunnarson will be a bottom pairing D man in St.Louis. He’s nowhere near as good as their top defenders. Polak will play in Toronto’s 2nd pair.

    The Leafs needed Polak more than they needed Gunnarson for three simple reasons

    1. They needed a defence man who is tough and can skate. Gleason is slow and Phaneuf isn’t overly mobile while their mobile guys like Gardiner/and Rielly aren’t tough.

    2. They needed another right hand shot. Cody Franson gets a lot of assists but he’s not tough, not good defensively and has terrible lateral movement. He’s a bottom pairing guy who can play on a 2nd pp unit. Polak might not put up the points but that’s kind of the idea; I’d rather have Polak on the ice with Gardiner than Franson because the Leafs can trust Polak in his own end. I’d also rather have Polak killing penalties than pretty much anybody on the Leafs as the Leafs PK was the worst in the NHL.

    As of now Roman Polak has become the Leafs most physical top 4 d man. He has become the only player proven to be effective at clearing the front of the net which was a HUGE problem for the Leafs last year if you watched.

    The amount of outrage I see only confirms my annoyance at Leaf fans overvaluing their players (and I am a Leaf fan). As you will see, on a good team, Carl Gunnarson is a bottom pairing d man and I can live with losing a bottom pairing d man if it gives us a guy who plays in our 2nd pairing (even buy default) and adds an element that the Leafs DESPERATELY lack.

    Let me leave you with this: The Leafs were probably the worst defensive team in the NHL last year with Gunnarson in the lineup. Only their goaltending prevented that from being a factual statistic. The 2 part question is this: What element did the Leafs lack in their own end last year and what was Gunnarson going to do this year to make it different from last year?

    Why don’t we let the next few days play out. What if Nonis gets Ehrhoff or Boyle to play on the top pair with Phaneuf? I bet that will change people’s perspective on the deal.

    Knee jerk fan reaction is at times comical. One trade in June and people are already calling for Connor McDavid. You realize that the off season goes on for another three months and free agency hasn’t even started yet right?

  15. Chris

    June 29, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    * correction: I meant to say two simple reasons!

  16. ChrisE

    June 29, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    My fault I misread the point totals on gunnarson

  17. James

    June 30, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    All you guys who think they know what the leafs need or don’t need are a bunch of clowns . Bedwetters in fact . Like you clowns are a bunch of couch potatoe Scout’s 6 . Please !! Enjoy the summer !!

  18. James

    June 30, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    For all the comments on how bad leafs defence was . I only hear the defence men’s names as the problem . Last time I checked there were 5 guys on the ice . It’s not two against five . Where’s the forwards in all this . As skilled as they are the forwards are not defensive minded enough in there own end.