We all had a feeling in the back of our minds that this was inevitable. Roman Polak was invited to training camp this year on a professional tryout and has hung around the team to start the season.
This move is somewhat curious because, well, Polak isn’t all that good. He’s praised for his toughness, physicality, and shut down ability in the defensive zone, which is something the Leafs blueline lacks right now. But during his three seasons with the Leafs since being acquired in a deal with the St. Louis Blues, Polak has routinely posted some of the worst shot attempt stats on the team.
After adding Polak, the Leafs will need to make a corresponding roster move to remove a player from their 23-man roster. One would assume it would be Andreas Borgman or Calle Rosen heading down to play with the Marlies, since neither would need to clear waivers.
I doubt Polak is going to take any ice time away from other right-handed defencemen like Connor Carrick or Nikita Zaitsev and ultimately just serves as depth as either Borgman or Rosen develop in the minors. Still, it’s difficult to say adding Polak to the team will make the Leafs better.