Polak was hit in the face with a puck from a shot in the first period. He immediately hit the ice, which was stained with blood. Polak would eventually return to the game and recorded an assist on his first shift back.
Roman Polak has returned after taking a puck to the face. Hockey tough.
Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner has been in Randy Carlyle’s doghouse before. There was even a Twitter hashtag, “#FreeJakeGardiner,” that caught on at one point.
But even Gardiner’s biggest fans are having trouble sticking up for his play this season. And based on what Carlyle said today, the 24-year-old could be a healthy scratch, replaced by Korbinian Holzer, Saturday versus the Flyers.
Last night in a 4-1 loss to Carolina, Gardiner logged just under 20 minutes of ice time and finished minus-2. On the Hurricanes’ first goal, he lost his man, Chris Terry, in front of the net, and Terry was able to score:
Gardiner signed a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension this past summer; however, his future in Toronto remains somewhat uncertain. If the Leafs end up re-signing pending unrestricted free agent Cody Franson (a big if, mind you), might they opt to trade Gardiner while giving more responsibility to youngsters Morgan Rielly and Stuart Percy? Remember that Toronto also has d-men Dion Phaneuf, Stephane Robidas, and Roman Polak under contract past this season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs placed forward Brandon Kozun on waivers Wednedsay, per various outlets.
Kozun, 24, was one of the early-season surprises in Toronto, playing his way onto the opening-night roster on the strength of an exhibition campaign in which he racked up points (two goals, three assists) and impressed head coach Randy Carlyle with his “desperate” style of play.
Kozun proceeded to appear in five games for the Leafs before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for six weeks. He went to the AHL Marlies for a conditioning stint and played one game — a 2-1 shootout win over Detroit last Wednesday — before getting parked as a healthy scratch.
Kozun’s waiving coincides with defenseman Roman Polak ready to rejoin the club.