The Globe and Mail’s Eric Duhatschek has a column today about the upcoming NHL trade deadline, and how it’s shaping up to be a buyer’s market.
In it, Duhatschek lists a number of potential rental defensemen, including the “Coyotes’ Zbynek Michalek, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Andrej Sekera, the Edmonton Oilers’ Jeff Petry or the Maple Leafs’ Roman Polak, a player coveted by the Kings.”
We presume Duhatschek, a well-respected hockey reporter, isn’t just pulling those last six words out of thin air and that the Kings do, indeed, have an interest in Polak.
It wouldn’t be a surprise if they do. Polak, 28, is a rugged, right-shooting defender that could add depth and experience to a Kings’ blue line that no longer has Willie Mitchell and may not have Slava Voynov for a while, or even ever again.
Polak, Toronto’s leader with 183 hits, is signed through next season for a cap hit of $2.75 million. He was traded to the Leafs by the Blues in June.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will look to snap an 11-game (0-10-1) skid tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers.
They’ll likely have to do so with another injury on the blue line.
Petter Granberg was recalled by the club on an emergency basis meaning one of the six defensemen who played in last night’s 4-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils is likely hurt.
Korbinian Holzer, Morgan Rielly and Stephane Robidas took part in the the Leafs’ optional practice this morning, which suggests Roman Polak, Jake Gardiner or Cody Franson could be nursing an injury.
Additionally, captain Dion Phaneuf (hand) will miss is sixth straight game tonight.
Granberg, 22, has appeared in three games for the Leafs this season averaging 11:30 in ice time.
The one bright spot for Leafs fans is that Toronto is 5-0-0 in its last five meetings with Edmonton. The Leafs have also won seven of the last 10 meetings with the Oilers.
Edmonton begins a six-game, 10-day road trip tonight. The Oilers have one win in their last three and are 5-13-7 on the road this season.
San Jose scored twice in an 11 second span of the first period and Tommy Wingels added an empty netter in the third as the Sharks defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-1 Thursday night.
Tyler Kennedy and Patrick Marleau scored before the midway mark helping the Sharks jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Defenseman Justin Braun had two assists in the win.
Roman Polak had the lone Leafs goal.
Toronto has now lost five straight on the road and have one win in their last seven games. The Leafs scored just one goal in three games in California over the last four days.
James Reimer made 39 saves in the loss while Antti Niemi stopped 24 shots in the win.