The St. Louis Blues traded defenceman Roman Polak to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Carl Gunnarsson and the 94th Overall Pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The Toronto Maple Leafs will retain $200,000 of Gunnarsson’s salary.
The Blues used the 94th pick to select Finnish goaltender Ville Husso.
The 28-year-old Polak is a stay-at-home defender known for his shot blocking ability and his hitting. He has 79 points in 424 career games, including 13 points in 72 games for the Blues last season. He has spent his entire career with St. Louis after being a 6th round pick (180th overall) in the 2004 NHL entry draft.
The 27-year-old Gunnarsson has spent his entire five-year NHL Career with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season he scored 17 points and was a +12 while playing top pairing minutes alongside Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf. He has 71 points in 304 career games.
In terms of advanced stats…. Polak was a 49.4% corsi player, while playing poor zone starts (-8.0% relative to team), and facing the fifth best quality of competition on the Blues. Gunnarsson was a 40.1% corsi player with much worse zone starts than Polak, and playing the toughest quality of competition for the Leafs.
Gunnarsson had two years remaining on his contract at $3.15 million AAV (of which the leafs will retain $200,000) while Polak has two years remaining at $2.75 million AAV. As a result the teams will take equal cap hits of $2.95 million after this trade, the Leafs creating $200,000 in free space and the Blues using $200,000 in free space.
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