Unrestricted free agent defenceman Roman Polak has found a new home, but its a familiar one. The veteran defenceman signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. .
A former 6th-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, the rugged Czech rearguard spent his entire NHL career with the Blues organization before a trade to the in 2014. The Leafs traded him to the San Jose Sharks at the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 2, 2016
Roman Polak Signs
The six-foot 236-pound shutdown defender known for a simple, punishing style, played 56 games in 2014-15 with Toronto, amassing 225 hits and 128 blocked shots.
He returned to the Leafs lineup last year, appearing in 55 contests before being dealt to eventual Western Conference champions, the San Jose Sharks. In his final year as a Leaf, Polak threw 220 hits, adding 102 blocked shots. As a Shark, Polak delivered 83 hits and blocked 44 shots across 24 regular season games.
Revered league-wide for his courage and tenacity, Polak is as rugged as they come, as demonstrated during a game in January, 2015 versus the the Washington Capitals where he took an errant puck to the face. Polak returned to the bench to the dismay of team doctors, after receiving 22 stitches to repair the gash. Polak also lost several teeth on the play. In his first shift back, he assisted on a Trevor Smith goal.
A notorious gym rat, Polak routinely finishes tops in team fitness testing. Interestingly, he was reportedly ordered by Blues trainers not to exceed 315 pounds while performing bench presses. Surprisingly mobile for a man of his frame, Polak adds an element of physicality and veteran composure.
CALGARY, AB – FEBRUARY 9: Roman Polak #46 of the Toronto Maple Leafs in action against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on February 9, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)