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Maple Leafs News and Views => Main Leafs Hockey Talk => Topic started by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:03:31 AM

Title: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:03:31 AM
Polak signed to a PTO.

Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 14, 2017, 10:11:05 AM
Yeah, knew that this was going to happen.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:15:18 AM
What was the pitch to Rosen and Borgman?

I know you're both stars in the SHL, but let us tell you about the beautiful bus rides in the AHL!
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 14, 2017, 10:17:04 AM
What was the pitch to Rosen and Borgman?

I know you're both stars in the SHL, but let us tell you about the beautiful bus rides in the AHL!

I don't think that this really changes anything for those two. The AHL was always a very real and likely possibility for both of them.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:23:21 AM
I think it was definitely an option, but Babcock was giving them the big sell earlier in the off season, told Dreger how excited he was by them and Aaltonen.

If you agree that Polak is likely to get a contract, do you think they both signed with the knowledge that they'd be at best 8/9/10 on the depth chart coming into camp?

Seems off to me.

EDIT: Thanks for moving this to its own thread.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 14, 2017, 10:35:49 AM
I think it was definitely an option, but Babcock was giving them the big sell earlier in the off season, told Dreger how excited he was by them and Aaltonen.

If you agree that Polak is likely to get a contract, do you think they both signed with the knowledge that they'd be at best 8/9/10 on the depth chart coming into camp?

Seems off to me.

You mentioned Aaltonen as well and that's another guy with basically a 0% chance of making the team out of camp. I think all 3 Euros signed knowing full well that they weren't the type of impact players that would get a NHL spot right away from any team other than someone like Colorado. Even when you go back to when they were signed nobody talked about these guys like we talked about Zaitsev. None of them were considered locks for the team. They were going to require AHL seasoning from any team that was courting them, and the Marlies being a pretty high-end AHL team was probably a big selling point.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:42:24 AM
You mentioned Aaltonen as well and that's another guy with basically a 0% chance of making the team out of camp. I think all 3 Euros signed knowing full well that they weren't the type of impact players that would get a NHL spot right away from any team other than someone like Colorado. Even when you go back to when they were signed nobody talked about these guys like we talked about Zaitsev. None of them were considered locks for the team. They were going to require AHL seasoning from any team that was courting them, and the Marlies being a pretty high-end AHL team was probably a big selling point.

I hope you're right.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Arn on September 14, 2017, 10:51:02 AM
Maybe it's the Leafs allowing Polak to show he's fit so that someone else will pick him up when he doesn't win a contract out of camp?
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 14, 2017, 10:52:54 AM
Maybe it's the Leafs allowing Polak to show he's fit so that someone else will pick him up when he doesn't win a contract out of camp?

That's the best case scenario.

Knowing Babcock though, he gave him increased minutes last year, if the leg break hasn't killed his skating completely, I'd bet money on him getting a contract.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Coco-puffs on September 14, 2017, 10:57:24 AM
I doubt Polak gets a contract right out of camp.  He's probably going to continue to practice with the team beyond camp (ala Prust and Ramo last year) though until he's 100% healthy- at which point the Leafs may have a need due to injury or he can explore other options.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: cabber24 on September 14, 2017, 11:06:13 AM
Meh... no thank you.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on September 14, 2017, 12:59:20 PM
Good guy Lou helping his man get fully recovered.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: disco on September 14, 2017, 01:22:40 PM
That's good news. Can always use depth on defense with the injuries that are sure to come. Poly's sandpaper was most welcome in the playoffs. Good dude, rooting for him.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Zee on September 14, 2017, 01:52:51 PM
That's good news. Can always use depth on defense with the injuries that are sure to come. Poly's sandpaper was most welcome in the playoffs. Good dude, rooting for him.

Polak grew on me as the season went on, and as you mention, it's always good to have more NHL capable defensemen on hand than less.  I don't mind healthy competition among the Dermott, Polak, Borgam, Rosen and Marincins of the world.  If the Leafs can come out of camp with 7-8 viable options on D, it's a good thing.

That being said, I don't know how fleet of foot Polak will be after that injury, he wasn't the fastest of guys to begin with.  I wish him well.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on September 14, 2017, 02:09:33 PM
That's good news. Can always use depth on defense with the injuries that are sure to come. Poly's sandpaper was most welcome in the playoffs. Good dude, rooting for him.

Polak grew on me as the season went on, and as you mention, it's always good to have more NHL capable defensemen on hand than less.  I don't mind healthy competition among the Dermott, Polak, Borgam, Rosen and Marincins of the world.  If the Leafs can come out of camp with 7-8 viable options on D, it's a good thing.

That being said, I don't know how fleet of foot Polak will be after that injury, he wasn't the fastest of guys to begin with.  I wish him well.

I never had the big hate on Polak as some around here do/did, but after that leg injury, and at his age?  I wish him well too ... in retirement.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: bustaheims on September 14, 2017, 04:01:32 PM
I never had the big hate on Polak as some around here do/did, but after that leg injury, and at his age?  I wish him well too ... in retirement.

At his age? He's 31. He's not exactly old.

As a 6/7 defenceman . . . I think there are better options, but not so drastically so that I'm concerned about him getting a contract. With the addition of Hainsey, he's not getting anything more than 3rd pairing minutes when the team is healthy.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 14, 2017, 04:23:13 PM
If a) Polak proves he's healthy, b) the Leafs sign him to a contract, and c) Babcock wants to play him for the same reasons he played him last season, then the worst case scenario here is that he takes playing time away from Carrick.

Babcock made it fairly clear that he didn't exactly have much trust in Carrick at 5-on-5 last season and particularly in the playoffs. He isn't someone who is going to play on the powerplay, or on the penalty kill. He's probably not going to play with Gardiner again since Zaitsev and Hainsey seem to have locks on the 1RD and 2RD spots.

And if Dermott or one of the Swedes win the battle for the 3LD spot, then I'd imagine Babcock would want to pair them with a more veteran presence so I could see Polak going in there. And since I doubt Babs would want to throw any of those 3 into heavy penalty killing roles, he'll also need someone else to take that job. That would essentially mean the defence looks like this:

Gardiner-Zaitsev
Rielly-Hainsey
Dermott-Polak
Marincin-Carrick

With the two bottom pairs shuffling in and out, Polak and Marincin both taking on heavy PK minutes when they're playing.

Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on September 14, 2017, 05:20:42 PM
I never had the big hate on Polak as some around here do/did, but after that leg injury, and at his age?  I wish him well too ... in retirement.

At his age? He's 31. He's not exactly old.

As a 6/7 defenceman . . . I think there are better options, but not so drastically so that I'm concerned about him getting a contract. With the addition of Hainsey, he's not getting anything more than 3rd pairing minutes when the team is healthy.

31 is the new 31.

Hmmm I have my doubts whether Stamkos is coming back from his injuries and he's in his 20s, so downward I double on Polak and say no thanks.

Plus, as you implied, Hainsey has usurped him.  It was kind of like a low-level coup d'etat.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 15, 2017, 03:12:00 PM

The way Babs is talking about this is somewhat promising.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Zee on September 15, 2017, 03:15:40 PM

The way Babs is talking about this is somewhat promising.

I'll take Polak back if it means more hilarious segments with Ferraro between benches saying Polak got away with a dirty hit while Polak listens in and shakes his head.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: disco on September 15, 2017, 03:22:53 PM

The way Babs is talking about this is somewhat promising.

I'll take Polak back if it means more hilarious segments with Ferraro between benches saying Polak got away with a dirty hit while Polak listens in and shakes his head.

(http://i.imgur.com/WGqTI3P.gif)
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 21, 2017, 09:02:51 AM
Bruce Arthur with a good look at the Polak situation:

https://www.thestar.com/sports/leafs/2017/09/20/polak-takes-the-long-painful-road-back-to-leafs-arthur.html

Lots of talk there about his injury and what he went through in the weeks and months that followed. It's a good read. But again there's another comment from Babcock that doesn't really make it seem like he's in the Leafs plans:

Quote
“Well, he’s just got to get healthy,” says Babcock. “To tell you the truth, I haven’t paid any attention to him, until he’s in a situation to play in a game, it’s just a matter of him on rehab.”

Polak also says that he's still in pain because of his leg. It honestly sounds like he's probably rushing things right now. I hope things work out for him, because despite not loving him as a player he's clearly a pretty great guy. The article ends with a neat story from when he first joined the team:

Quote
Morgan Rielly tells the story of a team karaoke night during training camp at Blue Mountain in 2015, and how he and some of the younger players like Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin were nervous, and didn’t do very well. Next up went Polak, still new to the team, and he belted out the 80s song Life is Life, parading through the crowd, dancing with his teammates. He didn’t know all the words, but he let it all hang out. People were dying laughing: this big scowling serious man, acting the fool.

“That was the first time I was ever around him,” says Rielly. “And I think he was making fun of himself, because ... it makes everyone feel better about themselves when he goes out to do that. He’s the one who’d rather be the butt of the joke rather than making fun of other people.”

Polak was willing to be vulnerable, then. He is back to being the tough guy, now. Roman Polak is a relic of an earlier time in hockey, trying to keep up, trying to recapture his own past. He is hoping that to his teammates, he can somehow be the same.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on September 21, 2017, 09:20:33 AM
Quote
After he cross-checked Connor McDavid during a World Cup warm-up and Auston Matthews retaliated by cross-checking Polak, Polak’s assessment of the Matthews hit was, “good technique.”

This sort of ices it for me.
Quote
“I root for everybody who works hard and competes hard and does things right, but in the end, I never confuse the player and the person,” says Babcock. “At this time of year, you’re looking for players. At the same time, you’re hoping they’re really good people. If it’s a 50-50 situation and the tie goes to the best person, a guy like Polie has a chance to win.”

I hope he makes it back to playing in a few months. I like that the Leafs are giving him access to whatever facilities he needs to get going again.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 25, 2017, 04:02:34 PM
You mentioned Aaltonen as well and that's another guy with basically a 0% chance of making the team out of camp. I think all 3 Euros signed knowing full well that they weren't the type of impact players that would get a NHL spot right away from any team other than someone like Colorado. They were going to require AHL seasoning from any team that was courting them.

Reporter today: "Is it a surprise that Aaltonen and Rosen have earned the first shot at those spots?"

Babcock today: "No, they're good players, it's why we signed them."

He also said the exact same to Dreger in Paris, said he was "excited" to get them on-board.

Nothing is set in stone right now of course, but I think it's pretty clear people misunderstood these signings at least a little.

Not a shot btw, just having some fun.  ;)
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 25, 2017, 04:04:38 PM
Haha, all good! Aaltonen making the team would definitely be a pretty big shocker. But it sure looks like that's where we're headed. The question now would be can he (and Rosen) maintain their spots during the season. Impressing in training camp isn't a particularly huge feat.

edit: And truthfully, even from what I've seen I'm a little surprised at how high Babs is on them. Aaltonen didn't really impress me when I saw him, and I thought Rosen's first game was kinda meh but his second was strong. That's still not a lot to go on. I guess they've been crushing it at those highly competitive practices.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 25, 2017, 04:13:27 PM
Aaltonen's pace in the KHL translates to almost 50 NHL points, he seems at the very least to be talented offensively.

With them needing to play a top-nine forward like Brown on the fourth line, they might think Aaltonen can help him score if Martin creates space.  It'll be interesting to see if Aaltonen can be defensively responsible enough to keep play tilted the right way.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Frank E on September 25, 2017, 04:20:05 PM
Aaltonen's pace in the KHL translates to almost 50 NHL points, he seems at the very least to be talented offensively.

With them needing to play a top-nine forward like Brown on the fourth line, they might think Aaltonen can help him score if Martin creates space.  It'll be interesting to see if Aaltonen can be defensively responsible enough to keep play tilted the right way.

That, and the PK thing.  That's what I thought Moore was for.

I guess there's a possibility that Aaltonen gets to stay at the expense of Leivo, but that would be quite the story if they waive Leivo after protecting him instead of Leipsic.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: CarltonTheBear on September 25, 2017, 04:20:07 PM
With them needing to play a top-nine forward like Brown on the fourth line, they might think Aaltonen can help him score if Martin creates space.  It'll be interesting to see if Aaltonen can be defensively responsible enough to keep play tilted the right way.

Yeah I heard Babs talking about how Aaltonen needs to adjust his game to play a more defensive role here, but I mean on the 4th line he's constantly going to be going up against other 4th lines. You don't need a defensive specialist to play there to shut down guys who are just chipping the puck in and trying to basically kill time for another line to come out. If Aaltonen is as good as advertised then he and Brown can definitely do some damage down there.

Now just imagine if they swapped Martin out with Leivo.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: WhatIfGodWasALeaf on September 25, 2017, 04:23:17 PM
With them needing to play a top-nine forward like Brown on the fourth line, they might think Aaltonen can help him score if Martin creates space.  It'll be interesting to see if Aaltonen can be defensively responsible enough to keep play tilted the right way.

Yeah I heard Babs talking about how Aaltonen needs to adjust his game to play a more defensive role here, but I mean on the 4th line he's constantly going to be going up against other 4th lines. You don't need a defensive specialist to play there to shut down guys who are just chipping the puck in and trying to basically kill time for another line to come out. If Aaltonen is as good as advertised then he and Brown can definitely do some damage down there.

Now just imagine if they swapped Martin out with Leivo.

Indeed.

Let's hope they can overwhelm the Canadiens tonight, for obvious reasons this is the first preseason game that feels like the build-up to an actual game.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on September 26, 2017, 07:10:40 AM
As someone who has been advocating for an offensive fourth line that is made up of third liners to overmatch weaker opponents with overwhelming scoring depth, I feel really good about keeping Aaltonen/Moore, Leivo/Martin as swappables to suit the match up. Brown instantly adds a scoring threat to either combination. In-game injuries immediately have players who can fill top-9 minutes temporarily.

It means carrying only one extra defender, but I’m okay with Marincin riding pine with Rosén-Carrick filling out the bottom.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Frank E on September 26, 2017, 08:02:55 AM
What happened to Dermott having the spot?

I think he's looked better than Rosen.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Arn on September 26, 2017, 08:58:37 AM
What happened to Dermott having the spot?

I think he's looked better than Rosen.

He's waiver exempt?
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on September 26, 2017, 09:08:29 AM
What happened to Dermott having the spot?

I think he's looked better than Rosen.

He's waiver exempt?

They're both waiver exempt, and Dermott has the advantage of being performance bonus-free.

They are both flexible options, capable of playing right or left, capable of PK or PP time; Dermott is probably better right now too.

My interpretation of the Leafs actions so far is that they sort of want the bottom pairing to be semi-part-time, with flex options into top-4 minutes for injuries. I think they also value letting their draft picks develop, especially in top minutes if there is a chance.

So I think Dermott will be held back with the Marlies to start the season to shepherd Liljegren and Borgman a bit, rather than tossing him into sheltered bottom-pairing minutes or sitting in the press box. Rosen is easier to cycle in and out of the bottom of the lineup.

I don't think Polak is part of the equation beyond giving him all the space and access to trainers and nutritionists he needs to get back into playing shape. On his PTO, he can participate in practices and round out our 7, as he already knows the drills and the practice pace.
Title: Polak released from PTO
Post by: herman on October 03, 2017, 06:13:10 PM
Title: p
Post by: Newfoundlandleaf on October 04, 2017, 01:05:07 PM
Keep Polak in the wings...my understanding is they are responsible for his full rehab before they or anyone can re sign him...it is so nice overall to have true competition for these jobs!
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: disco on November 28, 2017, 11:49:17 PM
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate on November 28, 2017, 11:52:44 PM
Polak is the hockey equivalent of James Bond.  He's got it all.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Highlander on November 29, 2017, 10:57:39 AM
Polak is the hockey equivalent of James Bond.  He's got it all.
More like Minnesota Slim, put the 8 ball in from the corner pocket.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on December 05, 2017, 02:10:41 PM
https://theleafsnation.com/2017/12/05/is-roman-polak-safe/

Yeeeaaaah...
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Coco-puffs on December 05, 2017, 03:57:10 PM
https://theleafsnation.com/2017/12/05/is-roman-polak-safe/

Yeeeaaaah...

I'll preface this by saying I'd rather have Carrick in the lineup. 

First point they make is how "unsafe" he is based on the amount of penalties he takes.  Well, if you are choosing between Carrick and Polak guess what- Carrick has taken more penalties in almost equivalent number of minutes over the past two years:

Carrick:  1226 mins 100 penalties taken
Polak:  1234 mins  94 penalties taken

Second they point to his advanced stats, focusing on shot rates against  (attempts, unblocked, on-net).  But they don't mention the fact that Babcock doesn't trust Carrick anywhere near as much as Polak defensively- 0.57 ZSR vs 0.47 ZSR (Zone-Start Ratio).  Where you start your shift can impact your rates against (NOT saying it is the reason why his rates are higher entirely- just a part of it)

Polak is still sitting at 50% shot-attempt share (Carrick is slightly below 50%) despite the less favourable zone starts. 
Anyways, I'm not advocating for Polak over Carrick, just pointing some stuff out here.

Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: herman on December 05, 2017, 04:05:06 PM
Thanks for the counterpoint, Coco. Carrick's discipline is definitely an issue. He and Dermott are both fiesty smaller tanky defensemen who've sort of developed that 'play bigger' mentality.

The feeling of safety, in a coach's eyes, is rarely a stats-related thing. I think Polak's in more for Borgman's development than anything, and Carrick just so happens to be the Josh Leivo on defense.
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Frank E on December 05, 2017, 04:10:36 PM
https://theleafsnation.com/2017/12/05/is-roman-polak-safe/

Yeeeaaaah...

I'll preface this by saying I'd rather have Carrick in the lineup. 

First point they make is how "unsafe" he is based on the amount of penalties he takes.  Well, if you are choosing between Carrick and Polak guess what- Carrick has taken more penalties in almost equivalent number of minutes over the past two years:

Carrick:  1226 mins 100 penalties taken
Polak:  1234 mins  94 penalties taken

Second they point to his advanced stats, focusing on shot rates against  (attempts, unblocked, on-net).  But they don't mention the fact that Babcock doesn't trust Carrick anywhere near as much as Polak defensively- 0.57 ZSR vs 0.47 ZSR (Zone-Start Ratio).  Where you start your shift can impact your rates against (NOT saying it is the reason why his rates are higher entirely- just a part of it)

Polak is still sitting at 50% shot-attempt share (Carrick is slightly below 50%) despite the less favourable zone starts. 
Anyways, I'm not advocating for Polak over Carrick, just pointing some stuff out here.

Good points, thanks for that. 
Title: Re: Polak signed to PTO
Post by: Coco-puffs on December 05, 2017, 05:09:55 PM
I hadn't thought of it before this Polak is "safe" thing came up as did Babcock trusting certain guys over others so I figured why not look at Home/Away splits to see how Babcock uses these guys.  For example, on the road, where Babock doesn't have last change how does he use his 3rd pair and what does that tell us about his trust in them.  At home, where Babcock can be sure he's putting them out against weaker competition, does it change?

What I found was pretty revealing in how much Babcock trust these guys:

On the road, Borgman and Carrick both have ZSR that are +20% relative to their teammates.  Polak sits at +4%, so its not like he trusts Polak more than the Top 4 either (Gardsev is ~ -2%, Reinsey is ~ -13%) but that's a significant difference.  He avoids the Borgman/Carrick pairing like the plague if the faceoff is in the defensive zone and he doesn't have last change! 

At home, Carrick has ZSR that is +10.5% relative to teammates.  Borgman sits at +5.5, while Polak is a whopping -17.8%.  So at home, where Babcock can control the matchup, he still shelters Carrick and Borgman.  Polak, on the other hand, gets his trust- or maybe he's just been on for that many faceoffs after an icing??? LOL.

Anyways, the results of all of this (small sample size alerts!!!):

Carrick and Polak have almost identical CA/60 at home (around 57.9).  That is despite Polak having been on the ice for defensive zone faceoffs a heck of a lot more.  Interestingly, Polak has better shot generation numbers (58.9 vs 47.4 CF/60) despite heavy defensive zone starts.

On the road, Carrick sits at 49 CA/60 while Polak sits at 69 CA/60.  Sheltering Carrick on the road is likely really helping his numbers against.  Polak, on the other hand, is getting EXPOSED- I wonder how much the opposing coach is targetting Polak with his better lines- we saw what happened when he was on the ice against McDavid! 

Who knows, maybe those 5 road games that Polak was a part of were high event, because he's got shot generation numbers that lead the team on the road:  68 CF/60.  Meanwhile, Carrick has the lowest shot generation numbers (just slightly) on the road at 55.3 CF/60 despite heavy offensive zone faceoff usage. 

(IIRC, Polak's 5 road games consist of this western canada swing and two of the three games against the Ducks-Kings-SJ??? )