Author Topic: Polak signed to PTO  (Read 1419 times)

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Offline bustaheims

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #15 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.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #16 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.


Offline Zanzibar Buck-Buck McFate

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #17 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.

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2017, 03:12:00 PM »

The way Babs is talking about this is somewhat promising.

Offline Zee

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #19 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.

Offline disco

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #20 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.


"I'm here for (6) more years. Then I'm gonna stay for two more because we'll be really good." - Coach Mike Babcock

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #21 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.

Offline herman

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #22 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.

Offline WhatIfGodWasALeaf

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #23 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.  ;)

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #24 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.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2017, 04:07:51 PM by CarltonTheBear »

Offline WhatIfGodWasALeaf

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #25 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.

Offline Frank E

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #26 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.

Offline CarltonTheBear

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #27 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.

Offline WhatIfGodWasALeaf

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #28 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.

Offline herman

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #29 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.

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Re: Polak signed to PTO
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2017, 07:10:40 AM »