Toronto Maple Leafs: Roman Polak is making the team

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Roman Polak
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 02: Roman Polak /

Roman Polak has been given a professional tryout with the Toronto Maple Leafs at camp, but who are we kidding, he’s going to make the team.

For once, there aren’t too many mysteries surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs. We know who the starting goaltender is and we know who the number one centre is.

In fact, we know pretty much how a lot of the line combinations will look this season. Of course there’s the whole, “Where will Patrick Marleau play”, storyline, but that’ll be worked out.

The main mystery is actually the Leafs bottom pair. For the most part it’s pretty wide open.

The top four will be relegated to Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, Nikita Zaitsev and Ron Hainsey. However no one on the team has a guaranteed hold on five or six.

Many, including myself, hope that one of Travis Dermott, Andreas Borgman or Calle Rosen could play on the left side. Right now, Dermott is probably a front-runner to make the team. He only played one of the two games at the Rookie Tournament, but looked really good in it.

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Unfortunately, there’s also the shadow of Martin Marincin… (If you follow me on Twitter, you probably know how I feel about Mr. 52). That being said, there’s a chance he slots in there. Mike Babcock is a fan of him, because of his size and big stick and all that other stuff.

For now, we’ll put Dermott on the third pair. A lot of fans have Connor Carrick playing on that right side. This will be a big year for the young defenceman, not only because this is the final year of his contract, but because he struggled a lot last season.

But it’s not that easy. There is still one more person who can and will challenge for that spot: Roman Polak.

PTO Polak

The Leafs released the training camp roster Thursday morning, and one of the things you can’t help but notice is that Polak got a professional try out.

Surprising? Not really. Polak skating with a Leafs’ sweater in the off-season could hint at him getting another shot with the team.

The players love him, and Babs loves him. Polak getting a tryout with the Leafs is just a formality; he’s going to be on the team.

Related Story: Polak May Not Be Done with the Leafs

Whether he plays or not is another story, but at the very least, a contract will be signed. It’s safe to say Carrick will be on a short leash this season. If he makes a game costing mistake, takes a bad penalty, or Babcock just decides he wants to change the pairings, Polak will be played.

Obviously the cap hit won’t be anywhere near the one he had last season. It’ll most likely be a one-year possible short of $2 million per.

A lot of people will say: “Well we just have to wait how things play out”, but I don’t think that’s the case. Polak has been part of the organization for the last few years, and the Leafs have made all the stops to keep him around.

Don’t be surprised if we see 46 lacing them up for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 4.

Next: Players to watch at training camp

Do you think Polak makes the team? If so, what happens with Carrick? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.