Early on Monday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded D Roman Polak and F Nick Spaling to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for San Jose’s 2nd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, San Jose’s 2nd round pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, and F Raffi Torres one week before this year’s trade deadline.
Polak is a 29-year old defenseman who had one goal and 12 assists in 55 games with Toronto this season. He is in the final year of a five year contract with an AAV of $2.75 million.
The 6’1″, 236-pound native of Ostrava, Czech Republic has played in 535 career regular season NHL games with the St. Louis Blues and the Maple Leafs, posting 19-82-101 career totals and 423 career penalty minutes. Polak has a +8 rating and 56 penalty minutes thus far in the 2015-2016 season, ranks 5th in the league in hits (220) and averaged 19:44 TOI per game with Toronto.
He was drafted by the Blues in the sixth round (180th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft and has represented the Czech Republic internationally, including the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.
Spaling is a 27-year old forward who was in and out of the Maple Leafs lineup this season, amassing 1-5-6 totals in 35 games. He is a pending UFA with a cap hit of $2.2 million.
He played in 414 career NHL games with the Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto, amassing 50-68-118 totals and 114 penalty minutes. This year alone, Spaling had 18 penalty minutes over his 35 game span with the Leafs.
The 6’1″, 201-pound native of Palmerston, Ontario was drafted in the third round (58th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Predators and has previously played under current San Jose Sharks head coach, Peter DeBoer, during his time in Juniors with the Kitchener Rangers in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
Polak bolsters San Jose’s blueline, while Spaling provides some much needed depth heading into the long run before the Stanley Cup Playoffs. With about $107,000 left in cap space, the Sharks are likely done making trades until June at the earliest, unless they come up with a massive salary dump (thereby tanking in the process).
Torres, a 34-year old forward, has appeared in six games this season for the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) and will spend the rest of the season on loan from Toronto with the Barracuda.
Raffi Torres was previously acquired by the Sharks from the Arizona Coyotes on April 3, 2013 and played in 16 regular season games, scoring five goals and producing six assists. Torres had served a 41 game suspension this season for an illegal hit to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg in a preseason game on October 3rd and has yet to see any NHL action.
No salary was retained in the deal.
This is now just the third trade prior the 2016 trade deadline on February 29th and all three have involved the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs are in action on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators on home ice at the Air Canada Centre, while the San Jose Sharks square off with the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on Monday night. Polak and Spaling may join the Sharks at the latest on Wednesday night when San Jose travels to the Pepsi Center to take on the Colorado Avalanche.