The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Roman Polak for two games. Polak was given the suspension for boarding Columbus Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand during the Leafs win over the Blue Jackets on Wednesday night. The play occured just one minute into the third period and with the Leafs clinging to a 3-2 lead. Polak was assessed a five minute major and a game misconduct on the play. The Leafs would go on to kill the penalty and win the game by a score of 5-2. Bjorkstrand left the game with an upper body injury and did not return.
Toronto’s Roman Polak suspended two games for boarding Columbus’ Oliver Bjorkstrand. https://t.co/pHvhFoOaZW
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) March 23, 2017
Roman Polak Suspended for Two Games
Polak has spent three seasons in Toronto, split up by a quick 24-game stint with the San Jose Sharks towards the end of last season. In 178 games with the Maple Leafs, he’s tallied a total of only 30 points, but that’s expected from such a defensive defenseman. Polak’s possession numbers, and overall defensive play have dropped this season and so has his playing time.
Polak will miss games on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils and on Saturday on the road against the Buffalo Sabres. He will also forfeit $25,000 that he was to earn under his current contract. The money will instead go to the NHL Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.
Polak can return Tuesday for the Leafs home game against the Florida Panthers.
Polak had not been suspened or fined at any point during his NHL career prior to this incident.