Remember Him?

According to the Toronto Sun:

Karel Pilar is working out with the Maple Leafs on their five-game road trip despite being unsigned, according to the Toronto Sun. “One of these days there will be a try (with Pilar),” coach Pat Quinn said. “We still have to sign him. Two years ago we thought he was close to playing on a regular basis. We still have that decision in front of us. He has had medical clearance. What he’s looking to do is build up his physical strength.”In related news: Defenceman Karel Pilar underwent final physical tests yesterday and GM John Ferguson said “there’s nothing to indicate otherwise” when asked if Pilar is healthy enough to play. Pilar, who missed much of last season because of a heart ailment, has not been signed by the Leafs.

As much news has come up lately about the shortcoming of the Leaf’s Defence, Pilar was a rock when he played in the 2002 playoffs during the so called “Grit and Glory” run. News seems that Pilar will be prepared to make a return at the latest midseason. It does say that he is unsigned, but obviously implies that when he returns to physical form he will sign, as he would not be touring and training with the Leafs otherwise. The decision of this seems to be in the hands of Leafs management, as Pilar is reported to want to continue playing with the Leafs.

So this is yet another reason why the Leafs management might be stingy with their money, simply because they do plan (or hope) to spend some of it signing a contract with Karel. He was extremely promising in that playoff year, and a simple stint of bad luck with the virus he had kept him from any starts the following season.

Obviously, he has shown he can make an impact as he did during those playoffs, but he is still not the answer. However, for my fellow Leafs fans out there, it’s a flicker of hope to our troubled D-Line.

29 Responses to Remember Him?

  1. leafsrule31 says:

    … actually.. it was reported yesterday on the leafs website that he was resigned, and was assigned to st johns.

  2. CaptainModano says:

    So once again, Coliacovo is kept waiting? Looks like even Pilar is getting a better roster shot than Toronto’s “next big thing” in Coliacovo. Is he going to just wear out his welcome in St. John’s and get shipped to Washington for Gonchar? I can’t see why the Leafs continue bringing in new faces when they’re regularly benching defencemen over in St. John’s due to the overflow they have there! They signed Clark Wilm also, and assigned him to St. John’s…..for no apparent reason. What good will Wilm, an aging center, do to that team?

  3. markjohnston says:

    he’s signed and has been fantastic with the leafs.

    okay, I know people spout off crap about leafs prospects all the time, BUT I AM NOT ONE OF THEM.

    pilar is the real deal. assuming this heart condition hasn’t completely ruined him and he can get back to his old form, he has the makings of a career NHLer.

    I won’t go as crazy as some leafs fans and say he is a lock for the norris in ’04-’05 or even that he’s a career 1st-4th d-man on contenders. but, he certainly has the mind and body to spend the rest of his career in the NHL – playing well and making some cash.

    if he can keep his defensive skills he showed for the leafs in the playoffs and handful of reg. season games – as well as add some of the offensive imagination he showed in the AHL, there’s no reason he can’t be a #1-4 d-man on any team.

    he’s no a POSSIBLE guy like coli and white, he’s a shoe in.

  4. Tradedude says:

    Wilm was never intended to play for the leafs, the stjohns mapleleafs needed experience and wilm could be useful for them. As for Colaiacovo, i dont think he should be rushed, he still needs some major upgrades on his physical delepment in his upper body strength as well as playing some DEFENSE, we all no him for his offense, he needs to generate some offense. i dont no why everyone gives colaiacovo so much credit, yes he is promising, but there is a ton of pressure on the kid, when less pressure is produced then he will suceed. i doubt he’ll play much for the leafs this yr, probably will have a 10-15 game stint if an injury goes down.

    kondratiev is the way to be for now. take berg out, ive always hated that fat cheeked bastard. lol

  5. WeStSiDe says:

    This is Colaiacovo’s first time in St.Johns, seasoning wont hurt him.

    Wilm is not old, and he is a role player for St.Johns to help out the other guys, did you expect Mario Lemieux?

  6. WeStSiDe says:

    Pilar has already signed a 1 year 500,000 deal and is in St.Johns on a conditioning stint.

  7. WeStSiDe says:

    Kondriatiev could use time in the minors, there is no need to rush him, and suprsingly Berg has been a decent defenseman this year.

  8. Tradedude says:

    i agree that he has played very well with the leafs, last yr they took him out, why? i dont know. 7 points in 17 games impressed me, especially seeing that 2 or 3 of em were OT winners, and that he’s a physical to an extent.

    i like pilar, he’s just as old as kaberle. anyway bye.

  9. CaptainModano says:

    Pilar suffered some “mysterious” heart ailment in late December and missed the rest of the year.

  10. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    He had a heart virus that got into his weakened body when he had a concussion shortly after the 2002 playoffs.

  11. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    Pilar has seniority over Coliacovo, and he was just as promising, but he has the health problems. As it is, ilar has a lot of work to do to get back into form. He is definately not a new face, just one we had forgot about for a while. Coliacovo still need a lot of work, while Pilar just needs to get back to form.

  12. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    I realized he has since be signed, I wrote this Tuesday morning, and it took a while to be posted. I never expected that he would be signed even within this month, but I was pleasantly surprised. I would expect him to make his push onto the roster, in place of most likely Aki Berg, before Christmas.

  13. WeStSiDe says:

    He should be back in no longer then 2 weeks, and would likely rotate with some players like Marchment in and out.

  14. drgnhrt says:

    I read that Pilar has already scored his first goal in his 2 week conditioning stint in St. John. It was his first game and I believe the baby Leafs won that game 3-2 in OT.

  15. mattf says:

    in the playoffs 2 years ago he came out of nowhere and made quite an impression. has a lot of size and can move the puck real well – probably not a 1-4spot dman yet, but he is good enough to take jackman’s spot

  16. markjohnston says:

    yeah, I didn’t mean 1-4 now. sorry if I made that impression.

    I meant a future 1-4 for the leafs. if he plays at least 40 or so games up here as the leafs 5th or 6th man, and then plays next year (hope there is one), I can see him being in the top 4.

    his play has impressed me that much. I’d say the same if he wasn’t a leaf.

  17. markjohnston says:

    agreed on both counts.

  18. markjohnston says:

    pilar is a much better player than coli. no question about it.

    coli might have more potential, but it’s unknown if he’ll live up to it. if he is to live up to it, he’ll have to develop more – in the AHL.

  19. WeStSiDe says:

    Pilar isnt better, Pilar is more developed, big difference.

  20. Tradedude says:

    well kondratiev impressed quinn so i dunno, looks like he is ready. and berg is a bunch of shit, takes dum penalties, and when he doesnt, he makes it seem as if he did.

    just an all-round shit defenseman. o well.

  21. markjohnston says:

    just posting here so I can read all the replies without having to open them all.

    anyone know how to make that the default by the way?

  22. markjohnston says:

    I said he’s a better player.

    as in he plays better. which he does.

  23. markjohnston says:

    yeah, and guess who scored the OT winner?


  24. Donovan says:

    Clarke Wilm is the ugliest guy in the league

  25. big_booty says:

    Pilar? Why should we remember him?

    His sub-standard defensive prowess? His lack of offensive ability? His inability to make the big leagues with any consistency?

    Oh, right. He’s a Leaf. That’s why we should all drop whatever we’re doing and realize that Karel Pilar is the second coming.

    What a joke………Calgon take me away…….

  26. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    He was nothing short of a rock in that playoff run in 2002, as were many of the other kids that came in for injured veterans. It does take some skill, regardless of whether or not the team is the Leafs, to make it to the conference finals. Sub-standard defensive prowess? Maybe as an undeveloped youngster, but he proved to pull his own weight in the defensive zone the little play we got to see from him. Lack of offensive ability? He scored multiple goals as a defencemen in the playoffs, as many as some d-men get in a season. What more can you ask from a guy with little prior NHL experience, and less if any in the playoffs? And whats this about consistancy? He had a freakin heart virus, thats sort of serious. And who claimed he was the second coming? Whenever someone says ANYTHING about ANY Leafs players, its like everyone thinks we’re saying hes the next Gretz. All I’m saying is perhaps another player to help a troubled D-Line, another guy to the mix that could help. I don’t think he can bring us the cup, no single player can, but that doesn’t take away from his proven abilities. Its rediculous how much smack any player gets because they are on the Leafs. He is a talented player, hes no Jesus on skates, but everyone who posted seems to agree except you.

  27. CaptainModano says:

    Uh….didn’t Alyn McCauley have a great playoff year the season before he was dumped along with Toronto’s best prospect in YEARS, Brad Boyes, for Owen “No-Show in the Playoffs” Nolan?

    Whether or not a player puts together a lucky streak of talent as you claim Pilar did, it’s not as if the Leafs notice. Tie Domi still gets a regular spot on the top line, every now and then, and Robert Reichel works the power play. That’s how Pat Quinn does things. Confusing, if you ask me.

    No matter how “promising” a Leafs player may be, in the long run the potential is almost never met.

  28. bleedsblueandwhite says:

    What does this have to do with anything? Quinn is a horrible coach, no argument there, and he was worse as a GM. The Nolan trade wasn’t horribly bad, but you really don’t understand how things work in TO. Quinn was damned if he didn’t, damned if he did. There is so much pressure from fans and management to make things happen, so he had to try. The Quinn system is simple, he goes by the people he likes. Fatty “Ice” Berg, Robert “What a contract” Reichel, they are all in Quinn’s favor. Pilar is also one of these in Quinn’s favor, so he will get a spot on the team. McCauley did have a great run in those playoffs, but did not prove himself the following season, or even the season before that great playoff run. He was one of the better clutch talents when the Leafs needed him, and trading him wasn’t a great idea. If all goes well, Leafs management will tire of Quinn and how much control he has over what they want to happen with the team. I agree he should be out, but I fail to see what this has to do with Pilar, because Quinn likes him and he will get a spot regardless.

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