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.