Monday, March 05, 2007

The return of Pilar

Mike Penny, General Manager of the Toronto Marlies, announced today that the club has signed defenceman Karel Pilar to a standard player’s contract. In keeping with club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
When he was healthy, Pilar was one of those 'pleasant surprise' sort of players, a late-bloomer who was undrafted at 23 and skating in the Czech Republic in 2001. The Maple Leafs tossed a second-round pick at Pilar, despite his age, and in his only 'full' NHL season to date (2003-04), he was more than serviceable.

He's a big guy with a hard shot, but not a particularly physical player.

Pilar's biggest problem, however, has been his health, as he was diagnosed with viral myopathy, a heart condition. He only skated in 20 games total last season with Sparta Praha in the Czech league.

Now 29, Pilar may simply have a very brief audition with the Marlies if his symptoms return, as they have in the past. Still, it'd make for a nice story with Tomas Kaberle injured if a fellow Czech can step in and fill a hole on the Toronto blueline.

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At 7:32 p.m., March 05, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Awesome news, thanks for passing it along. This guy's luck always seemed to go from bad to worse. Count me as one hoping that the "pee-lash of strength" gets another shot at the big club.

At 2:46 p.m., April 13, 2007, Anonymous wolf said...

Karel Pilar would be a top four defensemen on any team. I remember his performance against Ottawa in the playoffs a few years ago. I hope he returns to good health and joins the Leafs. He is a great asset when healthy.


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