Pilar good to go

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Karel Pilar finally got some good news.

The young defenceman received medical clearance in Montreal Thursday to participate in full practices and, once his fitness level improves, games.

In August, Pilar had a second bout of viral myopathy in his heart. It's a condition that occurs when the heart muscle stiffens and can't pump enough blood to the body.

All that remains is for a contract to be worked out between Pilar's agent and the Leafs, an issue Pilar does not believe will be a problem.

Depending on the terms of the deal, the logical scenario would be to have Pilar spend some time with the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies in order to shed any lingering rust.

Pilar has not played in a meaningful game since the spring when he competed for the Czech Republic prior to the World Championship.

"It's very exciting," Pilar said yesterday, grinning from ear to ear. "I've been waiting a long time for this.It's going to take time for me to get into game shape, though."

Mats Sundin need not worry about that. The Toronto captain is in mid-season form, scoring his 333rd goal as a Maple Leaf Thursday to move past Ron Ellis into third place on the franchise's career goal list.

More importantly, he needs just six more points to pass fellow Swede Borje Salming, his good friend, for third on the Maple Leafs' career points list.

"I guess it means I'm getting old. That's the way I look at it," Sundin said with a wink.

Salming, who registered 768 points in a Leafs jersey during his illustrious career, is now an underwear magnate in his native Sweden.


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