Tortorella no fan of Springer

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

John Tortorella is not afraid to shoot from the lip.

So when asked yesterday what it would be like to coach in the fishbowl that is Toronto, the bench boss of the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning pulled no punches.

"I think there are some Jerry Springers there as far as the media is concerned," Tortorella said.

"Listen, I've met some good smart people there who cover the team. But, like I said, there are also some Jerry Springers there. In those cases, I don't think they think before they talk sometimes."

THE REAL DEAL

Karel Pilar practically is signed, sealed and delivered, Maple Leafs general manager John Ferguson confirmed yesterday.

The deadline to ink any remaining Group 2 free agents like Pilar is tomorrow. Pilar, who was discovered to have a recurrence of a heart condition/blood disorder during the summer, turned down the Leafs qualifying offer at that time because his health was so much up in the air.

"Oh yeah, it's pretty much done," Ferguson said. "It's just a matter of (finalizing) it."

Ferguson said Pilar will be placed on injured reserve, likely for about a month, in order to regain his strength.

NET GAINS

Despite average starts to the season by the New Jersey Devils' Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo of the Florida Panthers, Maple Leafs/Team Canada coach Pat Quinn dismisses recent talk in some circles that there should be concern about the state of the Olympic team's goaltending situation.

"I think it is premature," Quinn said."(Brodeur has) been the best for a number of years and I don't see anything that has changed there.

"As for (Luongo), I'd say the same. Part of it is the way their respective teams have been playing in front of them, too."

Quinn said Ed Belfour's acceptance of being the No. 3 guy in Salt Lake City back in 2002 might play a role in his quest to make the team again. Barring injury, the third goalie likely won't dress.

"From an attitude standpoint, there was no problem with Ed being there," Quinn said.


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