When should Ranger fans start worrying about Marc Staal’s lingering headaches? Now would be an appropriate time.
Staal suffered a concussion in February and has experienced headaches all summer long. The news was kept hushed by Rangers brass, until training camp opening. The Rangers now face a huge problem, their top defenseman, may miss a significant amount of time.
The status of the defenseman has changed daily. First, General Manager explained that he wouldn’t travel to Europe with the team at first, but may join them at some point. This lead to speculation that he would miss most if not all of the pre-season.
Then the news came out, Staal would not be joining the team in Europe, and would possibly miss the season opener. Updates have been few and far between on the player’s actual status. Staal had been skating with the Connecticut Whale of the AHL, but now may be shut down completely. Glen Sather spoke on Staal’s status this afternoon.
“Doctors have said that it could be a week, but it could also be a month,” Sather said. “I wish we had something absolute, but we don’t.”
Now the Rangers the Rangers are left with a giant hole on their blue-line, and one that won’t easily be filled. Where will the team go from here?
Rookie blue-liner Tim Erixon is set to rejoin the team after being sent down just a short while ago, but that still leaves the Rangers vulnerable on the back-end. John Tortorella has said that they are keeping an ear to the ground about possible trade scenarios, or waiver wire pick-ups.
“We have had conversations today…we are trying to upgrade our D… with the uncertainty of Marc.”
The New York Post has reported that veteran defender, and former blueshirt Paul Mara’s name has popped up a few times, and the Rangers have continued discussion with his agent. The Ridgewood New Jersey native split time between the Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens last year playing a total of 53 games in a bottom six role.
With Marc Staal set to miss some time, although nobody knows how much time specifically, the Rangers will have an even rougher start to an already daunting beginning of the season. They open the year in Europe before travelling to Canada.
Everything was falling into place for the Rangers, who were set to be an impact team this year. Without Marc Staal, a greater strain will be placed on the young defensive corps earlier in the year. The Rangers will have to rely on their offensive prowess, and elite goal-tending to get off to a hot start.