RALEIGH NC - JANUARY 29: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers and Eric Staal #12 of the Carolina Hurricanes skate on the ice before the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition part of 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the RBC Center on January 29 2011 in Raleigh North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Earlier today it was reported that defenseman Marc Staal was being held out of his assigned scrimmage due to an unspecified reason, but that he would skate in the workout that followed. Well now we know why he was being held out as it is being reported that Marc is suffering from lingering post-concussion-like symptoms resulting from the devastating hit he took from brother Eric in Carolina last February, according to Larry Brooks.
While Marc has been cleared for contact, the Rangers want to be cautious here and will be restricting him from playing in any of the three preseason games here in North America. I would assume that would mean he will not be participating in any other possible scrimmages for the remainder of the week, either.
The Rangers are doing the right thing by holding Marc back from exerting himself and taking risks, but he is a player you absolutely do not want to see suffering from any sort of injury this early in the season, let alone post-concussion symptoms. Staal is without a doubt the club's best defenseman and without him the Blueshirts are in serious trouble.
Head coach John Tortorella is expected to address the issue later today...