Given his importance to this team, why risk Staal incurring another concussion by coming back too soon. Mark had periodic headaches during the summer after simply working out. During training camp, Torts sent him home early reportedly due to recurring headaches. I am, by no means, a doctor but why not sit out the 1st 15-20 games at the beginning of the year and be absolutely sure, the bruise on his brain is fully healed. Staal is 24 years old and has a very long career ahead of him. Why take a chance?
Short term solutions include: move McDonough up with Gerardi; pair Bell with Sauer; and mix and match the 3rd pair with Eminger, Erixon, and MDZ. If Campoli is willing to take a 1-year deal, perhaps he could fill the void and be paired with Sauer on the 2nd pair. Then the 3rd pair would come from a combination of youngsters (Erixon and MDZ) and veterens (Eminger and Bell).