Thanks to Brandon for breaking the news, but I took some of his stuff out to add quotes from the press conference (if you're confused as to why the story has changed it's look).
Following in the footsteps of his brother Jordan Staal, Marc Staal will make his return to the New York Rangers lineup in the Winter Classic.
After John Tortorella announced yesterday that Staal would not be playing, the announcement was made today that the Rangers decided Staal is ready to play.
"Last night at dinner I talked to Jim Ransey and Dr. Robert Cantu and everything was good with both of them," Tortorella said at the 12:45 press conference today. "So I asked Staal is he could play, and I heard so many things and I said to Staal 'I don't care about what anyone else thinks are you ready to play?' And he said he was, so he's playing."
"The game itself, I think you can overthink that," Tortorella said of Staal playing today. "If Staal tells me, and as I told you before I needed a yes or no and I got a yes from the trainer, I got a yes from the doctor and most importantly I got a yes from him. I don't care if we're playing in a creek somewhere, he's going to play."
"As far as the minutes and the things that go along with Staal, that's going to take time," Tortorella said of the expectations of Staal's game.
I expect Jeff Woywitka to sit today, but Tortorella said he hasn't made a decision yet. Tortorella also said that Staal would play on the third pairing tonight.