Monday, September 19, 2011

Staal Suffers Setback Dealing With Concussion Symptoms; Rangers Looking For Veteran Defender?

Yesterday it was revealed that All-Star defenseman Marc Staal was dealing with lingering effects of a concussion he suffered February 22, 2011 against the Carolina Hurricanes.  According to Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants the news gets worse today as Staal has suffered a setback in his recovery and was sent home today.
“He really didn’t feel well,” Tortorella said. “This is a fluid situation.”
“We’ll see how he feels and we’ll talk tomorrow,” Tortorella added. “This is how it’s going to be. We’re erring on the side of caution.”
The fact that the team is erring on the side of caution is a great thing as I talked about yesterday, but the need for concern is upon us.  Anytime your top defender, especially one that plays as important a role as Marc Staal is injured there are issues for the team.  Making that concern more real is the unpredictable nature of concussions and the impacts changing from day to day.  The fact that nearly 7 months after the hit he is still having symptoms makes the whole scenario that much more concerning for the Rangers and Staal.
With concern about Staal and tendinitis issues for Michael Sauer, who scored a goal in his first scrimmage today, the Rangers are in the market for another veteran defender to add to the club according to Gross’ reporting.
“Even prior to this with Marc being up and down, we’re looking,” Tortorella said.
It is somewhat surprising that the Rangers are looking outside the organization when they have Tim Erixon, Pavel Valentenko and Michael Del Zotto as young players that can compete for spots, but maybe Steve Eminger’s veteran experience is not enough for the organization to feel completely comfortable with the young defense corps.  It should also be noted that Tortorella saying that the team is looking does not mean they are actively shopping for anyone, but just keeping an eye on who might become available as the season approaches which all teams should always be doing.