Sunday, September 18, 2011

Staal Suffered Post-Concussion Headaches This Summer; Prust Out Til Europe

Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants reports that Marc Staal is sitting out early in training camp because he experienced headaches this summer as a result of an undisclosed concussion he received last February on a hit from brother Eric Staal.  Staal missed time after the hit, but the reason given for his absence was a knee injury and not the concussion that was the actual cause.  Staal is cleared for contact neurologically, but the Rangers are being cautious with their star defender.

From Gross’ report:

"He's progressing nicely," Tortorella said. "We just want to be cautious and get him ready for the regular season. The past four days he's feeling better during workouts.”

Staal will not play in any of the preseason games before the team goes to Europe in just over a week.

My initial reaction to the Staal news was that it is good for the Rangers to be as cautious as possible with him now, but also disappointment in how secretive the organization was about the existence of the concussion during the season.  It was clear to just about everyone that watched the hit by Eric on Marc at the end of the second period of that game that Staal had to have a concussion from his head smacking the ice, but the team never admitted to the injury.

Prust Also Sidelined:

Along with Marc Staal being held out of preseason games in the United States, Brandon Prust will be held out to get a few extra weeks without contact on his surgically repaired shoulder.  The reports say that Prust is progressing in his rehabilitation and should be ready for opening night, but the Rangers are playing things safe with Prust, which is a good thing since we know Prust will not hold himself back at all once he hits the ice.

Wolski Impressive In Opening Scrimmage

Wojtek Wolski was one of the most talked about New York Rangers this summer with the speculation surrounding whether he should or would be bought out of the final year of his contract. The Rangers made the smart move to keep the talented winger and see what they can get out of him for one season. Wolski dedicated himself this summer to working on his game through different special instructors and at least for one scrimmage it appears to be paying off. Getting the first chance to play with Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, Wolski tallied twice in a 4-2 win for Team Red. Obviously Wolski needs to continue to perform like this, which is far from a certainty, but if he can the Rangers lineup lengthens tremendously and it will create more favorable matchups for lower line players.

Marian Gaborik, looking to rebound from a subpar 2010-11 season, was also strong with a goal and an assist.

Overall reports have the combination of Wolski-Richards-Gaborik dominated the opposition. If this group can play to their talent level the Rangers will be a serious threat to do some damage in the Eastern Conference.

John Mitchell also had two goals.