New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal will not take part in training camp scrimmages or play in any of the team's three North American exhibition games due to lingering effects from a hit last season by his brother, Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
Staal missed the next three games after the hit that took place in February, but played the remainder of the season without incident. During the summer, however, Staal started having problems.
"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. We want him to feel better consistently. He could have contact. We're holding him out. In the summertime, when he was ramping up his workouts, he started feeling it."
Tortorella is hoping Staal will be ready to play when the Rangers play their four exhibition games in Europe in preparation for two contests against the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks in Stockholm as part of the NHL Premiere Series.
The 24-year-old is one of the Rangers' alternate captains along with center Brad Richards. Staal led the Rangers in ice time with 25:44 per game. He and Dan Girardi comprise the team's top defense pairing.