New York Ranger coach John Tortorella admitted Friday morning that defenseman Marc Staal
may not be ready to join the team when it leaves Monday evening for Europe.
Staal was not expected to be part of the lineup for Friday's preseason game against the Devils at Prudential Center, but he was expected to skate in the practice session for players not in the lineup, which was held Friday morning at the team's practice facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. He was not on the ice for the practice session, though, as he saw more specialists about the headaches he has been suffering.
The defenseman has been suffering concussion-related symptoms throughout the summer. The Rangers believe they are related to hit Marc absorbed from his brother, Carolina forward Eric Staal
, during this past season.
Defense - NYR
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 22 | PTS: 29
SOG: 116 | +/-: 8
The Rangers had their morning skate in Greenburgh today before tonight's preseason game in Newark against the Devils, followed by the players not taking part in that contest having a brisk practice. Marc Staal
was not expected to be in that first group of course, but it was noteworthy when he was not on with the second group. He saw a specialist Thursay as he tries to get ready for the season opener October 7, after experiencing headaches stemming from a February concussion.
"I think in the next couple of days, as he goes through all these tests, and we really try to nail it down," Tortorella said when asked about Staal's status for Europe. "I think we'll have a better idea [Sunday], because he's seeing a number of guys and it'll be a different day. So [Sunday], that will be a better question."
The Rangers do not have a practice scheduled for Saturday.
New York leaves for Europe after Monday night's game in Philadelphia and plays a series of preseason Games against European competition before opening the regular season with pair of games in Stockholm. The Rangers play the Los Angeles Kings
on Oct. 7, and the next night they play the Anaheim Ducks
Friday, Tortorella admitted he has no idea how the next 72 hours or so will play out with Staal.
"It depends. Like I said, we're trying to get him straightened out for the regular season," Tortorella said. "We feel the specialists that he's seeing now are going to speed that up. So, if he doesn't make the first plane, he could come over the next day. We just haven't gotten that far. He's done a lot of testing, a lot of things over the past two days, and is doing it now. So we'll find out more as we go into [Saturday] and Sunday."