Well if the worst possible news about Rangers defenseman Marc Staal came down the other day when it was announced that he wouldn’t be making the trip to Europe to start the season this Friday, then this is…even worse?
The Rangers today placed the All Star defenseman on injured reserve, as he continues to feel headaches after the hit he sustained last February at the hands of his brother, Eric.
On the other hand, the Rangers could have placed him on the IR to allow them to call up Tim Erixon as head coach John Tortorella decides if Stu Bickel or Brendan Bell are capable to playing on the third defensive pair alongside Steve Eminger. After Friday and Saturday’s game, the Rangers don’t play again until the following Saturday on Long Island against the New York Islanders. League rules state that a player can be taken off IR after 10 days, which is the amount of time between today and the game against the Islanders.
Lastly, Sean Avery has cleared waives and can report to the Connecticut Whale (AHL), although his agent, Pat Morris, has said he has received interest from several European teams.
Staal wasn’t going to play this weekend anyway, so placing him on IR doesn’t change much. It just gives Tortorella and company more options. Of course, this is all speculation, as Staal could be out for the long-term (i.e. Sidney Crosby last season). Everything is still up in the air.