Rangers’ Staal out indefinitely with eye injury

Marc Staal was helped off the ice after taking a deflected slapshot to the face. Credit: Getty Images
Marc Staal was helped off the ice after taking a deflected slapshot to the face.
Credit: Getty Images

The New York Rangers announced late Wednesday afternoon that defenseman Marc Staal will be out indefinitely after being examined by two eye specialists.

Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist, and Dr. Mendel Markowitz, a maxillofacial surgeon saw Staal, who was struck near the right eye by a shot off the stick of Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen 5:45 into the third period of the Rangers’ 4-2 win Tuesday night at the Garden.

Staal dropped to the ice and clutched at his face. He was helped off the ice and did not return to the game. He was not at his stall when the dressing room was open to reporters. Head coach John Tortorella, Ryan Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist and Dan Girardi each used the word “scary” to describe the injury.

According to the statement, Staal’s injury — as per team policy, it was undisclosed — had “improved significantly and both doctors are optimistic Marc will make a full recovery.”

Staal’s older brother, Eric, a center for the Hurricanes, told NHL.com he spoke on the phone with the defenseman Wednesday morning.

“It’s hard to say now. They’re just waiting for the swelling to go down. He sounded like he was in OK spirits but we don’t know a lot right now,” Eric Staal said. “Obviously we’re saying prayers and hoping he dodged a bullet as far as being struck in that area. We’ll know more with some more time.

“It’s scary to see. It’s an awful feeling and it made me sick to my stomach seeing him in that pain with his legs kicking. But, it was good to talk to him [Wednesday] and, hopefully, everything is going to be OK.”

Marc Staal does not wear a visor. Neither does Eric or their brother, Jordan, a center for the Hurricanes. Visors are not mandatory in the NHL.

However, in recent years there has been increased awareness of the fragility of eyes. Ian Laperriere’s playing career ended, for all intents and purposes, after he was struck by a slap shot off the stick of New Jersey defenseman Paul Martin above the eye in Game 5 of the 2010 Eastern Conference quarterfinal at the Prudential Center. Laperriere suffered a concussion and nerve damage to eye, and needed 60 stitches to close a cut.

Laperriere returned to the Flyers lineup for the final two games of the Eastern Conference final and played in the six-game Stanley Cup final loss to Chicago, but the lingering effects from the injury forced him to retire. He is now the Director of Player Development for the Flyers.

Defenseman Chris Pronger’s career has been essentially derailed after he was high-sticked in the eye by Toronto center Mikhail Grabovski in a game in October 2011. Pronger has not played since, as he has experienced post-concussion symptoms.

Neither Laperriere nor Pronger wore visors.

In a sit-down interview with Sportnet.ca’s Dan Murphy, Pronger said the injury has limited his peripheral vision.

“That so-called sixth sense, I used to really have a good one. Now, I couldn’t feel anybody coming around a corner. My kids scare me all the time. That used to be what I was known for: knowing where everybody was, having a feel for who was around me. Now I don’t have that.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Grimm choice: Tax fraud trial could dog NY…

Rep. Michael Grimm may be splitting his time between the campaign trail and a courtroom where he is due to face tax evasion charges.

Local

Met Opera, unions extend talks for 72 hours,…

Met Opera agreed to extend negotiations with its labor unions for 72 hours, preventing a threatened lockout, the organization said late Thursday.

Local

MAP: New York City street closures August 2…

Summer Streets, the NYC Triathlon, the Ecuadorian Parade and festivals will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on 'Calvary' and his very…

Brendan Gleeson discusses how "Calvary" began over drinks and how his priest character is the opposite of the officer he played in "The Guard."

Movies

Interview: Chris O'Dowd does funny and serious in…

Chris O'Dowd talks about "Calvary," an Irish comedy-drama about a priest (Brendan Gleeson) under fire.

Movies

'Alive Inside' and 'Code Black' are documentaries with…

Two new documentaries — "Alive Inside" and "Code Black" — portray different issues but suffer from the same problem.

Music

Caught a Ghost catches a soul/rap vibe

Jesse Nolan says Caught a Ghost's sound aims for two things everybody likes: soul music and '90s rap.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…