I’m not sure what to make of it all.
First, I appreciate the Rangers being cautious with Marc Staal, especially, but also with Brandon Prust and Michael Sauer and Artem Anisimov. Again, especially Staal.
Concussions are the scourge of sports—I’m actually working on a story with former Giants footballer Dorsey Levens about concussions today—and the thing we know for sure about them is that you never know for sure. You never know the severity, of when it’s absolutely OK to play again, about when the symptoms will resurface, about what kind of hit it might take to cause a relapse or another concussion.
So, on the surface, and with zero medical evidence or intelligence or qualifications whatsoever, but completely because of my experience with so many serious concussions in the Rangers’ recent history (and other teams’ recent histories) I’d probably be more concerned about Staal than the Rangers are … or at least more concerned than they are letting on.
It appears that Anisimov and Sauer are going to be fine. Prust had surgery, so you’d assume eventually his shoulder will be 100 percent. But a bum shoulder for a guy who fights 15, 18, 20 times a year, almost always against much bigger (less useful) opponents, to me that’s a concern, too. And let’s remember, the Rangers don’t have a heavyweight anymore, don’t really have a fighter.
The other thing I’m not sure about is where, other than on the third D pair, will a rookie be able to make the team? I think Tim Erixon has a shot, and the Rangers do need to find a third pair. I’m assuming Michael Del Zotto will be one of those. And maybe Erixon is the other. Or maybe he doesn’t make it, and another young D-man does, or Steve Eminger joins the top six. But I don’t see a spot anywhere for another rookie, except as a fourth-liner, and I am very much against a rook playing 4-5 minutes a night instead of playing a ton of minutes in juniors or the minors.
Then again, injuries (or a trade) could change all of that, right?