Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/09/11 at 12:45 PM ET
from Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times,
Eric Staal, the Carolina Hurricanes’ captain and a winner of the Stanley Cup and an Olympic gold medal, is off to the worst start of his career, and one of the worst starts endured by any N.H.L. player this season. But he is sure that guilt is not behind it.
Staal, a center, is making his first trip to the New York metropolitan area since the Rangers disclosed that their top defenseman, Eric’s younger brother Marc, sustained a concussion when Eric checked him Feb. 22 during a game in Raleigh, N.C. It was a driving shoulder check, legal but vicious, thrown when Marc had his head down looking for a puck at his feet and was tied up with another player.
Staal did not realize whom he had leveled until after the play. Immediately after that game, Marc told Eric he was “upset” and “disappointed” at being hit like that.
Marc missed a handful of games last season, although neither he nor the Rangers revealed he had sustained a concussion. Marc’s symptoms worsened over the summer, and he has not played this season. There is no timetable for his return.
“It’s tough for him; it’s tough for me; it’s tough for everyone in the family,” Eric said Tuesday afternoon after practice at Prudential Center, where the Hurricanes later lost to the Devils, 3-2.
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