Speaking to reporters after he guaranteed a Winter Classic win from the stage at Citizens Bank Park here in Philadelphia, Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather said he believed doctors "have a handle" on what might be causing Marc Staal's headaches and predicted that the defenseman will join the club in Europe "probably Thursday, Friday."
The team leaves tonight for Prague for the first of four exhibitions in Europe following the Flyers game here.
"I'm not concerned. Marc practiced yesterday, he looked great, his conditioning is terrific, he’s tested in every test we have," Sather said. Although coach John Tortorella said he believed Staal was concussed on the hit from his brother, Eric, in Carolina on Feb. 22, Sather wasn't so sure.
"First of all, going thru the protocol happened a long time ago, He’s been thru protocol a number of times," Staher said. "A lot of things can cause headaches, you can look at migranes, you can have a slipped disc, pulled muscles, you can have a hundred different things. We are trying to diagnose whether it's a concussion or something else that’s bothering the player.That’s what you really have to find out first and that’s been complicated...It’s not as if you sit around at home for 24 hours and have a pounding headache. That’s not the case. We think we’ve got a handle on it now, we’ll know in the next couple days. I’ve heard it may not be a concussion."
In other news, Sather said Pavel Valentenko and forward Chad Kolarik cleared waivers and that he had no interest in anyone placed on the waiver wire in the past two days.