A sure thing for what? Clearly he's healthy enough to play. The question is, assuming his eye is not at 100%, a) what percent is it at?, and b) how much will that effect his performance? I guess we'll find out soon enough.
Despite the fact Marc Staal's vision in his right eye is slightly blurry and may always be, the New York Rangers defenseman is proclaiming himself 100 percent healthy and ready to rediscover his All-Star form starting at training camp in September.
"The eye is still not normal, but I feel back to normal," Staal told NHL.com Tuesday at Canada Olympic orientation camp. "I don't see myself having any issues once camp starts. It'll be good to get into camp to get that timing and feeling back, but I'm excited for that to get that started, get that rolling."
"I went out with Jordan and Jared for a skate, and after the skate I realized I hadn't thought about it once," Staal said. "While I was doing all the drills, quick drills, things like that, my focus wasn't on thinking about what I was doing, it was more about just doing it. Right after that skate I was like, 'OK, this is going to be fine.'"
"When you're sitting in the doctor's office and he tells you your eye probably won't come back to normal, that was a hard day," Staal said. "That was about a week-and-a-half after [the injury]. They told me originally that I would be all right, but once the blood started flushing out of there they started to see a little more damage. The next thing he said is, 'You're still going to play.' But you still don't know if you're going to get back to that level, and obviously that's what I have to prove. I'm anxious to do that."
Rangers blueliner Marc Staal says he’s ready to go after suffering a scary eye injury last season.
"It's good. Really good. I had a really good summer of training and I feel really good," Staal said Tuesday. "When I'm on the ice, I don't really notice it at all. I'm excited and anxious just to start the season up and get it going."
Staal said he’s adjusted well.
"It was more of just adapting to the depth perception and things like that when I was coming back,” Staal explained. "It just wasn't clicking when I was trying to come back in the playoffs there. But with the time off and the training now, everything's back to normal and I'm feeling really good."
Many people believe Staal could make Team Canada as long as there are no signs he’s limited by what happened to his eye.
"I have no limitations at all. It's been a great summer of training,” said Staal. "Physically from the time I was cleared to start working out, there wasn't anything I couldn't do as far as physically getting ready. So that part of it has been really good this summer, just getting into shape, getting stronger and getting ready for the season."
9:58PM: Staal spoke with Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com and said:
His eye is good, “really good” and that he had a good summer of training
He doesn’t notice his eye issues when on the ice
Staal says he has “no limitations at all”
The issues he had trying to adapt during the playoffs have gone away and “everything is back to normal and I’m feeling really good.”
Agree with top 5; that's a topic that had much play earlier in the summer.
Considering what the Rangers can ice for 50 min out of 60 on the back end, I think that in it self alone creates for favorable match-ups night in/night out. Given the injuries, and slumps, I think that it has still yet to be seen what this group can do.
Obviously won't believe it until I see him in action, but this is fantastic news. Very reassuring as a fan. Right wingers on other teams are going to have a hard time scoring with either McDonagh or a healthy Staal on that left side 75% of the time.