Sport: Rangers veteran defenseman Marc Staal has ankle surgery, out at least two weeks - - PressFrom - US

Sport Rangers veteran defenseman Marc Staal has ankle surgery, out at least two weeks

21:05  09 november  2019
21:05  09 november  2019 Source:

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Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has had a rough couple of weeks as he spent time as a healthy scratch. Now, the blueliner will be missing more time as the Rangers announced (Twitter link) he has undergone surgery due to an infection in his ankle and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

a hockey game in the snow © Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Staal, 33, has played in 11 games this season and is averaging a career-low 18:25 per night. While his offensive production has been limited, he sits second on the team behind fellow defenseman Jacob Trouba in blocks per game with two.

With some of New York’s younger defensemen making a push for regular playing time, Staal’s role has been reduced. With him out of the picture for at least the next two weeks, Staal could find it even harder to draw back into the lineup if Ryan Lindgren does well in his absence.

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Brendan Smith, who has spent time on the wing this year, could also be shifted back on the blueline. With those options available, the Rangers likely won’t need to recall anyone from AHL Hartford to take his place.

Staal has two years remaining on his contract, with a $5.7M cap hit. Considering his diminishing role this season, Staal was already a speculative buyout candidate in June. This issue, even though it’s a shorter-term one, won’t help his cause on being kept around for the final year of his deal.

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