Jan 2, 2012, 1:16 PM EST
Rangers coach John Tortorella announced that Staal will make his season debut today at the Winter Classic against Philadelphia. Tortorella made it clear what he needed to make it work so Staal could play.
“If Marc Staal is going to play, as I told you all before, I needed a yes from everyone. I got a yes from the trainer, I got a yes from the doctor, and more importantly I got a yes from the player. He’s going to play.”
Marc’s return to action in the Winter Classic perfectly matches what his brother Jordan Staal pulled off last year during the Winter Classic. Jordan didn’t play his first game last year until the Winter Classic, much like Marc is about to do now.
Tortorella says that Staal will play on the third pairing, a move that keeps his minutes down for the day and gives him a chance to ease into action. After Tortorella emphatically said that Staal wouldn’t play yesterday, getting those convincing words from all parties involved was enough to get him to make the change for today.
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