Two weeks after their brother suffered a scary eye injury, Carolina’s Eric and Jordan Staal have decided to wear protective visors for the first time in their NHL careers.
The two donned them for the first time during Friday’s practice in Raleigh. Both acknowledged the decision was partly made in response to watching their brother — Rangers defenseman Marc Staal — take a puck to the eye during a game against Philly on Mar. 5.
Marc has been out of action ever since.
“It’s a decision that’s been brewing for a little while,” Eric told the Raleigh News and Observer. “At this point I just feel like the risk [of injury] isn’t worth it right now, because of the injuries I’ve seen to other people in this organization, family.
“Sometimes you feel like you’re invincible, but as many guys have seen, you’re not. Unfortunately injuries can happen. It’s just being smarter.”
While this will mark the first time they’ve worn visors at the NHL level, both Staal brothers have worn visors before.
Eric wore one as recently as 2010 — during Olympic participation with Team Canada, during which they were mandatory — and Jordan wore one in 2007 while representing Team Canada at the World Hockey Championships in Moscow.
It’s also worth noting the youngest Staal — Jared, currently playing for AHL Charlotte — also wears as visor, as mandated by American League rules.
With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.
In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.
Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.
He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.
He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.
Again, that was five years ago.
Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.
“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.
“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”
(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)
Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.
The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.
McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious
It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.