Marc Staal said Friday that his mindset isn’t changing after Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said the veteran defenseman will be in a battle for ice time this season. “It’s his opinion . . . this is my 11th season, I’m not naïve. I don’t take anything for granted. I come into camp with that mindset every year,” Staal said after some on-ice testing with other defensemen in training camp. “You’ve got to earn your minutes. It doesn’t change my mindset going forward. I’ve been a Ranger for a long time and I plan on being a Ranger for a lot more years.” Staal’s message was that he doesn’t need the coach to remind him to raise his level. Staal, 30, was not the same player after being injured in the Rangers’ 4-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 3. He was initially listed as having an upper-body issue, but the diagnosis changed to a concussion, and he was sidelined until Jan. 31. He finished the year with three goals and 10 assists in 72 games and seemed a step slower. But Staal, who has been skating here for more than three weeks, spent much of the summer at home in Thunder Bay, Ontario, “taking some time to react and reflect,” he said, especially after the sting of losing to the Ottawa Senators in the second round of the playoffs.
Marc Staal has same mindset after coach’s comments
Newsday | Sep 15