Despite the fact that the vision in Marc Staal's right eye remains slightly blurry and always may 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." Staal suffered a right-eye injury at Madison Square Garden on March 5 when a slap shot from Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen was deflected and struck him just above the eye flush into the area slightly below his eyebrow. Staal missed the remainder of the regular season but came back to play with a visor in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Washington Capitals. Staal played 17 minutes and thought he was back but he had a setback the next day and was done for the season. Staal spent the bulk of his summer at home in Thunder Bay Ontario. It wasn't until he went on the ice in mid-July with brothers Jordan Staal and Jared Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes that he realized his hockey career could resume without any more questions. "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.'" It was an emotional relief for Staal to come to that realization because he had some serious doubts in the weeks after his injury even when the doctor told him he likely would be able to resume playing. "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."
Marc Staal says he'll be ready for training camp
NHL.com | Aug 28