Per The Fourth Period’s Anthony Di Marco, Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Marc Staal is reportedly set to miss significant time after an awkward collision with Warren Foegele forced him out of Thursday night’s game.
Staal was noticeably uncomfortable on the bench after the hit, and exited the game with a period left to play. No update was provided on the nature of his injury, however, he is listed as having sustained an upper-body injury. Staal is in his first year with the Flyers, signing a one-year, $1.1MM contract with the team this summer. This was a raise from Staal’s last deal with the Florida Panthers, which only paid the defender $750K. The 36-year-old is turning into a journeyman, playing for three teams in the last three years, after spending the first 13 seasons of his career with the New York Rangers. He’s amassed a staggering 1105 career NHL games, scoring 229 points throughout them. He is four games into his tenure in Philadelphia and has yet to score, although he has recorded two minor penalties and two hits while operating on the team’s third pair.
Emil Andrae and Yegor Zamula have been cycling time between the team’s third pair and the seventh defenseman role. With Staal’s injury, both could have a chance to slot into the lineup consistently. At least, in the short term, as Rasmus Ristolainen’s return from injury could again force one of the two young defenders back into the press box. Ristolainen is on the Flyers’ injured reserve but is eyeing a return soon, taking extra reps at the team’s recent practices. When he’s able to return, and how it impacts the role of Andrae and Zamula, will be noteworthy for a Flyers blue line now down one of their most seasoned talents.