The Rangers are adding veteran defenseman Roman Hamrlik to the roster while they wait to find out the severity of Marc Staal’s eye injury.
New York claimed the 38-year-old Hamrlik off waivers from the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, one day after Staal was struck in the eye by a deflected puck in the third period of the Rangers’ 4-2 win over Philadelphia.
Staal, who wasn’t wearing a visor, writhed on the ice in pain before being helped to the dressing room. There was no update to his condition Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but his brother, Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, did talk with NHL.com
“It’s hard to say now. They’re just waiting for the swelling to go down,” Eric told NHL.com. “He sounded like he was in OK spirits but we don’t know a lot right now. Obviously we’re saying prayers and hoping he dodged a bullet as far as being struck in that area. We’ll know more with some more time.”
Eric said that he spoke with his brother Wednesday morning and added that Marc sounded “pretty good” during their conversation.
Hamrlik, the active leader with 1,383 NHL games played, was waived by the Capitals on Tuesday after playing in only four games this season. He is in the final season of a two-year, $7 million contract.
Hamrlik played in Washington’s first three games this season before being scratched for seven straight games. He returned to the lineup Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh, but then sat out nine more games before being waived.
After being chosen No. 1 overall in the 1992 NHL draft, Hamrlik has 155 goals and 483 assists with Tampa Bay, Edmonton, the New York Islanders, Calgary, Montreal and Washington. He has one assist this season.