After telling the media on Sunday that defenseman Marc Staal would be out of the lineup, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella changed his tune on Monday morning, telling the assembled media at Citizens Bank Park that Staal would indeed make his return to the lineup for the 2012 Winter Classic.
Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter was at the press conference and they relayed the news.
"Last night at dinner I talked to Jim Ransey and Dr. Robert Cantu and everything was good with both of them," Tortorella said at the 12:45 press conference today. "So I asked Staal is he could play, and I heard so many things and I said to Staal 'I don't care about what anyone else thinks are you ready to play?' And he said he was, so he's playing."
Sounds simple enough. We'll see who he plays with and how much he plays, but Staal will indeed play on Monday afternoon.
For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banterand Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.