A wayward puck hit New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal near his right eye during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Staal fell to the ice, writhing in pain, as soon as the puck smacked his face.
Marc Staal in tremendous pain after getting hit in face by slap shot...bleeding badly— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 6, 2013
New York Daily News reporter Pat Leonard tweeted late that night that Staal hadn't gone to the hospital.
Staal's brother, Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal, told NHL.com's Dan Rosen on Wednesday that Marc was waiting for the swelling around his eye to subside before doctors could really assess the damage.
"[Marc] sounded like he was in OK spirits but we don't know a lot right now," Eric Staal said. "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."
Here's a GIF of the incident (courtesy of SB Nation):
Staal's injury has reinvigorated the debate surrounding mandatory visors for NHL players. "We have this debate every few years," Deadspin's Barry Petchesky wrote, "So we'll once again point out that without a rule change, it's mathematically impossible that a visorless NHL player won't lose an eye someday."
Bystanders aren't safe either. Rinkside reporter John Giannone took a puck to the face last month during another New York Rangers game against the New York Islanders. He continued to report from the stands with blood spilling from his nose.