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2023-24 Player Review: Marc Staal was here

Photo Credit: Heather Barry

When Marc Staal signed a one-year contract last July with the Flyers some suspected that coach John Tortorella would play Staal ahead of younger prospects, curtailing their development as the then 36-year-old would see third-pairing minutes. Tortorella, who had Staal during his tenure with the Rangers, denied that would happen and for the most part Staal, who played a full season with Florida in 2022-23, essentially didn’t block any younger Flyers defenseman from seeing ice time.

However, the Staal that was sheltered with the talent the Florida Panthers had last year was far more exposed this year with a far less talented Flyers roster, resulting in some cringe-worthy shifts in the Flyers’ own zone. Despite the eye test sometimes looking far worse than the metrics might suggest, Staal played 35 games for the Flyers with his busiest months in February and March where he appeared in eight games each month. The remaining 47 were lost at times through injury but as the season wore on (and Torts went from his 11/7 structure to 12/6) Staal was sometimes that scratched seventh blueliner. Staal was injured early in the season, suffering an upper-body injury against the Oilers on Oct. 19 and missing 12 games. He would not play again until Nov. 22 against the Islanders.

As for the basic metrics, Staal scored one goal and had four assists (two primary, two secondary). His lone goal was against Edmonton on Jan. 2.

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