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Thin Blue Line: Rangers' Staal returns

Updated: January 5, 2012, 7:31 PM ET
By Victoria Matiash | Special to ESPN.com

A Happy New Year indeed for the New York Rangers.

The post-Christmas, pre-New Year's period was kinder to some NHL squads than others. While the Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets each lost a prominent defenseman (more on that below), the Rangers were able to welcome back Marc Staal, who made his season debut in the Winter Classic. If he's truly recovered from post-concussion symptoms -- and there's no reason to believe otherwise -- the 24-year-old could also have an ...

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