Eric Staal was chosen to model the Canes' new-look uniform Tuesday, fitting in that he's the team captain and team's biggest star.
But Staal also walked with a slight limp as he mounted the stage at PNC Arena for the ceremony. It was a reminder that his injured knee will take months to heal, even though Staal said there's "no question" he would be ready for the start of preseason training camp.
Staal suffered a third-degree sprain of the right medial collateral ligament (MCL) last month while playing for Canada in the IIHF World Championships in Stockholm. He took a knee-on-knee hit from defenseman Alex Edler of Sweden, who later was suspended for the remainder of the event.
Staal said Tuesday he believed it was not a clean hit by Edler, who plays for the Vancouver Canucks. He's also thankful there wasn't any major structural damage such as a torn ACL.