Eric Staal experienced a new sensation at the RBC Center following today's morning skate.
Jeff Skinner wasn't around. His No. 53 helmet, skates and gear was neatly arranged in his locker room stall, which is next to Staal's at the RBC Center, tangible evidence that the Canes' leading scorer will be out for a while with a concussion.
"It's a little different," Staal said, smiling. "I'm usually in his ear in the morning, asking him what he had for dinner."
No one can say when Skinner, who was diagnosed with the concussion in a Wednesday medical evaluation, will return. He has never missed a game -- or nearly anything else -- at the RBC Center since joining the team. He played all 82 last year as a rookie and the first 30 this season before missing the Winnipeg and Toronto road games.
The Canes also will miss defenseman Joni Pitkanen, like Skinner out indefinitely with a concussion.
Several key players in the league are battling the effects of concussions. Among them: New York Rangers ...