Eric Staal C CAR 3 Hrs

Staal collected his first assists in the month of December in Thursday's 4-1 win over Toronto, dishing two -- one on an empty-netter.

His last helper came on Nov. 29, and Staal had totaled just a lonely goal in the seven games since. It's been slow going in the first half of the year for the star center, who even after the two-point evening is on his worst point-scoring pace since his 2003-04 rookie season.

Eric Staal C CAR 8 Days

Staal, who missed Wednesday's practice for maintenance purposes, will be in the lineup Thursday against the Bolts.

As coach Bill Peters indicated following Wednesday's session, Staal's absence doesn't seem to be anything to worry about. He assumed his usual spot on the Hurricanes' top line at their morning skate and should play close to his 19:30 average of ice time Tuesday. Still, it's worth wondering how truly healthy Staal is, as he's been held without a point in all four of his December contests thus far.

Eric Staal C CAR 9 Days

Staal was absent from Wednesday's practice, but coach Bill Peters said the forward is still expected to play Thursday versus the Lightning, Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer reports.

Staal dealt with a foot injury coming into Monday's game against the Devils, but he ended up suiting up for 19 unimpressive minutes, attempting just two shots on goal during that game. Wednesday's maintenance day should offer him some useful recovery time from the injury, but he could still notice diminished effectiveness even if he plays Thursday.

Eric Staal C CAR 10 Days

Staal (foot) will play Monday against the Devils, Michael Smith of the Hurricanes' website reports.

Staal suffered a minor foot injury in Sunday's game against the Red Wings, but the setback will not prevent him from playing Monday. Steal will center the Hurricanes' top line and be flanked by Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm.

Eric Staal C CAR 11 Days

Staal is dealing with a foot injury after blocking a shot Sunday against the Red Wings, Tom Gulitti of the Record reports.

Staal took part in the team's Morning skate Monday, but was skating gingerly, and left the ice early. His status for Monday's matchup with the Devils looks to be questionable at best at this point.

Eric Staal C CAR 23 Days

Staal registered an assist during Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Avalanche. It was his fifth point in his last three games.

Staal has been a key offensive force for the resurgent Canes the last few weeks, with 11 points in 13 games since returning from a five-game absence due to an upper-body injury. Moreover, Staal has not gone more than two games without scoring a point this season, displaying the kind of consistency that fantasy hockey owners crave. As long as he's healthy, Staal should be in your fantasy lineup every time he laces up his skates.

Eric Staal C CAR 1 Month

Staal provided two goals and an assist Tuesday, propelling the 'Canes to a 6-4 win over the Stars.

Amazingly, this was Staal's first multi-point game of the season. Stick with him in your lineups, as it won't be the last.

Eric Staal C CAR 1 Month

Staal scored his second goal of the season in Tuesday's 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets.

Staal's now played in six games and has five points to show for it. In the four games since returning from the upper body injury that held him out of action for over two weeks, he has a goal and two assists. Whatever lingering issues may have been present at first appear to be gone.

Eric Staal C CAR 2 Months

Staal (upper body) will be in the lineup Tuesday against the Canucks, Michael Smith of the team's official site reports.

Staal collected a goal and an assist in two games before getting hurt, and will finally make his return to the lineup Tuesday. He racked up 21 goals and 40 assists in 79 games last season, and should be a solid fantasy center if he's healthy.

Eric Staal C CAR 2 Months

Staal (upper body) was a full participant at Monday's practice, Michael Smith of the team's official site reports.

Staal was back to wearing a regular sweater at Monday's team practice, indicating that he has likely been cleared for contact. He'll need to be activated from IR before he can return, but it sounds like that roster move will come sooner rather than later.