Jordan Staal is expected to make his season debut with his eighth-place Carolina Hurricanes when they play host to the Montreal Canadiens Monday night.
The 26-year-old centre was sidelined due to a fractured right fibula sustained during a preseason game in September against the Buffalo Sabres.
Since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the 2012 draft, the centre had played all 130 games before missing the first 34 of this 2014-15 season.
“I’m anxious to get back in,” Staal told Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer. “It’s been quite a journey.”
According to Alexander, head coach Bill Peters will be looking at different line combinations while monitoring Staal’s minutes to start.
Staal had 15 goals and 40 points in 82 games with Carolina (10-21-4) last season.
Forward Jiri Tlusty will also play Monday after missing seven games with an upper-body injury.