Tampa Bay Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli will make his 2022-23 season debut against the Toronto Maple Leafs, head coach Jon Cooper announced.
Cirelli took part in Saturday’s morning skate and led the team’s stretches.
Cirelli underwent shoulder surgery on July 13 to address an AC joint sprain and was originally expected to miss four to six months.
The 25-year-old notched eight points on three goals and five assists in 23 games during the 2021-22 playoffs.
In the off-season, Cirelli and the Lightning agreed to an eight-year extension worth $6.25 million per season. Tampa Bay assigned forward Cole Koepke and defenceman Philippe Myers to the AHL in order to create the cap space needed to activate Cirelli off long-term injured reserve.
Drafted in the third round (72nd overall) by the Bolts back in 2015, Cirelli has grown into a pivotal piece for the perennial contender, and one of the game’s elite two-way talents.