Less than 72 hours after going under the knife, Ryan Callahan is back on the ice.
The Tampa Bay winger — who missed Tuesday’s series-clinching Game 6 win over Montreal due to emergency appendectomy surgery — returned to practice on Thursday, presumably with an eye to draw back into the lineup for the Eastern Conference Final against the Rangers, which begins on Saturday.
Callahan, 30, had three assists through 12 playoff games prior to the procedure, leading the Bolts with a plus-7 rating while sitting second on the team in hits, with 42. Those numbers came on the heels of a regular season in which he tied a career-high in points, with 54, while averaging 17:44 TOI per night.
So needless to say, he’s a pretty key contributor for the Lightning.
It’ll be interesting to see how Callahan does in his first practice back, and how Tampa Bay head coach Jon Cooper addresses the situation. Jonathan Marchessault replaced Callahan in the lineup against Montreal on Tuesday, but it’s likely that Callahan will do everything in his power to be ready for Saturday, as the former Rangers captain spent the first seven years of his career with the Blueshirts.