Detroit Red Wings forward @Mitchell Stephens made his long-awaited return to the lineup on Saturday after a five-month absence while recovering from a lower-body injury.
Stephens, 25, recorded the secondary helper on @Sam Gagner’s goal in the second period of Saturday’s 5–4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, although it was @Marc Staal who put in the majority of the work to set up the play with a gorgeous tape-to-tape pass.
The Red Wings activated Stephens off injured reserve hours before their game against Columbus. The 5’11” centre had practiced with the club for weeks leading up to his return; he now has five points (all assists) in 17 games with the Red Wings this season.
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Originally drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning during Steve Yzerman’s managerial tenure with the club, Stephens was acquired by Yzerman’s new team for a 2022 sixth-round pick during the 2021 off-season.
Assuming he plays the majority of Detroit’s remaining games this season, Stephens will have the option to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights this summer. He logged 7:55 in Saturday’s game against Columbus.
Stephens’ name is on the Stanley Cup in recognition of his contribution to the Bolts’ 2020 championship team. In 62 career regular-season games with the Lightning and Red Wings, Stephens has three goals and 12 points.

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