On Thursday, veteran center Eric Staal told the "NHL @TheRink" podcast that he intended to skate with his Montreal Canadiens teammates for the first time on Sunday following the March 26 trade from the Buffalo Sabres after his mandatory seven-day quarantine.
Per Sportsnet, head coach Dominique Ducharme confirmed on Friday that Staal will make his Montreal debut Monday against the Edmonton Oilers. As Dan Rosen wrote for the NHL's official website, Ducharme hadn't yet determined where he'll place Staal in the lineup when he spoke with the media.
"There aren't many options," Ducharme said. "We still have a game to play. Some guys are doing well together right now. So we don't want to change everything. So we'll see but you know, but we're happy to have him."
Montreal faces the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Staal explained on "NHL @TheRink" how he was keeping fit during his isolation period. "They've got me a bike, some dumbbells so I go through some home workouts," he said. "A couple more days, but obviously part of the process. Sunday I'm free, so I'm going to be on the ice and looking forward to it."
Last week, Canadian government officials agreed to decrease quarantine periods from 14 days to seven for NHL players traded from American teams to Canadian clubs.
At the start of Friday's action, Montreal was fourth in the NHL North standings with 41 points, six points ahead of both the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. The top four teams from each division will make the playoffs.