The Boston Bruins have been without star forward Brad Marchand to start the 2022 NHL season, but it looks as if the veteran winger could be making his return to the team before long. Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery addressed the recent reports that Marchand could be ready to make his return on Thursday, and while he poured cold water on those talks, he provided an encouraging update on the 34-year-old. Via the Bruins' Twitter account, Montgomery guaranteed that Marchand would be up and running before Thanksgiving, and most likely sooner.

“I don't expect him to play tomorrow, no,” said Montgomery. “He's ahead of schedule. He's going to play before Thanksgiving. As you can tell, he's starting to look good out there. His timing is starting to come.”

Marchand underwent offseason surgery on both of his hips back in May after the Bruins were eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

While some Bruins fans were hoping that Marchand could be on the ice as early as Thursday, that won't be the case. However, Marchand's return is rapidly approaching and he's going to be back ahead of schedule. Most likely targeting an early November return, Marchand will further fortify a Bruins team that has started off the year red hot, going 6-1 in its first seven games.

With David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron off to strong starts, getting Marchand back in the fold will only further elevate the team as they look to set themselves up for a strong Stanley Cup Playoff run. Last year, Marchand featured in 70 games for the Bruins, skating 19:15 per night. He scored 32 goals and added 48 assists (80 points) in what was his fifth 80+ point season in the past six years. The only time he failed to record 80 points or more in that span was during the COVID-shortened campaign in 2020-21, during which he registered an impressive 69 points in 53 games.

Needless to say, getting Brad Marchand back will make the Bruins a real powerhouse in the Eastern Conference, and fans will be fired up to welcome the 13-year-veteran back to the ice.