DETROIT - Red Wings forward made his season debut with the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night and was in the starting lineup against the St. Louis Blues.
McCarty, 35, has dealt with personal issues and substance abuse in recent years. He played in the NHL last season with the Calgary Flames.
He began his comeback with the Flint Generals of the IHL in January and has been nursing rib injuries since the Red Wings recalled him March 7 from Grand Rapids of the AHL. He was assigned to Grand Rapids on a conditioning loan after being signed by Detroit last month to a one-year contract.
McCarty played for the Red Wings from 1993-04, helping the team win Stanley Cup titles in 1997 - when he scored the winning goal against Philadelphia - 1998 and 2002.
He was joined in the starting lineup Friday by familiar "Grind Line" linemates Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby.