Characters Needed on the Canvas
The following is a list of characters I'd like to see back on the canvas in a recurring, supporting capacity (such as current recurring players Justin, Adrienne, Doug and Julie). These characters should be on the show not driving their own stories but supporting characters currently on the canvas.
In reality, Melissa should have returned to Salem and moved into Maggie's house after Mickey died when her son Nathan was still on the canvas. However, there is still room for Melissa on the canvas. Melissa could move into Maggie's house (since Maggie's living with Victor) and become a sounding board for her mother. For the past few years, Days has focused on the grandmother/daughter relationship between Maggie and Melanie while Maggie's own children were overlooked. That should be rectified. And Melissa could get to know her new brother Daniel. Also, Hope, Jennifer and Melissa were all close in the past. Melissa could support her cousins and provide a shoulder for them to cry on, all while providing a different Horton perspective.
Celeste is a great supporting character. With her psychic premonitions, Celeste is excellent at foreshadowing story. Lexie has not had her mother to support her since before Theo's autism diagnosis! Celeste could keep Lexie in line if her daughter becomes too influenced by her DiMera biology. Celeste's sexual history with Stefano could be threatening to Kate. Also, Celeste and Caroline had a friendship that should be mined. I'd love to see Caroline bitch to "Frankie" about Victor and Maggie. I'd have the Salem PD hire Celeste on a freelance basis to assist in cases using her psychic powers. Contrary to popular belief, Celeste is not a campy character and would easily fit in with the current Days crew. She is not over the top like OLTL's resident psychic Madame Delphina.
With Carrie back, it would be interesting to explore the dynamics of the Anna/Carrie/Marlena relationship. Let's face it, Marlena is more of a real mother to Carrie than Anna has ever been. I'd love to see Anna, spurred by her insecurity and jealousy, become an overbearing mother to try to make up for what she lost with Carrie.
4) Laura and Bill
With Jennifer and Abby back (and with Lucas returning), Days should bring these two back, because Jenn could use her parents. The Bill/Lucas dynamic has never really been explored, and this would provide a great opportunity. Also, a Stefano/Kate/Bill/Laura quad would be quite interesting, especially given Stefano and Laura's history (not to mention the Kate/Laura rivalry). Marlena and Laura used to be good friends, and Salem could always use another psychiatrist! Imagine the dynamics if Lucas went to therapy for his alcoholism and had Laura for a shrink. Also, I don't think Days currently has a Horton working at the hospital---that's unbelievable! Move Bill and Laura back to Salem and have them support their family members.
Again, these characters would be back on a non-contract capacity and wouldn't drive or dominate stories. They'd essentially be used the way Justin and Adrienne support Jack and Victor, or Doug and Julie support Hope and Jennifer.