Malhotra's 2nd chance should spur Canes face-off success
Posted October 31, 2013
Once again, the injury bug has bitten the Carolina Hurricanes harder than the team had hoped.
On Thursday, the team placed Jeff Skinner and Radek Dvorak on injured reserve, depleting the forward ranks for the NHL club. The organization will turn to veteran Manny Malhotra who was in Charlotte on a 25-game professional tryout with the Checkers. The organization inked the center to a one year deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level.
Malhotra has taken a different road to get to the Triangle than most vets travel.
Malhotra has appeared in 864 National Hockey League games, but on March 16, 2011, in a freak but horrific accident, he was struck on his left eye by a puck while playing for Vancouver. His recovery required surgery to repair the damage.
He appeared in 78 games during the 2011-12 season, but just 9 games last season. He was placed on injured reserve a month into the season last year by Vancouver GM Mike Gillis, who felt that Malhotra could be in danger playing in the NHL with the speed of the game and the impairment to his vision.
In several reports, Malhotra agreed that the Vancouver general manager had the player’s best interests at heart, but he believed he could still play and wished to pursue his career. That desire led him to accepting an offer to tryout with the Checkers.
He did not record a point in 8 games with the Checkers but has always been regarded as a face-off specialist. Malhotra won 22 of 29 draws in his first two games in Charlotte. Being able to bring those numbers to the NHL club will help the Hurricanes immediately, as none of the regular slotted centers are above 50 percent in the faceoff circle this season.
Radek Dvorak and Jeff Skinner are the only Hurricane players above 50 percent on draws this season.
Malhotra also brings the reputation of leader and team player. In just eight games in Charlotte he made an impact on younger players there with how he carried himself. In one instance Malhotra helped his new teammate Brendan Woods recover a medal given to him by his grandfather by purchasing a metal detector to go help look for the lost item.
You can read the story written by Paul Branecky here: http://gocheckers.com/articles/344-manny-malhotra-helps-brendan-woods-again.html
The 33-year-old was a first-round draft pick of the New York Rangers back in 1998, the seventh overall selection of that year’s entry draft. He has scored 108 goals with 170 assists in 14 NHL seasons.