Malhotra proving to be worth the risk for Canes
Posted January 27, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — If you don't know the story of Manny Malhotra, it's easy to look past his smile and not think anything of it. Knowing his story, makes even his presence on the ice a whole lot different
"I love coming to the rink every day, I love training,” said Malhotra. “I love the banter and every aspect of being on an NHL team.”
It’s the feeling of being with the team that Malhotra really missed at the beginning of this season when he didn't have a team to play for.
In 2011, while playing with Vancouver, Malhotra took a puck to the eye. It was a nasty injury that kept him out of the lineup for an extended period. The Canucks were convinced his career was over.
The issue was Malhotra’s safety on the ice. Specifically, he wouldn't be able to see if someone was getting ready to slam him into the boards. He had a conversation with current Carolina Hurricanes Head Coach Kirk Muller to calm those fears.
"We had a good chat,” Muller said. “I just said, ‘are you good enough and healthy enough to play in this league?’ He said, ‘just give me a chance.’"
So that's what he got -- a tryout in Charlotte with the Checkers. He quickly moved up to the main club and has made such an impact, he's now an alternate captain.
"I think it's improved him as a person,” said Jeff Skinner, Hurricanes forward. ”What he's gone through, it's really impressive."
"I don't think it's about proving people wrong, it's about proving people right,” Malhotra said. “Showing my appreciation to the organization for allowing me to continue my career."
For the Hurricanes Malhotra has proven to be worth the risk.