Skip to content

Amazingly, Manny Malhotra skated with the Canucks today

May 12, 2011, 4:37 PM EDT

Comments Off on Amazingly, Manny Malhotra skated with the Canucks today
malhotraap AP

While I highly doubt* that he has any chance to return for the playoffs, Vancouver Canucks center Manny Malhotra skated with the team and on his own today. (This link contains brief video footage of Malhotra skating.)

In case you’re wondering, the Canucks lost Malhotra for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs when he was struck in the eye by a puck. The fact that he was skating today doesn’t change that, but it could be a heartening (yet small) step forward in his recovery process.

The Canucks found a way to get to the Western Conference finals without their excellent penalty-killing depth center, but his presence might be missed the most in Round 3. Whether Vancouver’s opponent is the Detroit Red Wings or San Jose Sharks, the team’s penalty kill will be pushed to the limit in either situation. The Red Wings and Sharks are also strong squads in the faceoff circle, another area of dominance for Malhotra. (That being said, Ryan Kesler isn’t far behind Malhotra in faceoff winning skills, so they probably won’t get killed in that category either.)

Here are Canucks GM Mike Gillis’ comments on Malhotra’s comeback prospects and the team’s expectations, via Ben Kuzuma of the Vancouver Province.

“I have no answer for that question,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis. “Today was about taking the next step in his recovery and he wanted to do some light skating,” said Gillis. “This is just a small step in his recovery. There is no timetable and there’s no schedule with an injury like this. He’s at this point because everything seems to be stable and it’s just another step. We’ve never asked and we’ve never been given a timeline.

“It’s about how he’s recovering. It’s basically day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month. We’re optimistic and just holding our breath about his ability to continue to recover. His recovery is the paramount thing and we’ll make decisions along the way and it never entered into our minds about playing, this is about his health. We’re just going to let the process take whatever time it requires.”

No doubt about it, Malhotra is far from ready to return and might not ever have the necessary range of vision to return to NHL competition.

The two most prominent examples of somewhat similar eye injuries happened to Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman and journeyman offensive defenseman Bryan Berard. Yzerman retired after suffering an eye injury while Berard’s promising young career was greatly altered when Marian Hossa‘s stick accidentally caught him in the eye. Berard improbably played parts of six seasons after that injury, but he never regained the form that made him the first overall pick of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft and the 1996-97 Calder Trophy winner.

It’s possible Malhotra’s career hasn’t turned out the way some expected when he was the No. 7 overall pick of the ’98 draft, but he found a way to make himself an extremely useful NHL player. It would be a real shame to see his career cut short at age 31, but we’ll have to wait and see if he can make a comeback.

Today’s practice was the heartening first step.

* Make that “highly, highly, highly” doubt it.

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Lightning-Rangers game gets heated in final minutes

    May 22, 2015, 11:42 PM EDT

    Lightning-Rangers skirmish

    Kucherov, Paquette, and Glass all receive misconduct penalties.

  2. Comeback fit for a King: Lundqvist, Rangers even series in Game 4

    May 22, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    The score was one-sided, but this game could have gone the other way if not for the Rangers’ netminder.

  3. Video: Slumping Nash charges hard to net, puts Rangers ahead

    May 22, 2015, 9:04 PM EDT

    Nash goal

    Will we see more goals like that from him before the playoffs are over?

  4. Yzerman, Sather, Murray finalists for GM of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 8:08 PM EDT

    Steve Yzerman AP

    All three of their teams are still in the running for the Stanley Cup.

  5. Lowry emerging as darkhorse candidate for Sharks gig

    May 22, 2015, 7:35 PM EDT

    Dave Lowry Getty Images

    San Jose has been linked to several high profile coaches.

  6. Detroit assistant Hiller to join Babcock in Toronto

    May 22, 2015, 6:31 PM EDT

    Detroit Red Wings v Arizona Coyotes Getty Images

    He was credited with turning around the Red Wings’ power play.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Lightning, Game 4 of Eastern Conference Final

    May 22, 2015, 6:01 PM EDT

    Nikita Kucherov, Ryan McDonagh AP

    Will New York be able to contain Tampa Bay this time around?

  8. Blackhawks need more ‘quick plays’ to crack Anaheim’s structure

    May 22, 2015, 4:34 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Getty Images

    Not only did the Ducks block 27 shots last night, they clogged up the neutral zone too.

  9. Benning trying to figure where Markstrom ‘fits in’

    May 22, 2015, 2:24 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Canucks GM witnessed the goalie get a shutout in the AHL playoffs.

  10. TVR won’t play Game 4, but he’s ‘cleared to participate’

    May 22, 2015, 1:41 PM EDT

    Trevor van Riemsdyk Getty Images

    Coach Q: “He’ll need a few days out here. We’ll get an evaluation and go from there.”

  11. ’16 Draft prospect Bellows, son of Brian, wins USHL Rookie of the Year

    May 22, 2015, 1:38 PM EDT

    Bellows

    Son of ex-NHLer Brian is off to Boston University next year.

  12. Video: Emotional Babcock says good-bye to Detroit

    May 22, 2015, 1:05 PM EDT

    Babcock

    “It’s been real special, to say the least.”

  13. Columbus goalie prospect Dansk bolts for Sweden

    May 22, 2015, 12:47 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets Montreal Canadiens v Columbus Blue Jackets

    The third ‘tender taken at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft had a rough first pro season in North America.

  14. Wild re-sign AHL Iowa assists leader Keranen

    May 22, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Petteri Lindbohm, Michael Keranen Getty Images

    Finnish forward joined the organization last year after solid production in the SM-liiga.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (1392)
  2. K. Versteeg (1362)
  3. P. Kane (1296)
  4. S. Stamkos (1290)
  5. C. Crawford (1260)