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Malhotra to miss rest of season, Kesler back soon

Feb 14, 2013, 2:43 PM EDT

Vancouver Canucks Manny Malhotra talks with media after being cleared to play in the NHL Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver

The Vancouver Canucks announced today that center Manny Malhotra has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season.

Malhotra, 32, suffered a serious eye injury in March of 2011 when he was struck with a puck. While he returned for six games of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, played 78 games in 2011-12 (plus five playoff games) and has appeared in nine games this season, his on-ice role has been limited since the injury.

“The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a release. “Throughout his career Manny has showcased his indispensability through skilled play, being a consummate professional and leader in the room while also continuously giving back to the community. Manny will continue to be a valued member of our organization.”

Malhotra is in the final year of a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

The above news coincides with the expected return of center Ryan Kesler, who was reportedly wearing a contact jersey today at practice and skating on a line with Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian.

The Canucks host Dallas Friday night.

  1. valoisvipers - Feb 14, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a release
    Translation Lets put him on IR and have the insurance company pay him and free up some cap space to boot.

    • loinstache - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      You’re really bad at making worthwhile points eh?

    • 604YVR - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

      “Dumb Comment of the Day” winner! Congratulations!

    • elvispocomo - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      IR doesn’t free up cap space, and the Canucks are already under the cap including both Booth and Kesler’s salary. You’re thinking of LTI (most people say LTIR) but the Canucks have said nothing about that since they don’t need a replacement player who’s cap would be a concern.

      If you’re going to try and troll, at least get your background facts right.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        I should have clarified as I know what the response will be, but IR only frees up a roster spot from the 23-man limit and does nothing in regards to cap hit. The Canucks roster was at 23 with Malhotra included, so if Kesler is ready to return, putting Malhotra on IR gives the Canucks the one spot needed to get Kesler back on the roster. Otherwise they’d have to send someone down (like Ebbett or Schroeder) to get Kesler back in.

      • valoisvipers - Feb 14, 2013 at 10:25 PM

        elvis What I am saying is how is he healthy enough to play yet all of a sudden he can’t play all year and the insurance company foots the bill?Sounds like fraud to me and yes the team benefits by this move. This is this troll’s point.

      • elvispocomo - Feb 14, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        Nice try, you haven’t explained anything about how this is a circumvention of the rules, much less full on fraud. Nor have you acknowledged that he’s on IR and not LTI so they still have his cap hit. I shouldn’t be surprised by that, and I’m not.

        This is simply the Canucks being concerned for his ability to play safely. Gillis did an interview right after the announcement and said he’d had concerns since last year. Malhotra convinced him he just needed a full summer training as the previous one was spent in surgery. He gave Malhotra 10 games and then pulled the plug.

  2. supr49er - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

    God speed Manny. We still miss you in San Jose.

    • sjsharks86 - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      I concur wholeheartedly

  3. sergeikremlin - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    I haven’t met Malhotra, but by all accounts he is a class act and the type of person you want in the dressing room and community. Future coach if he is interested in it. Best of luck to him from here on out.

  4. leepetertk - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    Prior to his eye injury, he was a dominant defensive player for the Canucks. Malhotra would routinely play against opposing 1st and 2nd lines, freeing up Sedins and Kesler to play more offensively.

    Since his injury, the Canucks have not been the same offensively or defensively. Kesler and the Sedins have had to play against tougher lines.

    Although he could not play the same minutes after his injury, Malhotra has been used so effectively in the faceoff circle. He takes almost all the defensive zone faceoffs for the Canucks.

    The Canucks definitely have bodies to fill the center position, but nobody on the team can be deployed in the same way as Malhotra that will relieve the defensive pressure facing H. Sedin and Kesler nor take the faceoff on Kesler’s weaker side in the defensive zone.

    • elvispocomo - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

      While his open play hasn’t been quite the same, Malhotra is still very effective at faceoffs as you mention. He’d currently in the top 5 for faceoff % of players who’ve taken more than 20 draws, which is very important to any team whatever else his other play was like.

  5. kaptaanamerica - Feb 14, 2013 at 4:20 PM

    Malhotra was a shell of his former player self after the injury. He was a solid player.

  6. johnstone17 - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:16 AM

    As A Rangers fan I can only say great things about Manny. I will always blame the Rangers for rushing him & essentially running him out of New York. Always a class act. Get well Manny!

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