May 24, 2013, 12:25 AM EDT
Vancouver Canucks’ center Manny Malhotra, who suffered a devastating eye injury two years ago, still has an itch to play.
On Feb. 14 of this year, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis officially put Malhotra on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, citing safety concerns resulting from that eye injury.
Malhotra, who played the entire 2011-12 season after making a triumphant return in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, remained with the organization, filling it at the odd practice and traveling to Chicago to help out with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate.
But he wanted to play and felt he still could.
“This is Mike’s decision based on his feeling and what he saw on the ice. But as far as the way I feel out there, I feel good and I feel comfortable with my abilities,” Malhotra told reporters at the end of February.
Now, with the Canucks swept in the first round of the playoffs and the franchise in a state of massive off-season change, Malhotra still seems set on playing next year. It just might not be in Vancouver. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, as per Bob McKenzie of TSN.
“The playing feeling is not going away,” Malhotra recently told The Province newspaper in Vancouver.
“I still feel healthy and strong, I’m still working out. We’ll see what the opportunities are this summer.”
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