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Comeback complete: ‘Canes sign Malhotra — one year, $600,000

Oct 31, 2013, 2:17 PM EDT

Manny Malhotra AP

Manny Malhotra is on his way back to the bigs.

Malhotra, who hasn’t played an NHL game since February, has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with Carolina that will pay $600,000 at the NHL level, $125,000 at the AHL level and will guarantee at least $250,000 for this season.

The deal completes an impressive comeback by the veteran center, who suffered a near career-ending eye injury with Vancouver during the 2010-11 campaign, one that led the Canucks to shut Malhotra down during the lockout-shortened ’13 season.

“Manny brings a level of veteran leadership to the Hurricanes organization and gives the team depth at the center position,” ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford said in a statement. “He has demonstrated in his career that he can be an extremely good defensive player and faceoff man.”

According to Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Malhotra is expected to be in the Carolina lineup on Friday vs. Tampa Bay.

Carolina has struggled to start this season and was looking for veteran presences to stabilize things after the losses of goalies Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin.

Following Monday’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh, ‘Canes head coach Kirk Muller voiced his displeasure with the team’s play and indirectly called out a number of his forwards.

“We kind of got pushed out of the game,” Muller explained, as per Sun Belt Hockey Journal. “We weren’t able to generate anything in the third period. But prior to that, they played a heavier game than we did. They won more battles, they grinded harder.

“Some of our guys have to start contributing. At the end of the day, certain guys are there to produce. But there’s other guys that have to start bringing something to the table.”

Malhotra joins the ‘Canes after playing eight games for their AHL affiliate in Charlotte, scoring no points while racking up 17 PIM. The veteran center’s three best NHL seasons came from 2008-11 when he posted 35 points with Columbus, 33 with San Jose and 30 with the Canucks.

  1. r4n6er - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    This guy is one of the best locker room players that you can have. He plays at 120% every night and that motivates people. I always thought they way Van “placed” him on IR was shady. They cared about his safety at exactly the same time that they had a cap problem…Good luck Manny!

    • kaptaanamerica - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      I hope the guy doesn’t let his desire to play result in him getting a serious injury cuz he can’t see properly… if the Canucks had let him play and Jr got injured, people like you would be saying they kept him playing because they needed a third line centre who could win face offs. It was a no win situation. There was nothings shady about it…

  2. skr213 - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    As a Sharks fan, I still miss him. Glad he landed somewhere. Great player, even better person.

  3. newjerseydevilsfanpuckcollection - Oct 31, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Glad to see you back in the NHL, Manny.

  4. pone27 - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Have always had a ton of respect for this guy. Plays excellent defensive hockey with a load of respect. Premier faceoff guy, hope he can stay up in the bigs for a while.

    I am sure they will have him taking 2nd PK unit faceoffs and what not.

    Good luck, Manny.

  5. xdj511 - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Never understood why the Rangers kept this kid on the roster at 18 just to have him languish on the fourth line. I wonder how things would have been if they had let him develop a few years. Glad to see he’s built a solid NHL career.

  6. kitshky - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    “(Future Jack Adam winner) Malhotra joins the ‘Canes after playing eight games for their AHL affiliate in Charlotte, scoring no points while racking up 17 PIM. The veteran center’s three best NHL seasons came from 2008-11 when he posted 35 points with Columbus, 33 with San Jose and 30 with the Canucks.”

    That’s better.

  7. earpaniac - Oct 31, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Hopefully he’s healthy. If I remember correctly, when they put him on IR there were serious questions if he’d ever be right again. And you can’t really just think he’s ok because they cleared him. As Anyone who watched Bo Jackson hobble around with a fake hip with the Sox can attest.

    • hockeydon10 - Oct 31, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      He lost partial vision in one eye. It’s not a physical ailment like you’re alluding to. While it will somewhat impair his ability to perform, it’s apparently not bad enough to end his career.

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 31, 2013 at 7:41 PM

    Nice. Well done Manny. Well done.

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