Veteran center and former Vancouver Canuck Manny Malhotra signed a 25-game Professional Try-out (PTO) with the Charlotte Checkers today.
After suffering a serious eye injury in the 2010-11 season, Malhotra in 78 games in the next season, but only nine last season for the Canucks.
The eye injury had a lasting effect on the 33-year-old that hindered much of his playing in the last two seasons of his career.
Last year, Malhotra was put on injured reserve by Canucks GM Mike Gillis for fear of his long-term health.
However, Mlahotra acted as an assistant coach for the Canucks and many expected a retirement announcement, but Malhotra still wanted to play hockey and looked for a job in free agency.
Throughout his career, Malhotra has been known as a great defensive center and face-off specialist that could also contribute some offense.
With the Canucks, Malhotra was usually the third-line center before dropping to the fourth line in 2011-12.
With the Checkers, Malhotra should play a similar game, adding depth to the team and helping out on the penalty kill.
While the former Blue Jacket signed with the Checkers, it’s likely he wants a job in the NHL. This is a perfect opportunity for the Canes to see what Malhotra has left in the tank over 25 games.
However, since the injury Malhotra’s game has taken a serious setback. I used to be a big fan of him and what he brought to the team, but unfortunately, the game may be past him.