Before the Charlotte Checkers season started, the team signed veteran center, Manny Malhotra to a 25-game PTO. The team has only played two games this season, but Malhotra is already drawing some attention according to Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 Thoughts.
This is what Friedman said:
Will Carolina sign Manny Malhotra? He won 22 of 29 faceoffs in his first two games of a tryout with the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate in Charlotte, and is particularly lethal on the left side. The Checkers did not play last week, and it’s believed a meeting took place between Malhotra and the NHL team. Obviously, the big question is his safety at the highest level. If he is not signed, it is expected several others will scout him this weekend against Iowa.
Winning 75 percent of your face-offs is huge and any team could use that skill in the lineup. The Canes have struggled in the dot this season with none of their regular centers achieving over 50% in face-off wins through six games this season.
But Malhotra would be competing with Brett Sutter for a spot on the Hurricanes. So far, Sutter has looked fine in the NHL and has helped out the penalty kill. His face-off win percentage is at 43.2 percent.
Of course, the main worry is Malhotra’s health after suffering that eye injury with the Canucks. He could be a helpful hand for a lot of teams, but nobody wants to put Malhotra’s health in danger.
It’s interesting that the Hurricanes have already met with Malhotra, but clearly other teams are interested in him also. If the Canes want to sign him, they’ll have to act soon as teams could start scouting the former Canuck this Saturday.