35-Year-Old Center – Columbus Blue Jackets
Manny Malhotra Contract Information:
Signed an AHL tryout contract with AHL Lake Erie in December 2015.
Malhotra will not be re-signed by the Canadiens, TSN's John Lu reports.
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Manny Malhotra: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Manny Malhotra.
After Vancouver let Malhotra walk amid concerns about a scary eye injury, the Hurricanes took a flyer on the center, who played 69 games for Carolina and was second in the NHL with a 59.4 faceoff percentage. That's his specialty and the Canadiens reap the benefit he provides in the faceoff circle. He's essentially replacing Ryan White as the Habs' fourth-line center.
After appearing in nine games, Malhotra’s 2012-13 was cut short after he was placed on the IR for the remainder of the season due to issues stemming from a gruesome eye injury he suffered during the 2011-12 season. The 33-year-old veteran has hinted at a possible return to the NHL in 2013-14, but it doesn’t look like he’ll catch on with the Canucks.
Considered one of the better two-way, third-line centers in the league just two seasons ago, Malhotra’s productivity has taken a steep hit since a gruesome eye injury late in the 2010-11 season. He finished the 2011-12 campaign with just 18 points (7 G, 11 A) while sporting a career-worst minus-11 rating. The 32-year old center is now in danger of being bought out by the Canucks before the start of the season. If he does manage to stick around, Malhotra will be a fourth-line option and could see his fair share of healthy scratches.
Prior to suffering a gruesome eye injury, Malhotra was having a fine season for the Canucks, totaling 30 points (11 G, 19 A) while leading the third line for the first 72 games of the season. Malhotra’s eye injury was originally expected to sideline him for the remainder of the season and possibly threaten his career, but the 31-year-old center was able to make a return during the Stanley Cup Final. With a full offseason to recover, Malhotra should be ready to assume the same third-line duties he held prior to the injury.
After an impressive season with the Sharks, Malhotra was awarded a three-year deal from the Canucks this offseason. The gritty two-way forward is expected to take over center duties on the Canucks’ third line. The 30-year-old is mostly known for his abilities in the face-off circle and his defensive play, but he’s been a consistent 30-point threat for the past six seasons.
Checking line center scored 11 goals and 29 points last season, which is about his ceiling.
Checking forward played in 82 games for the first time in his NHL career last season.
Injuries derailed what was shaping up to be a breakout season for face-off wizard Malhotra in '05-'06, but he still managed to set a career high with 31 points in 58 games. If he can stay healthy he's got a shot at 50 points, and fantasy viability.
Still only 25, Malhotra still has untapped potential and could be ready to build on the 25 points in 56 games he scored during his first season in Columbus. Whether he can depends in large part on how much ice time he earns with the Blue Jackets big guns such as Rick Nash or Geoff Sanderson.