Gillis was asked by host Scott Oake, “[Malhotra] will never again play for the Vancouver Canucks?”
“No, he won’t,” replied Gillis. “I’ve made it clear to him he’s not playing here.”
Malhotra has not requested a trade or asked to be waived either, according to Gillis.
This means Malhotra will remain on injured reserve for the rest of the regular season and playoffs. There was some hope that he might be able to return later in the season or next year if his eye got better. However, based on Gillis’s comments, it appears the team thinks his career is over.
This summer, Malhotra will become an unrestricted free agent and he can choose to continue his NHL career elsewhere, but it won’t be with the Canucks. In his appearance on After Hours, Gillis compared letting Malhotra play to allowing a friend to drink and drive. Gillis strongly feels Malhotra does not have the ability to protect himself on the ice.
Malhotra said last Thursday he will be talking with his family first before deciding whether he would like to extend his playing career on another team next year.
Something else of note from the appearance, Gillis claimed that he knew that Ryan O’Reilly played games after the lockout ended and knew he would have to clear waivers if a team signed him to an offersheet.