Vancouver Canucks centre Manny Malhotra reaffirmed his interest in continuing his National Hockey League career to the Vancouver Province on Friday.
Malhotra told the newspaper he has been doing both on- and off-ice training and will be taking a look at what offers—if any—present themselves on July 5 when free agency opens.
The Canucks placed Malhotra on injured reserve this past February after the team felt he could no longer protect himself on the ice with the partial loss of vision in his left eye. In March, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis declared Malhotra’s career as a Canuck over and suggested his NHL career was as well.
Don’t expect Malhotra to be signed right out of the gate. Any teams that have interest will request medical documents from both Malhotra and the Canucks. He will have to undergo vigorous tests to prove he can indeed see out of his left eye.
Gillis and the Canucks think Malhotra cannot see well enough out of his left eye. He compared letting Malhotra play to allowing a friend to drink and drive. It remains to be seen if other NHL clubs agree with the Canucks’ assessment of Malhotra’s eye.
If he cannot latch on with another team, there is always the option of taking on a non-playing the role with the Canucks or another team. He essentially worked as the Canucks faceoff coach after getting shut down this season. Malhotra spent some time in March working with the Canucks prospects with the Chicago Wolves on faceoffs.
The Canucks are currently looking for an entire coaching staff. Malhotra as an assistant coach perhaps?