Malhotra on Gillis claiming he was unfit to play in #NHL: ‘obviously those comments were very damaging about the reputation of my health.’
— Jeff Paterson (@patersonjeff) December 9, 2013
Gillis, of course, questioned Malhotra’s ability to protect himself on the ice. He felt Malhotra could no longer do that anymore with the partial loss of vision in his left eye.
The Canucks shut Malhotra down for the season and placed him on injured reserve on the same day they needed to clear a roster spot to activate centre Ryan Kesler off the non-roster injured list. This led to some to conclude the Canucks were trying to circumvent the collective bargaining agreement.
The team never placed Malhotra on long-term injured reserve, so they never received any cap relief, but they did get the benefit of an extra roster spot.
I would imagine the NHL would not have allowed the Canucks to place Malhotra on injured reserve if there wasn’t any substance to Gillis’s comments.