At the Checkers’ team-building paintball event two weeks ago, Woods lost an important personal item. It was a medal he wore, given to him by his late grandfather, which had been blessed by the Pope. Given Woods’ attachment to the item, it was a situation teammates had heard about and understood.
Enter Malhotra, the longtime NHL veteran who’s playing with the Checkers on a pro tryout contract as he attempts to prove that he can still play at the highest level. Without telling Woods, Malhotra, who had known the rookie forward for a little over two weeks, bought a metal detector, drove to the paintball field and searched.
When unable to find the medal, Malhotra told Woods about it, and the two returned to the field to look again on Wednesday. Together, they found it.
Even prior to the incident, teammates and coaches had already made it well known that Malhotra, who had no previous attachments to the Checkers or any of its players in any way, was a great teammate.
This was something else entirely.
“It just shows you the kind of guy he is,” said Woods.