At least for the time being, Manny Malhotra’s tryout with Charlotte has come to an end.
Hit by a handful of injuries to their forward ranks, the Carolina Hurricanes signed the experienced center to a one-year, two-way contract on Thursday. Malhotra, who had played in each of the Checkers’ first eight games this season while on a professional tryout contract, will likely miss tonight’s game in Rockford as he prepares to join the Hurricanes.
Malhotra, 33, could be in the lineup as soon as Friday when the Hurricanes host the Tampa Bay Lightning. It would mark his 865th NHL game and first since the Vancouver Canucks placed him on injured reserved due to concerns over permanent damage to his eye in February of last season. Carolina will be his sixth NHL team, as he also spent time with the New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Columbus Blue Jackets, San Jose Sharks and Canucks.
While with the Checkers, Malhotra did not record a point but displayed his well-known prowess in the faceoff circle, where he ranked in the NHL’s top four in winning percentage four out of five years between 2007 and 2012. He also displayed the kind of character consistent with his reputation, sticking up for teammates on and off the ice while becoming something of a mentor to younger players.
The Rangers’ first-round pick (seventh overall) in 1998, Malhotra’s time with Charlotte marked his first AHL experience since suiting up for the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2001.