Vancouver Canucks’ center Manny Malhotra, who suffered a devastating eye injury two years ago, still has an itch to play.
On Feb. 14 of this year, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis officially put Malhotra on injured reserve for the remainder of the season, citing safety concerns resulting from that eye injury.
Malhotra, who played the entire 2011-12 season after making a triumphant return in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, remained with the organization, filling it at the odd practice and traveling to Chicago to help out with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate.
But he wanted to play and felt he still could.
“This is Mike’s decision based on his feeling and what he saw on the ice. But as far as the way I feel out there, I feel good and I feel comfortable with my abilities,” Malhotra told reporters at the end of February.
Now, with the Canucks swept in the first round of the playoffs and the franchise in a state of massive off-season change, Malhotra still seems set on playing next year. It just might not be in Vancouver. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer, as per Bob McKenzie of TSN.
“The playing feeling is not going away,” Malhotra recently told The Province newspaper in Vancouver.
“I still feel healthy and strong, I’m still working out. We’ll see what the opportunities are this summer.”
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?