Malhotra to miss rest of season, Kesler back soon

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The Vancouver Canucks announced today that center Manny Malhotra has been placed on injured reserve and will miss the remainder of the season.

Malhotra, 32, suffered a serious eye injury in March of 2011 when he was struck with a puck. While he returned for six games of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals, played 78 games in 2011-12 (plus five playoff games) and has appeared in nine games this season, his on-ice role has been limited since the injury.

“The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization,” said Canucks general manager Mike Gillis in a release. “Throughout his career Manny has showcased his indispensability through skilled play, being a consummate professional and leader in the room while also continuously giving back to the community. Manny will continue to be a valued member of our organization.”

Malhotra is in the final year of a three-year, $7.5 million contract.

The above news coincides with the expected return of center Ryan Kesler, who was reportedly wearing a contact jersey today at practice and skating on a line with Chris Higgins and Zack Kassian.

The Canucks host Dallas Friday night.