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Malhotra To Miss The Rest Of The Season / Kesler To Return Against Dallas

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Phillip MacCallum

People were wondering were wondering what was wrong with Manny Malhotra. He had missed the last couple games for "personal reasons". TSN's Bob McKenzie found the whole thing "strange". Today the Canucks dropped the bomb that Manny Money will miss the remainder of the season and has been placed on the Injured Reserve list.

The club announced today:

"The long term health of Manny Malhotra is of utmost importance to our organization," Canucks president and general manager Mike Gillis said in a statement. "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."

Not really giving us many clues as to WHAT is wrong with him but Bob McKenzie mentioned today that there are deep concerns that Malhotra's eye injury and vision are not at the level that he can go out there and play effectively and safely. Then McKenzie tweeted today that Manny will most likely work with the Canucks and Wolves players as an unofficial assistant coach. That is how much his leadership and vast golden qualities mean to the Canucks organization.

UPDATE: Mike Gillis had this to say about it this afternoon:

I spoke to him at the end of last season, he felt very strongly that if he had a full summer of training, there would be improvement in a variety of ways but most importantly he would alleviate my (Gillis) fear of his vulnerability on ice.

And I agreed he would have the summer to train and that I would give him a period of time this year and if things didn’t change I was going to have this conversation with him and I felt that, I observed him every day and I didn’t feel that there was any change and that he was at risk.

Hat tip to Exand for providing that quote.

In 9 games this season, the 32-year-old Malhotra had no points, was a -3 (worst on the team), 2 shots on goal and played 11:00 of ice time on average, mostly on the 4th line. His faceoff prowess (65.3%) in the defensive zone was stellar and that facet will be missed. That was 2nd on the team only to Daniel Sedin's 75%. But Daniel doesn't count because he doesn't take many draws.

The good news is that Ryan Kesler will return to action soon tomorrow against Dallas and we have a stellar rookie center named Jordan Schroeder. Andrew Ebbett will play a better overall game than Manny did. But Ebbett's faceoff percentage is 45.4%. Not even in Manny's ballpark. But hey....faceoffs aren't everything.