Manny Malhotra Won’t Be Bought Out

Amidst the hubbub caused by Craig MacTavish’s departure from Chicago, his quick turnaround (his new position in Edmonton was announced literally minutes later) and the romancing of Scott Arniel; Brad Ziemer broke the news that defensive centre Manny Malhotra will be back next year to play out the final year of his deal.

Realistically, no one expected Manny Malhotra – a character guy who rushed back to re-join the team for the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, despite nearly losing one of his eyes in a freak hockey accident only three months earlier – to be bought out. But, when you look at the numbers, it certainly would have made a lot of sense

Read past the jump!

After all, Malhotra hasn’t been the same, dominant two-way force since suffering his eye injury. That the Canucks front office types felt the need to add Samme Pahlsson at the deadline tells you all you need to know about what they think of relying on Malhotra in a top-nine role.

Still, Malhotra remains useful. He takes the bulk of Vancouver’s defensive zone draws, and logs major short-handed minutes as the team’s penalty-killing ace – but at this point he’s a well compensated specialist. With a cap-hit of 2.5 million per year, Malhotra could have understandably been deemed an unnecessary luxury item for a Canucks team that is rapidly brushing up against the cap. 

That Manny will return next season, almost certainly in a fourth line role, speaks volumes about what the Canucks think of the bottom-six centre offerings on the open market this summer. It’s also another testament to Mike Gillis’ loyalty to "his guys", something that has already begun to define this offseason. Alain Vigneault, who has been criticized harshly in the wake of the team’s inability to get over the hump in the playoffs will stay, Malhotra will stay too, Scott Arniel looks likely be given a second coaching life by the organization.

Next up? A likely to be controversial decision on whether or not to extend Mason Raymond a qualifying offer.

  • beloch

    Was Malhotra’s role changed this past season because of his eye injury or because he could not train in the summer? If it was a training issue, maybe he can return somewhere near to the player he was 2 seasons ago as he is training this summer. I assume this info goes into Gilis’ decision.

  • puck-bandit

    I for one, would be somewhat disappointed if Manny was bought out. As we know his year was not great, and now with the biological clock ticking on our timeline to win the Grail, he still serves a huge purpose for the team. Buying him out would be shameful, and yet we want to win. Have to remember the trauma he suffered, and the fact that he went through 2 procedures during the few months of training time.
    Quite simply; knowing he will train hard, being as we have such a long off season, lets hope we get the old Manny back. Too much character to just dump him. Mike will not do this, and don’t be surprised if we see Mason Raymond back in camp.

  • puck-bandit

    I wonder if politics with being marketable and the whole looking like an organization that “respects their players contracts” had to play in this. I love Manny(especially on a two-way deal) but he’s just so overpaid right now. Let’s just hope the same isn’t happening with Keith Ballard and we ship his ass out of here.

    And you know it’s the offseason when there isn’t anymore of Drance’s stats blogs. Gonna miss them until next season bud, I wouldn’t be into all these geeky stats if it weren’t for those posts.