The Hurricanes added more veteran depth Thursday, signing 33-year-old center Manny Malhotra to a one-year, two-way deal. Malhotra had played eight games this season with the Charlotte Checkers, Carolina's AHL affiliate, on a professional tryout, registering no points and 17 penalty minutes.
John Shannon of Sportsnet is reporting that Malhotra is expected to play for the Hurricanes Friday against the Lightning at PNC Arena.
Malhotra is a faceoff and defensive specialist whose career was derailed by an eye injury in 2011. He played nine game with the Canucks last season — winning 34 of 64 faceoffs for a 65.3 percent win rate — before Vancouver decided to remove him from the lineup. He was also — like Ron Hainsey and Kevin Westgarth — a visible member of the NHLPA during last season's lockout. His contract will pay him $600,000 in the NHL or $125,000 in the AHL. He is guaranteed $250,000.
Here is the release from the team.
HURRICANES AGREE TO TERMS WITH MANNY MALHOTRA
Veteran center agrees to one-year, two-way contract
RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with center Manny Malhotra (mal-HOH-truh) on a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Malhotra $600,000 at the NHL level, or $125,000 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level, with a guarantee of $250,000.
"Manny brings a level of veteran leadership to the Hurricanes organization and gives the team depth at the center position," said Rutherford. "He has demonstrated in his career that he can be an extremely good defensive player and faceoff man."
Malhotra, 33, signed a professional tryout contract with Carolina’s AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, on Oct. 3. The Mississauga, Ont., native has played in eight games with Charlotte this season. He played in nine games with the Vancouver Canucks in 2012-13, sitting out most of the season with a recurring eye injury originally suffered in Vancouver’s game against Colorado on March 16, 2011.
Since making his NHL debut as an 18-year-old with the New York Rangers on Oct. 10, 1998, Malhotra (6’2", 220 lbs.) has scored 108 goals, earned 170 assists (278 points) and totaled 421 penalty minutes in 864 regular-season games with the Rangers, Dallas, Columbus, San Jose and Vancouver. He has led his teams in faceoff-win percentage in each of his last eight full seasons, and finished in the top six among NHL faceoff leaders five times since 2005-06, including ranking second in the league in 2007-08 and 2010-11. The Rangers drafted Malhotra in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.