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Manny Malhotra: From Sideline back to Primetime

After a devastating eye injury in 2011, Malhotra has proven his eye injury wasn't enough to keep him out of the NHL.

Malhotra taking the faceoff against Tampa Bay 11/1/13
Malhotra taking the faceoff against Tampa Bay 11/1/13
Jamie Kellner

Since the beginning of the month, the Hurricanes have had much more success in the faceoff circle and much of it can be attributed to the veteran presence of Manny Malhotra. Carolina currently leads the league in faceoffs for the month of November winning 57.6 percent of their draws.

Malhotra suffered an eye injury in 2011 as a redirected puck hit his left eye.  A month into the 2012-2013 season, the center was told in his best health interest by Canucks General Manager, Mike Gillis, that he would be sidelined and put on injured reserve as he continued to struggle with his injury even after surgery.

Manny Malhotra Eye Injury (via CanucksHD)

Malhotra was given a chance after facing adversity and signed a 25 game tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers and made a major impression as he only played eight before he received an offer from the Hurricanes.

In Malhotra’s nine games with the Hurricanes he has won 105 of 161 face-offs taken. "Some guys are asked to score, some guys are asked to quarterback the power play, some are asked to stop pucks. Taking face-offs is a part of my job,"  Malhotra told the News and Observer.  Since the 2006-2007 season, Malhotra has won at least 58 percent and surpassed 60 percent three times.

Rod Brind’Amour was among one of the top faceoff guys of his generation and said every player taking a faceoff has to go into it with the right mentality.  "He takes it serious [and] bears down on every one,"Brind’Amour said about Malhotra.

Malhotra’s first appearance with the Hurricanes he provided them with the overtime game winner against the Philadelphia Flyers.  So far in nine games he’s only tallied a goal and an assist but he makes up for it in the faceoff circle and is a plus four.

Manny Malhotra scores OT winner on breakaway (via NHL)

CBC Radio conducted an interview after he signed to the Hurricanes for a 1 year 2-way contract and he feels that his eye and his game is back to "normal."