Free-agent center Manny Malhotra, who spent most of last season on injured reserve due to the effects of an eye injury, signed a 25-game professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League on Thursday.
Malhotra, one of the NHL's top defensive centers and faceoff men, was struck by a puck during a game on March 16, 2011, while playing for the Vancouver Canucks and suffered a serious injury to his left eye. He wasn't expected to play again that season, but returned to see action in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.
However, Malhotra had lost some vision in the eye and played a diminished role with the Canucks in 2011-12, scoring seven goals and finishing with 18 points in 78 games while playing mostly on the fourth line and killing penalties. After he went scoreless in his first nine games in 2012-13, the Canucks put Malhotra on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.