COLUMBUS, OHIO – Cleveland’s Lake Erie Monsters, the Columbus Blue Jackets’ American Hockey League affiliate, have signed former Jackets center Manny Malhotra to an AHL tryout contract, Blue Jackets Assistant General Manager and Monsters General Manager Bill Zito announced today. Malhotra is expected to join the club in time for tonight’s game against the Iowa Wild at Quicken Loans Arena.
Malhotra, 35, has registered 116 goals and 179 assists for 295 points and 451 penalty minutes in 991 career NHL games with the Blue Jackets, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens. He notched 1-3-4 and 12 penalty minutes in 58 games with the Canadiens last season.
“Manny is a high character player who has a lot of experience having played nearly 1,000 games over his 16-year NHL career,” said Zito. “We are happy to have signed him to a tryout contract and believe he will provide great leadership and contribute to our club both on and off the ice.”
Claimed off waivers by Columbus from Dallas on Nov. 21, 2003, Malhotra appeared in 344 games as a Blue Jacket and collected 53-92-145 and 203 penalty minutes from 2003-09. He ranks eighth on the club’s all-time games played list and is 10th in points. His best season with the club was 2008-09 as he tallied career highs in assists and points with 11-24-35, 28 penalty minutes and a +9 plus/minus rating in 72 games to help the Blue Jackets earn their first berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Mississauga, Ontario native was the Rangers’ first pick, seventh overall, in the 1998 NHL Draft. He has tallied 2-0-2 in 35 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, including skating in six games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final with the Canucks. He was a finalist for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL player best exemplifying the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey, in the 2013-14 season. Internationally, Malhotra skated for Canada at the 2002 IIHF World Championships, 1998 and 2000 IIHF World Junior Championships (bronze) as well as the 1998 World Under-18 Championships.