Manny Malhotra is starting to feel typecast.
This season fans haven’t had a chance to learn much about Vancouver's newly acquired forward, other than that he’s got mad skills in the faceoff circle.
So far this year Malhotra has reinforced that belief as 14 games into the season he leads the NHL in faceoff percentage at 63.6 per cent. Naturally, that’s all the media wants to talk about with him, which has Malhotra going bonkers.
When I approached Malhotra last week with a 6 Things topic of faceoffs, the response he gave me was, and I quote, “for crying out loud, no.” We shared a moment as he laughed and I smiled awkwardly and in that moment it became clear there is more to Malhotra than fancy stick work at the dot.
For your reading pleasure I present to you: six random things you should know about Manny Malhotra, the person, not the hockey player.
“I took piano lessons when I was younger and did a recital one time, Yankee Doodle was a big hit. Then I stopped when I was about 10; I gave it up for sports and other things, I just had too much other stuff going on. I can still bring out Yankee Doodle when it needs to be brought out.”
Editor’s note: For any aspiring pianists looking to tackle Yankee Doodle, the notes are c c d e c e d g c c d e c b c c d e f e d c b g a b c c a b a g a b c g a g f e g a b a g a b c a g c b d c c. Don’t say I never taught you nothin' y'all.
“I really enjoy cooking. It started out of necessity, I realized as a young guy that I was eating out at restaurants all the time, whether I was at home or on the road. I had a lot of free time and I realized that I might as well be using it to learn to cook. So I got a few recipes from my parents that we always ate growing up and I built off of those. Now I just feel really comfortable in the kitchen. We eat a lot of different things, really right across the board, usually it’s fish or chicken with veggies and a salad, but it really just depends on what we feel like. It works out good with my wife because I do the cooking and she does the baking.”
“We just had a baby, our second, so we now have two boys. Caleb is two and Isaiah was born on September 30th. Caleb loves sports and he loves playing just about all of them. There are balls all over the backyard, he likes playing soccer, if there’s a football around he’ll play that, if there’s a tennis raquet or a golf club, he’ll swing those, but he always comes back to hockey. He loves playing hockey, in the kitchen, in the basement, outside, he is always carrying a stick around with him so he’s definitely leaning towards hockey right now. And he just got his first pair of skates so we’re really pumped to take him out on the ice.”
“I’ve had the question a lot of whether I’ve played Steve before, and I have not. I think I could take him in the post, but he obviously has the shooting edge though. I would be out of my element on the court so maybe we need to get him on skates, although I hear he’s pretty good. He and Martin both played hockey growing up, so I know they can handle their own on the ice.”
MOVE OVER MANNY
“My wife Joann is really an amazing soccer player, she played soccer at U Vic and she was also with the Canadian national team for a while, so our family has her on the soccer side and me being the hockey side. It’s a good mix.”
Editor’s note: Joann did more than play soccer for the University of Victoria Vikes, she was captain of the team, a Championship All-Star in 2000 and a Canada West All-Star in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
HO HO HO
“My favourite Christmas gift that I ever received was a GT snow racer – not the one with Brett Hull on the box, it was a red and black one. It was sick. I got it from my parents, or maybe it was from Santa…no, that was from my parents. I remember my dad setting it up in the living room and I just sat on it because I couldn’t wait to get outside with it. I got a couple of years out of it, a lot of jumps with it, a lot of games of bully where you’re trying to knock someone off their GT, bully or derby, whatever it was called. We never really used the brakes, you either came to a halt after falling off, or you rode it out until you got to the bottom of the hill. They’ve got way cooler toys now, but GT is a classic.”