You sent in your questions and we picked the best ones to ask Sharks center Manny Malhotra. Check out his answers to your best questions below:
1. At what age did you know that you wanted to be a hockey player and who was the most influential person in helping you become one?
Obviously when I started playing I always had a dream of being a professional but didn’t really I understand all the steps and how to get there and then I don’t think it was until about I was sixteen years old and I saw guys going away to pro camps and I realized just how close the NHL was in terms of being at that next step and that’s when I really clued in that I could get to that next level.
The most influential people I think would be my parents just because they never pressured me into playing the game and they never forced me into skating lessons or hockey camps or doing any of the extra stuff that I didn’t want to do. Their first question was always did you have fun out there and it just allowed me to play the game just to fall in love with the game and I never felt the pressure to have to perform for them or have to go do anything that I didn’t want to do.
2. Do you have any pregame routines?
The only routine is that I kind of do everything in the same order once I get to the rink. I get my sticks ready, get my skates ready, and then just kind of start warming up, and milling around do whatever I have to do with my equipment but I try not to have any superstitions just in case something goes wrong and then that throws off your game and gets in your head. So, I try not to have any superstitions I think just like everybody I tend to do things at the same time every game day.
3. Any significance to wearing the number 27?
When I went from New York to Dallas we were on the road and that’s the only jersey they had was 27. So, I wore that and I just liked the number. My brothers were at the game and they said it looked good so I stuck with it. 4. What is your greatest quality as a hockey player and how does that help this team?
I think what I pride myself on is work ethic and I just come to the rink with a focus that there may be guys that are more skilled but I make sure that I try to set the work tempo of the day so I think by doing that, that just brings a competitive nature to the team and I try to lead by example that way.
5. What has been the most important moment of your career so far?
I guess my first year was such a great learning experience, being in New York and obviously playing with Wayne Gretzky, that’s a special moment for any kid growing up playing with a hockey icon like that. But, just the guys we had on the team, there was Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, Mike Richter, Kevin Stevens, Dunn Mclean, the list goes on and on. Having the opportunity to play with those guys and learn from them, not only on the ice but off the ice I learned a lot from Adam Graves, just the way he handles himself and the professionalism he conducts himself with at all times. I think my first year, the overall year was just a great learning experience. 6. To what extent do you indentify with your Indian heritage and has your presence in the NHL brought interest to hockey among Indian Americans in North America or Indian Canadians?
I’ve never been back to India, but I told my dad and my wife that I want to go back there. But obviously my Dad said winter time is the only time that would be bearable as far as the heat goes for us and that just doesn’t work out with the work schedule. So I think that’s going to be put on hold.
As far as creating awareness in the Indian community, I think it’s a pretty cool feeling. When I was in New York, when we would play in Vancouver there’s a lot of dusty magazines that have done stories and they all said that its pretty cool that because I’m in the game it brings attention to kids who normally wouldn’t watch the game. So, I think that a pretty cool thing to know. 7. Who is the team clown in San Jose and have you had any pranks pulled on you?
I think everyone likes to have fun in this room, if I had to pin point the two culprits would be probably Jody Shelley and Jumbo.
8. How do you manage to skate so well without socks?
I can’t stand having a wet sock in my shoe. Like, if I step in a puddle I can’t stand that feeling. Because I sweat so much in a game that’s the feeling I get in my skate if I wear a sock so I’ve just gotten use to wearing no sock and it just feels more comfortable for me. 9. I play center and I was wondering, what are some of your secrets in the faceoff circle?
I can’t tell.
10. Wat is your favorite city to play in?
I think New York City because of all it has to offer. 11.Who was your favorite team growing up?
I was a Boston Bruins fan. My dad came over from India, he was in Boston and just became a fan of Boston sports so he loved the Sox and the Bruins so I was brainwashed into being a Bruins fan.
12. What is it like having Steve Nash as a relative, and who’s more famous in Canada?
He is just like any other brother-in-law that you have. He is an incredible athlete and he has done a lot of incredible things throughout his career but once he gets off the court he is just a regular guy. He’s a father, he’s a husband, and he’s a brother just like anybody else you would meet on the street, really nice guy down to earth. As far as the popularity question, I’ll say he edges me out just by a little bit.