Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Manny Malhotra Autograph Card

In my continuing analysis of who lost the Trade Deadline, I bring you today's candidate, Manny Malhotra. When I last featured him, he had just suffered an eye injury whilst with the Vancouver Canucks, who subsequently shut him down and refused to let him play with the team again.

His spectacular comeback last season, first with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers then the Carolina Hurricanes was impressive, and over the summer he came to the Montréal Canadiens specifically to help win faceoffs (league leader, so, check), and kill penalties (check), thus freeing Tomas Plekanec for more offensive-zone minutes (well, Plek's chemistry with Max Pacioretty on the PK making them perhaps more dangerous short a man than at even strength still gave both pillars of the Habs' offense a lot of time when a man down).

But as the great philosopher Meat Loaf put it, ''two out of three ain't bad''.

However, when the Canadiens acquired hometown grinder Torrey Mitchell from the Buffalo Sabres, it was Malhotra who lost his spot, he of the one goal and four points in 57 games stat line. I mean, I get it, it makes sense, but it's cruel, considering Malhotra had done what had been asked of him, he just couldn't add to that with any secondary scoring to speak of, some of it due to bad puck luck, none of it due to lack of effort.

He had started his career with the New York Rangers, who had made him the seventh-overall pick in 1998, and when playing at home, this is what he looked like:

It's the gold variant version of insert card #241 from In The Game's 1998-99 Be A Player set, featuring an on-card autograph signed in black sharpie.

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