The Return of Manny Malhotra

If you’re not a hockey fan, you may not have heard of Manny Malhotra, the greatest desi everMalhotra.jpg to hit the ice (Smirnoff included). After suffering a severe eye injury on March 16, he recovered just in time to give a boost to the Vancouver Canucks in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final (you may have caught parts of it during the Extreme Makeover commercial breaks).

The Canucks led in the circle in the regular season, at 54.9 per cent. They’re at 49.9 in the playoffs and a lot of the drop-off is because Malhotra and his 61.7 per cent win rate were on the sidelines until Game 2.

“Over the last couple of weeks as I’ve started to work toward this goal, being able to take draws against guys like Kes and Hank and Lappy really pushes you to get to that next level,” said Malhotra. “The competitive level we have at centre really gets your timing back.”

Malhotra did remarkably well overall in 7: 26 of ice time. He played 13 shifts, including killing penalties and taking a leftwing shift on the third line in relief of Raffi Torres.

He purposely kept his game simple and saw the 7: 26 as a good transition back into playing. In the regular season, as one of the best third line centres in the league and in the conversation for the Selke Trophy for top defensive forward, Malhotra averaged 16: 09. [Vancouver Province]

The Bruins walloped the Canucks 8-1 in Game 3, but Malhotra’s team still leads the series 2-1 and has home ice advantage.

Malhotra, whose full name is Emmanuel Noveen Malhotra, began playing organized hockey at age 7, when his parents apparently made the wrong turn on the way to the cricket field. His father, Shadi, is from Lahore, Punjab, in pre-partition India (present day Pakistan) and mother, Lise, is French-Canadian. (Both his parents hold doctorate degrees from the Université Laval in Québec City — his father a doctorate in polymer chemistry and his mother in biochemistry.)

Drafted in the first round by the New York Rangers in 1998, Malhotra has played on five NHL teams and is the second NHL player of South Asian origin. (The first was Robin Bawa of British Columbia, who spent parts of four seasons in the NHL in the early 1990s but was never a regular starter.)

Malhotra is married to Joann Nash, sister of two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash and retired soccer pro Martin Nash. He has scored 101 NHL goals, one of which can be seen in the 2009 NHL Network feature “A day in the life: Manny Malhotra“, when he played in Columbus.

7 thoughts on “The Return of Manny Malhotra

  1. He is also married to Joanne Nash, the sister of Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash.

  2. Hope Joanne is smarter than Huma, and married a guy that doesn’t send pics of his Malhotra out to women.

  3. as vancouver has one of the largest south asian fan bases in the nhl, it is lovely to see both the elders beam with pride and the youngsters aspire to become. well done manny!

  4. As a Penguins fan, I can safely wish all the luck for Manny as he doesn’t play for the Rangers anymore. Nice to see someone of South Asian origin in the better form of hockey instead of that boring field hockey.

  5. Malhotra’s got a bigger stick than Weiner tho, so a picture could be justified.