Manny Malhotra, a veteran of 991 NHL regular season games, has officially retired today according to a tweet from Elite Prospects. Drafted seventh overall by the New York Rangers in the first round of the 1998 entry draft would eventually see time seven different NHL organizations during a career which spanned 16 seasons. His last action in the league came during the 2014-15 campaign when he made 58 appearances with the Montreal Canadiens.
Malhotra never lived up to the lofty expectations after being drafted by the Rangers but still carved out a respectable career as a top notch faceoff specialist and penalty-killer. For his career, Malhotra won better than 56% of the draws he took. He also scored 116 goals and 295 points in the NHL.
On March 16, 2011 Malhotra was hit by a puck in the left eye while playing for the Vancouver Canucks. He would miss the rest of that season and all but nine games in 2012-13 before the Canucks placed the veteran pivot on IR, citing the danger involved due to Malhotra’s limited vision. Malhotra would return to the NHL, converting an invitation to camp by Carolina into a job with the Hurricanes. He would go on to appear in 69 games that season and tallied 13 points while winning nearly 60% of his faceoffs.
Malhotra attempted to extend his NHL career, accepting a PTO with the Lake Erie Monsters – the Columbus Blue Jackets AHL affiliate – skating in 23 contests and scoring four goals with two assists. He was released from his PTO in March of 2016 and didn’t appear in another professional game.