Earlier this week we took a look at the Canucks goaltenders and defencemen, deciding who is likely to return and who is likely to move on. Today, we look at the Canucks’ forwards. Mike Gillis doesn’t have a lot of work to do with his forwards, but he does have options. His most important forwards are already under contract for next year, so it’ll be just a matter of tinkering with his depth forwards. Given the lack of production from his second line at even strength, he may want to find a better winger to play with Ryan Kesler.
Manny Malhotra was back on the ice practicing with the Canucks on Friday, doing line rushes with Victor Oreskovich and Jeff Tambellini. He has been cleared to play, so presumably he will play in game 2. We have seen this movie before of course, when Malhotra was cleared to play, but didn’t in game 1. But assuming that Malhotra doesn’t experience a setback between now and the pre-game skate, we will see him in the lineup for game 2.
Great news from the Canucks today, as it was revealed that Manny Malhotra has been medically cleared to play hockey again. Media outlets aren’t saying when he’s going to play, but I will. He will play in game 1. I base this on the fact that Cody Hodgson is getting very few minutes on the 4th line right now, and the fact that Malhotra has been skating for weeks. He should be in decent game shape. So if he’s medically able to play (which he is), he’ll play.
It was a slow day in Canuckland today given that the team has been given their second day off without practicing and the fact that they won’t play game 1 of the conference finals until Sunday. That was, until Jason Botchford of the Province dropped this in the Twitter world:
I’ve got to admit that when I heard the news this morning that Manny Malhotra would be lost for the regular season and playoffs due to his eye injury, I began a mini-panic. Weird that a season ending injury to a 30-35 point scorer could cause such angst, but anybody that has followed this team closely knows that he’s more than that.
Two reasons why we love Manny Malhotra: 1) Malhotra has been an absolute BEAST in the face-off circle 2) He is married to Steve F’n Nash’s sister Check him out in this month’s calendar!
Mike Gillis has hit a free agent home run, signing the much coveted Dan Hamhuis to a 6 year deal worth $4.5 million per season. Hamhuis will step-in as their number one shutdown defenceman, replacing Willie Mitchell. He will bring defensive stability and toughness to the blueline.
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