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Manny Malhotra signs with AHL's Charlotte Checkers

Manny Malhotra is attempting a comeback to professional hockey after a serious eye injury altered his career arch.

Harry How

Unrestricted free agent forward Manny Malhotra has agreed to a 25-game professional tryout contract with the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League, the team announced on Thursday morning.

Malhotra sustained a serious eye injury in March of 2011 while playing for the Vancouver Canucks, which kept him out of the lineup until the Stanley Cup Final. He was able to return for the 2011-12 season, but had a diminished point total in 78 games (18 points). After participating in nine games in 2013, Vancouver decided to place Malhotra on long-term injured reserve and effectively shut him down for the remainder of the year.

At the time of the decision, Malhotra indicated he still wanted to play and that it was the Canucks' decision to shut him down. By signing with Charlotte, Malhotra will be provided an opportunity to display to NHL teams that he can still play at the highest level.

Of course, the reason Vancouver elected to shut him down was over fear for his safety. Manager Mike Gillis felt that Malhotra was putting himself in a vulnerable situation to get hurt again. It would be terrible to see Malhotra sustain another serious injury due to the eye injury still hindering his vision.

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