VANCOUVER — The Canucks are hoping to have center Manny Malhotra back to make an impact in the Stanley Cup Final against the Bruins.
But today the veteran didn’t skate during Canucks practice because the medical staff wanted to keep him off the ice for a day, according to general manager Mike Gillis.
Malhotra has been out since he took a puck to the eye March 16 and had to undergo two surgeries.
“Manny is doing as well as we could’ve possibly hoped based on the injury he had and the procedures he’s gone through, said Gillis. “This has been a day-to-day thing all along and he hasn’t been cleared to play yet. He was cleared for some contact and he is monitored every day. And today was a day where they felt that it would be best if he stayed away for today. He’ll back around the team [Wednesday], we anticipate.
“We have to be really patient with this and we have to rein him in a little bit because he’s very enthusiastic. It’s up to us to try to be as responsible as we possibly can with his best interests in mind. When he’s cleared to play and play in the NHL, you’ll see him with the team. Until that point we’re going to take it day by day and monitor it day by day.”
Malhotra’s recovery has been very quick. He started practicing May 12 and took a lot of contact in drills on Monday.
If he returns, Malhotra will give the Bruins another pain-in-the-neck player to worry about, as he’s a defensive whiz who won more than 60 percent of his draws during the regular season.