Seeking Sekac: The Canadiens' NHL Free Agent Frenzy Day

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4] Manny Malhotra, C

Jan 25, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Ottawa Senators defensemen Marc Methot (3) battles for position with the Carolina Hurricanes forward Manny Malhotra (22) during the 2nd period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

 

To fill the void at 4th line centre, the Habs added veteran Manny Malhotra. It didn’t cost them much either at $850K on a 1-year deal.

He was brought in largely to bring back some of the leadership lost in the departures of Gorges and Gionta. He was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy this June.

“At this stage in my career, the most important thing is winning. You look at the season the Canadiens had last year and the way they’ve been growing as a team and the pieces they have in place, and to be able to be a part of something like that and try to take the next step with a team is something that means a lot to me.” - Manny Malhotra

The 34 year-old veteran of 933 NHL games is known for bringing leadership to the locker room. He is also one of the elite in the faceoff circle, finishing second in the league with a 59.4% last season, and is capable of throwing his body around at 6’2″ 220.

He has been battling through an eye injury during the past few years, and has shown tremendous perseverance in his return to the game with the Canucks and Hurricanes.

In his 933 career games, he has totalled 115 goals and 291 points. He was also part of the Canucks Stanley Cup run in 2011. He should bring a solid and consistent presence at 4th line centre for the Canadiens, and help some of the young wingers on either side of him grow.

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