Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/16/10 at 03:12 PM ET
from Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The key acquisition was Malhotra, who signed a three-year, $7.5 million deal on July 1. One observer told ESPN.com the Canucks had actually listed Malhotra at the top of their free-agent shopping list, ahead of Hamhuis or any other players. They got him, but not before Malhotra made sure it was the right move. The story goes that Malhotra, no dummy, had as many questions for Gillis and the Canucks as the NHL club had for him.
“It was a very calculated decision on July 1,” Malhotra, 30, told ESPN.com. “We were talking with quite a few teams, all of them in various stages—some were contenders, some were rebuilding and some were turning the corner. We looked at a roster like this, we spoke with Alain and Mike and the role they saw me in ... everything worked out and it was the best possible place for me to go.”
His $2.5 million salary is a nice raise over the $700,000 he made in San Jose last season, also a calculated move on his part. He took less money than what other teams had offered so he could play with a contender and perhaps enhance his stock in the process. Did he ever. The hard-working Malhotra, a faceoff king, was an impressive force in San Jose’s run to the final four, enough for the Canucks to salivate at the thought of adding him as their third-line center.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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