Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/02/10 at 11:16 AM ET
from Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province,
Malhotra unloaded his Swiss Army knife set of skills in the Shark Tank last year. He centred a grind line and played wing on the power play. He dominated defensive faceoffs and showcased a low and hard slapshot. He developed into, quite possibly, the best defensive forward on the Sharks. He finished with a career high 14 goals, had a career best plus-17 rating and established a new reputation. He did it all for $700,000.
How will it translate in Vancouver where he expectations have ballooned with his salary? Too early. It’s September and everyone looks promising. Even Victor Oreskovich has people excited.
Still, it’s possible the best moves the Canucks made this offseason were not the loudest and most expensive additions they made to their defence. Instead, what may prove to be the most noticeable difference is replacing Kyle Wellwood and Steve Bernier with Raffi Torres and Malhotra. That, should be a significant step up in class.
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