Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/07/13 at 09:20 AM ET
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Hockey people are not big on Disney-like comeback stories. To them, it was clear that Malhotra’s NHL career was over. But luckily, not only was Malhotra’s vision not very good at the time, his hearing wasn’t either. He was never directed to retire, or at least, he claims, never heard those words from anyone who was important to him, or whose opinion he valued. “I believed in myself. My family and friends believed in me,” he says. “Players who I had played with, played against, retired players in the Vancouver area, all said the same thing: ‘If you feel you can still play, go and get it.’”
Malhotra scored the first goal of his comeback Tuesday night on an overtime breakaway against Philadelphia, snapping a five-game losing streak for the Carolina Hurricanes. On Wednesday he spoke to me about about self-belief. “I always knew I was healthy enough to play; I always felt I had something to offer,” he says. “The biggest thing was just getting that opportunity again.
“I’ve always been grateful (for) every moment I’ve played in the NHL. But (the injury) puts it into perspective, just how close it was to having it all be done for me.
“After everything I’ve been through, it’s special to know that there is still a (team) who believes in me.”
The fact remains that Vancouver’s doctors and hockey personnel agreed Malhotra was endangering himself on the ice.
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