by PuckStopsHere on 12/17/13 at 09:12 PM ET
About three weeks ago I picked Darren Helm of the Detroit Red Wings as the Masterton Trophy leader. At that time I noted he was in a tight race with Manny Malhotra of Carolina. Both overcame significant injury that kept them from contributing to their teams last season. Their injury problems go back a couple years at least. Both have made significant comebacks this season, but I think Malhotra has been more significant and he has been able to stay healthy this season.
Malhotra suffered an eye injury in 2011. He has struggled to comeback to full strength since then. Last year he was placed on the longterm injured list after only nine games played with the Vancouver Canucks. It looked like his career was over. He signed with the Hurricane AHL affiliate in Charlotte this season before coming back to the NHL this year.
Malhotra has been playing well in Carolina. He is playing a tough defensive role with little offensive opportunity. His role is one of the toughest ones in the league. He currently has the second best faceoff winning percentage in the NHL at 60.4%. He appears to be back and at 100%. He has been very valuable to the Hurricanes and it is amazing that he is still in the NHL at all. That makes him the Masterton Trophy leader right now.
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