Manny Malhotra remains hesitant to talk about his recovery from a career-threatening eye injury, but he is willing to endorse the use of visors among his Vancouver Canucks teammates.
“I’ll be offering my two cents in the next couple of days here,” Malhotra said Friday upon reporting to training camp.
The Canucks’ centre, who was surprisingly listed as “week to week” by head coach Alain Vigneault, was careful not to reveal too much about his damaged left eye upon his miraculous return to play in the Stanley Cup final last June. The Canucks and Boston Bruins were in the middle of the cloak-and-dagger routine, and volunteering information could have had competitive consequences.
But after two more surgeries this summer, Malhotra is continuing his tight-lipped stand. He said he should be ready for Vancouver’s NHL season opener on Oct. 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, despite being cleared for only light contact, but is intentionally vague when asked about the condition of his eye.
“It’s coming along as it should,” he said. “It’s good enough. I feel very confident on the ice. It’s been a long few months, but things have progressed very well.
“I don’t want to get into too many details, but everything that needed to be done, was done. The rest is up to me. How well do I heal?”
The 31-year-old suggested that he needs to raise his fitness level before playing in games, and said he would “ease” into training camp under doctors’ orders. His most recent surgery was just a few weeks ago, and all of his procedures are followed by a period of inactivity.
Malhotra suffered a serious eye injury last March after being struck by a puck and underwent emergency surgery to save his vision. He made an emotional return during the Stanley Cup final and says the difference between now and last spring amounts to “night and day.”
“I don’t want to rule out [100-per-cent vision]and bring in those negative thoughts,” he said. “It just depends on how well I heal.”