Maple Leafs hire Manny Malhotra as assistant coach

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Manny Malhotra as their newest assistant coach, the team announced Thursday.

Malhotra spent the past few seasons on the Vancouver Canucks' coaching staff as an assistant -- a familiar rink for him, as he spent three seasons playing for the Canucks. Malhotra has been with the organization in a coaching capacity since 2016, when he was brought in as a development coach not long after his retirement as a player. He was named as an assistant in Vancouver the following spring.

"I'm very grateful to the Canucks organization for the opportunity given to me to start my coaching career. It was truly a great experience to learn from Travis Green and the rest of his staff," said Malhotra in a statement. "I'm now very excited for this opportunity with the Leafs moving forward - to be working with Sheldon, his staff and this young, talented team."

Malhotra played 16 seasons in the NHL with seven teams after being drafted seventh overall by the New York Rangers in the 1998 NHL Draft. In 991 career regular season games, Malhotra recorded 295 points.

“This is a good opportunity and a great promotion for Manny. He’s ready for this next step in Toronto," Canucks head coach Travis Green said in a statement. "He’s a good friend, we’re proud of him, and we wish him and his family nothing but success and happiness in the future.”

The opening on Toronto's bench comes after former assistant Paul McFarland announces his pending departure from the organization earlier this season.

Now, the move to Toronto will also be a homecoming for the former NHLer, as Malhotra hails from Mississauga.

"The work ethic, character, intelligence and attention to detail that made Manny the ultimate teammate when he played are all assets that have translated to his coaching. That, combined with his charisma and communication skills, make us really excited to have him join the organization," said Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe. "On behalf of the Leafs, I'd like to thank Travis Green, Jim Benning and the Canucks organization for the opportunity to speak with Manny."

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