Vancouver Canucks hire Manny Malhotra to coach AHL affiliate

Manny Malhotra. (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks are bringing a new face behind the bench of their AHL farm team.

General manager Patrik Allvin announced on Friday that former Canucks forward Manny Malhotra has been tapped to coach the Abbotsford Canucks, replacing Jeremy Colliton.

Malhotra, 44, served as an assistant coach for the past four seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs under Sheldon Keefe. Malhotra, a former centre, played on the Canucks from 2010 to 2013, and was an instrumental part in their 2011 run to the Stanley Cup Final.

“Bringing in someone who is familiar with the organization is a big win for us,” said Allvin in a team statement. “Manny’s experience in hockey development and coaching has prepared him really well for this head coaching opportunity. We look forward to working with him and providing our staff in Abbotsford all the support they need to continue to develop our players.”

Colliton, who was hired to lead the AHL affiliate in July 2022, was not under contract for the 2024-25 season. He led Abbotsford to back-to-back Calder Cup Playoffs appearances in his tenure.

“First of all, I would like to thank Jeremy Colliton and Gary Agnew for the work they did for us in Abbotsford,” Abbotsford GM and Canucks assistant GM Ryan Johnson said in a statement. “Having played against Manny in the NHL, I know firsthand many of the great qualities he possesses and the competitiveness in his DNA. He is a teacher first, and his skillset and mindset will fit in perfectly with our vision for the team in Abbotsford.”

Malhotra is “excited to return” to the Canucks organization.

“Getting the chance to help develop the next wave of young talent is an honour and a privilege,” Malhotra said in the team release. “We have a lot of good prospects in the group, and I can’t wait to get started on the ice. I would like to thank the Toronto Maple Leafs as well for providing me the opportunity to work with them the past four years.”

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