It is becoming apparent that Manny Malhotra and the Blue Jackets will not come to an agreement on a contract. Overall it is okay for the team. Manny is a very solid third line player and penalty killer. The problem is with the cap and a predicted fall in 2010, you can't afford to give a player like Malhotra 2.5-3 million dollars. You can't give him 4 years. These are the types of players who will be squeezed out of contracts when the cap falls. It is best to avoid giving these types long term contract. All this said, I really like Manny and what he has done for the Blue Jackets.
He has a place in the heart of all, he was the first ever recipient of the HF Boards CBJ Mancrush of the year. He's been a perennial contender.
It is hard to find a comparable player to Manny given his role last year, ultimately it doesn't really matter. Manny has earned the right to become an unrestricted free agent.
The main reason for this post is in regards to some comments from CBJ "fans" who have called Manny out for getting a big ego or wanting too much money... I don't get this.
Manny while compensated well for what he does, is not floating in piles of cash. He is a blue collar worker who has worked for everything he has to this point in his career. This is not a debate between 10 million and 10.25 million. This is Manny's chance to get paid to set up his family for generations. He deserves this. Anyone would do the same as him.
If someone is willing to pay Manny 3 million for 4 years, then more power to Manny. If I was offered a $50,000 raise to take another job, I would not deliver a hometown discount. It is not a matter of a big head, it is a matter of getting paid what someone else thinks you are worth. If a teacher was able to contribute to a billion dollar revenue stream... they'd get compensated well too.
I believe and hope that most CBJ fans will wish Manny the best of luck in the future that will likely not be with the Blue Jackets.