NHL Wiki
Clint Malarchuk
Born May 1, 1961 (1961-05-01) (age 61)
Grand Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Played for NHL
Quebec Nordiques
Washington Capitals
Buffalo Sabres
San Diego Gulls
Las Vegas Thunder
NHL Draft 74th overall, 1981
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1981–1996

Clint Malarchuk (born on May 1, 1961) is a retired Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) between 1981 and 1992.

He has been a coach for four NHL teams and two minor league teams, most recently the Calgary Flames.

Clint is best known for having survived a life-threatening injury during a 1989 NHL game when another player's skate blade sliced his carotid artery and jugular vein, causing immediate massive blood loss.

Playing Career[]

Clint played junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL).

Then, he went on to play professionally in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals, and Buffalo Sabres & in the International Hockey League (IHL) for the Las Vegas Thunder.

Clint had a career record of 141 wins, 130 losses, 45 ties, 12 shutouts and an .885 save percentage.

On April 20, 1984, Clint was a participant in a brawl between the Quebec Nordiques and the Montreal Canadiens, known as the Good Friday Massacre.

Neck Incident[]

On March 22, 1989, during a game between the visiting St. Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabres, Steve Tuttle of the Blues and Uwe Krupp of the Sabres crashed hard into the goal crease during play.

As they collided, Tuttle's skate blade hit the right front side of Clint's neck, severing his carotid artery and injuring the surrounding sheath muscle and jugular vein. With blood spurting from Clint's neck onto the ice, he was able to leave the ice on his own feet with the assistance of his team's athletic trainer, Jim Pizzutelli.

Many spectators were physically sickened by the sight.

There was so much blood that eleven fans fainted, two more suffered heart attacks and three players vomited on the ice.

Local television cameras covering the game cut away from the sight of Clint bleeding after noticing what had happened. Sabres announcers Ted Darling & Mike Robitaille were audibly shaken.

At the production room of the national cable sports highlight show, a producer scrolled his tape back to show the event to two other producers, who both started screaming.

Meanwhile, Clint believed he was going to die. "All I wanted to do was get off the ice", he said. "My mother was watching the game on TV, and I didn't want her to see me die."

Aware that his mother had been watching the game on TV, Clint had an equipment manager call and tell her he loved her. Then he asked for a priest.

Clint's life was saved due to quick action by the team's athletic trainer, Jim Pizzutelli, a former Army medic who served in Vietnam. He gripped Clint's neck and pinched off the blood vessel, not letting go until doctors arrived to begin stabilizing the wound.

The team doctor then applied extreme pressure by kneeling on his collarbone (a procedure designed to produce a low breathing rate and low metabolic state which is preferable to exsanguination).

Previous reports have suggested doctors worked for hours to save Clint's life, however, this is an overestimate.

Clint was conscious and talking on the way to the hospital (he asked paramedics if they could bring him back in time for the third period).

The game resumed when league personnel received word that he was in stable condition.

Clint lost 1.5 liters of blood and it took doctors a total of 300 stitches to close the six-inch wound.

His performance declined over the next few years until he decided to leave the NHL.

After this, Clint struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder (as he had since a young age) as well as nightmares and alcoholism, but he remained in pro hockey in the International Hockey League.

After retiring as a player, Clint continued as a coach.

On February 10, 2008, coincidentally again in Buffalo, Florida Panthers forward Richard Zednik suffered an injury similar to Clint's after Olli Jokinen's skate blade cut the front of Zedník's neck, injuring his external carotid artery, causing immediate massive blood loss.

Although he initially refused to view the footage, upon viewing it, Clint was taken aback, saying that he didn't think his memory of his own incident would come back after 19 years. He sought treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder the following year.

Minor Pro Playing Career[]

In 1992-93, Clint was a goaltender for the IHL's San Diego Gulls and played in the league championship.

The following season he became starting goaltender for the Las Vegas Thunder, appearing in 55 games and accumulating a record of 34-10-7. He was later hired as the team's head coach and assistant GM.

Clint's jersey number was retired by the Thunder and hangs from the rafters of the Thomas & Mack Center.

Coaching Career[]

Clint served as head coach of the IHL Las Vegas Thunder in the 1998-99 season and the Idaho Steelheads until 2000.

Afterwards, he was a goaltending coach for the Florida Panthers during the 2002-03 season. He was signed as the goaltending coach for 2006–07 by the Columbus Blue Jackets.

In August of 2010, he agreed to become the goaltending consultant for the Atlanta Thrashers.

On June 17, 2011, Calgary Flames announced the hiring Clint as their goaltender coach.

On June 17, 2014, the Calgary Flames announced they parted ways with Clint and were searching for a new goaltending coach. He had earlier taken leave during the 2013-14 season to enter the National Hockey League's substance abuse treatment program.

Career Statistics[]

Regular season and playoffs[]

  Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League   GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA   GP W L MIN GA SO GAA
1977–78 Fort Saskatchewan Traders AJHL 33 23 9 1 2015 157 1 4.67
1978–79 Fort Saskatchewan Traders AJHL 52 36 15 1 3030 204 1 4.04
1978–79 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 2 2 0 0 120 4 0 2.00
1979–80 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 37 21 10 0 1948 147 0 4.53 1 0 0 40 3 0 4.50
1980–81 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 38 28 8 0 2235 142 3 3.81 5 3 2 307 21 0 4.10
1981–82 Quebec Nordiques NHL 2 0 1 1 120 14 0 7.00
1981–82 Fredericton Express AHL 51 15 34 2 2906 247 0 5.10
1982–83 Quebec Nordiques NHL 15 8 5 2 900 71 0 4.63
1982–83 Fredericton Express AHL 25 14 6 5 1506 78 0 3.11
1983–84 Quebec Nordiques NHL 23 10 9 2 1215 80 0 3.95
1983–84 Fredericton Express AHL 11 5 5 1 663 40 0 3.62
1984–85 Fredericton Express AHL 56 26 25 4 3347 198 2 3.55 6 2 4 379 20 0 3.17
1985–86 Quebec Nordiques NHL 46 26 12 4 2657 142 4 3.21 3 0 2 143 11 0 4.62
1986–87 Quebec Nordiques NHL 54 18 26 9 3092 175 1 3.40 3 0 2 140 8 0 3.43
1987–88 Washington Capitals NHL 54 24 20 4 2924 154 4 3.16 4 0 2 193 15 0 4.65
1988–89 Washington Capitals NHL 42 16 18 7 2428 141 1 3.48
1988–89 Buffalo Sabres NHL 7 3 1 1 326 13 1 2.39 1 0 1 59 5 0 5.07
1989–90 Buffalo Sabres NHL 29 14 11 2 1596 89 0 3.35
1990–91 Buffalo Sabres NHL 37 12 14 10 2131 119 1 3.35 4 2 2 246 17 0 4.15
1991–92 Buffalo Sabres NHL 29 10 13 3 1639 102 0 3.73
1991–92 Rochester Americans AHL 2 2 0 0 120 3 1 1.50
1992–93 San Diego Gulls IHL 27 17 3 3 1516 72 3 2.85 12 6 4 668 34 0 3.05
1993–94 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 55 34 10 7 3076 172 1 3.35 5 1 3 257 16 0 3.74
1994–95 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 38 15 13 3 2039 127 0 3.74 2 0 0 32 2 0 3.70
1995–96 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0.00
1996–97 Las Vegas Thunder IHL 3 1 1 0 63 6 0 5.63
NHL totals 338 141 130 45 19028 1100 12 3.47 15 2 9 782 56 0 4.30

Personal Life[]

Clint was born in Grande Prairie, Alberta, raised in Edmonton, Alberta and lives in Alberta & Nevada.

After his playing career, he settled on a ranch near Las Vegas, Nevada (later Gardnerville, Nevada) where he and his wife at the time raised three kids and emus.

In mid-2000, he became certified as a veterinary technician and runs a practice as a horse dentist and chiropractor from his ranch.

A visiting photographer once had his camera flash stolen by Clint's emus.

Clint's nickname in hockey was "the Cowboy Goalie" because he was depicted riding bareback in a front-page newspaper photo while playing for the Washington Capitals, and he was later given horses as a contractual bonus with the Las Vegas Thunder.

He also credited his cowboy upbringing for his toughness when returning to play for the Buffalo Sabres.

In November of 2014, Clint released an autobiography called "The Crazy Game." In the United States, the book was published with the title "A Matter of Inches—How I Survived In The Crease And Beyond."

Following its release, Clint and Joan were public speakers about topics covered in the book such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, support for alcoholics in recovery, suicide prevention and psychological trauma.

On May 7, 2015, Clint was a guest speaker at a Canadian Mental Health Association meeting in Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

On August 1, 2015, Clint and Joan were keynote speakers at the International OCD Foundation conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

They showed the video footage of his sports injury to the audience with the advice that it is potentially triggering to people who are uncomfortable with images of blood and trauma.

Gun Incident[]

On October 7, 2008, Clint suffered from what (according to his wife, Joan) was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chin from a .22 caliber rifle at his residence in Fish Springs, Nevada after a period of stress and domestic problems.

The incident was initially described as an accident while hunting rabbits, but both the goalie and his wife have since admitted it was a suicide attempt.

On October 10, 2008, the Douglas County, Nevada sheriff's investigation concluded the shooting was accidental under suspicious circumstances, but afterwards Joan Malarchuk said she unequivocally told the sheriff it was a suicide attempt "so that he would get the help he needed."

Officers and paramedics at the scene reported that Clint (who was bleeding from both his mouth and chin) was uncooperative and refused treatment. Joan Malarchuk said she sat with her husband (who was bleeding) and comforted him because she was afraid he would lash out again and get shot by police.

Clint was later flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for treatment and released less than a week after the shooting. He then spent approximately six months in a rehab hospital being treated for alcoholism, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Canadian Press reported that Joan informed authorities that her husband was not supposed to consume alcohol as he was on prescription medications for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but was doing so anyway at the time of the shooting.

Clint later said he believed he was overmedicated dating back to when he was prescribed an anti-psychotic sedative while playing pro hockey in San Diego, California.