‘Cowboy Goalie’ Clint Malarchuk Shares Journey Through Mental Illness at Feb. 2 Presentation

In 1989, while playing as an NHL goalie for the Buffalo Sabres, Clint Malarchuk suffered a skate blade across his neck. The razor-sharp edge severed his carotid artery and sliced his jugular vein. The team’s trainer–a former combat medic–saved Malarchuk’s life by pinching the artery shut but not before Malarchuk lost 1.5 litres of blood, much of it on the ice in the crease.

It took 300 stitches to close the 6-inch gash. That was only the start of a recovery that sunk Malarchuk into a darkness that included depression, alcoholism and two suicide attempts. The last attempt left a bullet lodged near his right eye.

His wife insisted he goes into rehab. Six months later, Malarchuk left the center and started a new lease on life that included becoming a veterinary technician. Nicknamed the “cowboy goalie,” Malarchuk eventually started a new career as an equine dentist. Along the way, he wrote his autobiography.

That book, The Crazy Game: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond, will be the focus of Malarchuk’s presentation on Thursday, Feb 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the CSU Ballroom. The event is free to the public.

Malarchuk’s presentation is sponsored by the Center for Rural Behavioral Health and the Minnesota State Mankato Athletic Department.

Much like the book, Malarchuk’s touches on his professional hockey days before going in-depth into one man’s struggle with mental health. His lecture helps address the stigma of mental illness and offers help to others who suffer as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *