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Buffalo Sabres Goalie- Clint Malarchuk ('89)

Guest goalnut3133

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I recently heard & read about the near-fatal injury of the Sabres' goalie, Clint Malarchuk, back in March '89, while playing in net during a game. I wondered if anyone out there was at the game that night & could share your experiences during this horrific incident? I can't imagine what that must have been like.

I also can't believe that after such a near-death accident, that now 24 yrs later, there is still no mandatory throat protectors for goalies. I corresponded with a hockey journalist in Pennsylvania who told me that the plastic throat protectors are now being replaced by throat protection being built into the goalie masks, which make it sturdier. However, from what I can observe, the goalies' necks seem to be still very exposed, especially on the sides, which means such an accident could occur again? Correct me if I'm wrong but am I missing something here? (And is there any such mandatory protection for goalies in the minor leagues? Hockey parents, your thoughts?)

Not to mention protection for the players' throats from blades, as in the more recent case of Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers. A kevlar collar may not be 100% injury-proof but it would have helped.

Yes, such accidents are pretty rare (amazingly) but 1 death caused is 1 too many. I did read about the death of at least 1 young goalie in Europe who was not as fortunate as Clint. His jugular was also severed by a skate blade but he did not make it in time to the hospital. Very sad because it's such an unnecessary accident.

Also. any thoughts from goalies out there?

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The near tragedy involving Malarchuk in 1989 was eventful, I read somewhere that if his injury had occurred 1/8th of an inch off from where it did that he would have bled out in minutes. Also, the team doctor was a former army doctor in Viet Nam who literally put his fingers inside of Clint's wound and pinched it off and held it there all the way to the hospital. I don't know if every team doctor could have handled the situation as well.

Malarchuk has fought his personal demons at best to a standstill, obsessive compulsive disorder since childhood, alcoholism, and post traumatic stress disorder from the event in Buffalo. He attempted suicide a few years back while he served as the goaltending coach for the Jackets, he shot himself in the chin and a 30 for 30 episode catalogs his talking about dealing with that and checking himself in to a mental hospital after to get the help he needed.

By all accounts he is one hell of a goaltender coach, he got more out of Steve Mason than anyone since and has been serving as the netminder coach for Calgary. Wishing this complex man all of the best.

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@yave1964 WOW, did not know all that about Clint!! How could you not cheer for a guy like that to succeed, huh? I remember that night he got hurt well. Was not actually watching the game, but remember vividly the horrific highlights of the blood gushing out. Scary stuff, and yeah, it seems like the goalies necks could be protected better. There has to be a way that would allow for maximum movement but still protect them better.

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