Malarchuk’s Life-and-Near-Death an ESPN Movie
InGoal Magazine has had the pleasure of knowing Clint Malarchuk for more than a decade – or at least we thought we did.
As it turns out we barely scratched the surface during those early meetings, first while Malarchuk was the goaltending coach for the Roberto Luongo-led Florida Panthers, and then in the same role with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Malarchuk, who now works as the goalie coach for the Calgary Flames, was the easy-going, quick-with-a-joke, cowboy-turned-coach, making self-depricating jokes about his age and old-school stand-up style after donning the pads for a Blue Jackets practice.
It wasn’t until later, after a suicide attempt prompted inquiries from Luongo and Pascal Leclaire about Malarchuk’s health, that it became clear Malarchuk’s secrets went well beyond being the only licensed horse dentist coaching in the NHL. As we’d learn later, first through those close to him in the game of hockey, and then through brilliantly told stories like this feature by Dan Robson in SportsNet Magazine, Malarchuk was still battling demons left over from that night back in 1989, when a skate blade cut through the artery in his neck and almost ended his life in a pool of blood in the Buffalo Sabres’ goal crease.
Malarchuk survived that night, but the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder never went away, and Depression piled on. His painful, life-threatening battles with both are laid bare in Cutthroat, the latest entry to ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary short series. A warning, however, that this powerful film by award-winning director Steven Cantor contains graphic footage of the injury.