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Clint Malarchuk

December 9, 2014 by Speakers' Spotlight

Spotlight On: Clint Malarchuk, Former NHL Goaltender and Mental Health Advocate

No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating, and as stress-ridden as that of an NHL hockey goaltender. Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, and having your career nearly cut short by a skate slicing across your neck. Clint Malarchuk shares his extraordinary and heart-wrenching life story—which includes his long battle with alcoholism and almost ending his life with a gunshot—in his relentless effort to help end the stigma of mental illness and to help others who may suffer as well. We’re honoured to put Clint in our spotlight today:

What inspired you to become a speaker?

Whenever I spoke to a group as a player, and later as a coach, I liked the feeling of reaching people and helping them. Whether it was inspiring people, giving them hope, or motivating them, it is a great feeling for me to help.

Any advice for aspiring speakers?

Be passionate with your message.

What do you like to leave your audience with?

Feelings of hope, inspiration, motivation, and caring.

How do you prepare before a talk? Any special rituals? A good luck talisman?

I must be prepared in every sense, but as far as superstitions, I don’t have any except a short prayer.

Do you have an especially memorable event you spoke at that you can tell us about?

In Kananaskis, Alberta, my wife spoke with me and shared her side of what it is like to live with someone with mental illness….we covered it on all sides. It was very powerful and the audience really responded to it.

Any funny or embarrassing situations you found yourself in as a speaker?

Not yet. I don’t embarrass easily because I laugh at myself a lot.

Is there a charitable cause that you feel passionate about?

Anything regarding mental health.

If you had to choose a new career, what would it be?

I’ve played in the NHL, coached in the NHL, rodeo’d, trained horses. I’m also a horse dentist/chiropractor, author and public speaker. So, hmmm, let’s see…maybe I would become a counselor.

Desert Island Album?

Anything Johnny Cash or Merle Haggard.

Best Subject in school?

Phys. Ed.

Last book you read?

The Crazy Game (ha ha), and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

The last film you saw?

Penguins Of Madagascar.

Celebrity crush?

Jennifer Aniston, because she looks like my wife.

Who would you love to hear speak?

Ronald Reagan.