No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating, and stressful as that of an NHL hockey goaltender. Now imagine doing that job while suffering from 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 a long battle with alcoholism and 20 years of undiagnosed PTSD that lead him to almost ending his life — in his relentless effort to help end the stigma of mental illness and to help others who may suffer as well.
Malarchuk, who was born in Grand Prairie, Alberta and raised in Edmonton, played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. He went on to play professionally in the NHL for the Quebec Nordiques, the Washington Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres, and in the IHL for the Las Vegas Thunder. In 1987, Malarchuk was named to the NHL All-Star team and, in 1989, was the recipient of the Punch Imlack award for leadership and dedication to the game of hockey.
After retiring from the NHL as a player, Malarchuk served as head coach of the IHL Las Vegas Thunder and the Idaho Steelheads. He was then a goaltending coach for the NHL Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers, and Calgary Flames. Malarchuk was inducted into the New York State Hockey Hall of Fame in May 2022.
In 2008, Malarchuk survived a suicide attempt. After recovering physically, mentally, and emotionally, he became a mental health advocate and a renowned professional speaker on mental health. He speaks to his journey living with OCD, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. In recognition of his advocacy work, Malarchuk received an honourary doctorate from Nipissing University in 2017. In addition, Malarchuk is the author of The Crazy Game: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond.