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23 years after horrific injury, Malarchuk reuinted with goalie that replaced him

Jun 12, 2012, 5:06 PM EDT


When people today discuss Clint Malarchuk and his severed jugular injury suffered back in 1989, few mention Jacques Cloutier, the goalie that came in and replaced him.

Malarchuk’s different. He thinks about Cloutier often.

“I love Jacques,” Malarchuk told the Calgary Herald. “I mean, this is the guy who had to go stand in my pool of blood in Buffalo. I never realized how much that would have affected Jacques. I feel bad.

“I should have told Jacques thank you a long, long time ago.”

Good news for Clint — it sounds like he’ll get the chance.

The Herald reports that Malarchuk, who served as the Flames’ goalie coach last season, will be retained by new head coach Bob Hartley for the 2012-13 season.

That means Malarchuk will be working alongside Cloutier, who Hartley hired as his assistant last week.

The pair were reunited on Monday at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary as Cloutier settled into his new digs. The goalie-turned-assistant had spent 12 years behind the bench in Colorado — winning Stanley Cups in 1996 and 2001 — before joining Hartley in Zurich of the Swiss League last season.

Upon reuniting, Malarchuk and Cloutier shook hands and hugged.

“You know how goalies are always competing and not always the best of friends?” Malarchuk said. “I look back at Jacques now and realize that guy was one of my biggest supporters through that whole deal.

“No wonder he’s had a great career as a coach. He’s all about team.”

  1. govtminion - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    God, you look at a picture like that and wonder how the hell he lived through it… incredible. Glad he’s doing well in Calgary these days.

  2. theawesomersfranchise - Jun 12, 2012 at 6:21 PM

    Sometimes even the word Horrific doesn’t quite sum it up

  3. jackrabbit56 - Jun 12, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    I remember seeing Malarchuk in the AHL in a game in Glens Falls NY when playing for the Fredericton Express. He had 50 saves against the Adirondack Red Wings in a 3-1 loss – the third time in 5 days he had faced 50+ shots. I remember watching reports of the accident and being sickened by the sight of blood pulsing from his throat every time his heart pumped more blood.

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