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

Jun 12, 2012, 5:06 PM EDT

Malarchuk

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.”

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