October 09, 2008
The tale of then-Buffalo Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk's near-death experience is hockey legend: On March 22, 1989, Malarchuk took a skate to the throat in a game against the St. Louis Blues at Memorial
Arena Auditorium (Ed. Note: Duh) slicing open the largest vein in his body and filling the crease with blood. It was the Richard Zednik injury-times-ten-thousand; SportsCenter's video commemoration of the incident forever remains not for the squeamish, but mandatory viewing.
Sadly, accidental misfortune appears to be Malarchuk's legacy. From the Buffalo News comes word of another near-tragedy: He shot himself in the chin with a .22-caliber rifle.
Officers were dispatched to the Malarchuks' home at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday after his wife reported her husband accidentally shot himself, according to reports. When deputies arrived, the paper said, he was sitting on a bench next to a horse tack storage room, bleeding profusely from his chin and mouth.
Malarchuk's wife said when she arrived home from work her husband was in the backyard, and said he had been shooting rabbits with a .22 rifle. She said Malarchuk stood and placed the rifle butt on the ground between his legs and the rifle discharged, striking him in the chin. He reportedly was belligerent with paramedics and with health center staff, refusing treatment.
Malarchuk is now the goaltending coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets, according to the paper. And after what he's been through, it's nearly understandable that he'd refuse medical treatment for buckshot to the face -- that's merely a flesh wound.
The accident story sounds plausible. But considering what Malarchuk was doing before the incident, part of us wonders if he was hoodwinked when one of his targets reappeared dressed as Groucho Marx.
(P.S. -- Yes, that figure in the photo was in fact available on eBay.)