Former National Hockey League goaltender Clint Malarchuk will be in Williams Lake later this month to share his story from the ice, and beyond, on Oct. 23 in the Gibraltar Room.
Malarchuk, 58, was born in Grande Prairie, Alta. and played a successful 12-year NHL career with the Quebec Nordiques, the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres. After retiring he went on to coach with four NHL teams.
The proud author of the national best selling book, The Crazy Game, Malarchuk is also a mental health advocate after dealing with high anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder throughout and following his career.
Malarchuk described his job as a goaltender in the NHL as intimidating, exhilarating and stress-ridden.
“Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression,” his biography states.
He also had his career and life nearly, and literally, cut short when a skate blade slashed his jugular vein on the ice during an NHL game in 1989.
Malarchuk finished his career in Las Vegas where he now lives on a ranch with his wife, Joan. Known as the ‘Cowboy Goalie’ during his playing career due to this love of horses and rodeo, Malarchuk is now a veterinary technician specializing in dentistry with horses.
He is well aware, and has been since he was a child, of the incredible healing power of horses.
Crystal Wells, Program Manager with Denisiqi Services Society, said four organizations — DSS, Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society, the Cariboo Friendship Centre and the Tshilqot’in National Government — have been working together to make Malarchuk’s visit possible.
In Williams Lake, Malarchuk will be giving two presentations in the Gibraltar Room on Oct. 23: one to adults from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and another to youths in Grade 6 and above from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
Wells said the visit will coincide perfectly with her organizations’ partnerships with the RCMP, the Williams Lake Stampeders, the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society and the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake to offer free youth drop-in hockey for ages 13-18 each Wednesday from 3:45 to 4:45 p.m. until March 11 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.
On what prompted the invite for Malarchuk to speak in Williams Lake, Wells said it was staff at both Denisiqi and Cariboo Friendship Society who read Malarchuk’s book and found his story interesting and inspiring.
“We just thought with the trials and tribulations he’s gone through, and his platform as an NHLer, his story would be interesting for both youth and adults in the community.” Wells said.
Tickets are being designated first to the four partnering organizations and then opening to the general public after.
“This will be a good way to start the season and get people excited about hockey and make people aware about some of the struggles people face,” Wells said.
“For the youth it’s good to know that even famous people in awesome positions in life still struggle with some of the things they may struggle with, too.”
Tickets are free and are available at DSS by calling 250-392-6500 starting Oct. 21.