4th round draft pick of the Quebec Nordiques in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft, Malarchuk played for the Nordiques, the Washington Capitals and the Buffalo Sabres, posting a good record of 141 wins, 130 losses, 45 ties, 12 shutouts, and a 0.885 save percentage.
However, despite having been a good goaltender, it is above all for the life-threatening injury he sustained on March 22 1989 when St. Louis Blues' Steve Tuttle's blade slit Malarchuk's throat, after Tuttle had collided with Uwe Krupp in front of the Sabres' net. A pool of blood resulted of the carotid artery cut, and Malarchuk, despite the severe blood flow, managed to leave the ice by his own. The telediffused match was interrupted and cameras pointed elsewhere when people began realizing what was happening. Spectators who attended the game were shocked, with nine faintings, two heart attacks among them. Malarchuk spent a mere night at the hospital, and resumed training 4 days later. His injury forced the NHL to institute a policy forcing goaltenders to wear neck protection to ensure similar events never happen again.
A similar incident occured in 1995 when Bengt Åkerblom died in a similar incident in the Elitserien and in 2008 when Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers had his carotid artery accidentally slit by teammate Olli Jokinen's blade. Zednik was more fortunate than Åkerblom and healed.
After the NHL
Malarchuk's play having declined, he retired from the NHL in 1992. He returned to play in the International Hockey League for a four more or less complete season, then retired from active playing for good, carrying on with several coaching duties, most notably as the goaltenders coach of the Florida Panthers in 2002-03, and of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2006-07.
The gun incident
On October 7 2008, Malarchuk was found profusely bleeding at their residence of Fish Springs, Nevada. by his wife Joan when she came back from work. Malarchuk, who was hunting rabbits, had, according to his wife, rested his .22 calibre rifle between his legs and with its butt on the ground when it suddenly discharged, wounding him to the chin. Officiers and paramedics called on the spot reported that Malarchuk was uncooperative and initially refused treatments. He spent a week at Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno and was released.
Three days later, the sheriff's deputies in Douglas County completed their investigation ofn the incident, which was concluded as being "accidental under suspicious circumstances"; to them, the matter was closed unless contradictory information was found. Sgt. Jim Halsey states that he cannot rule out the suicide possibility, however. Both Malarchuks vehemently deny this might have been a suicide attempt. Joan told the authorities that Malarchuk was not allowed to drink alcohol due to his medications for his obsessive-compulsive disorder, but that he was nevertheless doing so at the time of the accident.
|Idaho Steelheads head coaches|
|Langevin • Malarchuk • Olver • Laxdal|