March 22, 1989
Buffalo, New York
Sabres goalie Clint Malarchuk is struck in the neck by another player’s ice skate
During a game against the St. Louis Blues, Steve Tuttle of the Blues and Uwe Krupp of the Buffalo Sabres collided near the Sabres’ goal. As Tuttle was knocked over, his skate rose and hit Malarchuk in the neck, severing Malarchuk’s carotid artery.
Malarchuk recounted later: “I felt it hit my mask, but there was no pain, and I didn’t think much of it in that moment. Then I saw the blood. When you watch the video, it’s hard to really make out, but those first few squirts from my neck? We’re talking five or six feet in distance. That’s how far the blood flew.”
The scene caused an immediate physical reaction in many who witnessed the event: eleven fans fainted, three had heart attacks, and three players vomited on the ice.
Malarchuk nearly bled out at the scene, but was able to get medical attention quickly. “I tried to make a joke: ‘Put in a couple stitches and let me get back out there,’” Malarchuk wrote later. “Blood gurgled out as I said it. No one laughed.”
Malarchuk received 300 stitches to close the wound and returned to practice four days later.
A home recording of the live game can be seen at this link: (WARNING: while the camera operator quickly realized the severity of the injury and panned away from the scene, blood is briefly visible and is considered graphic) https://youtu.be/uDXWuzFZDb4
Vogl, John. “At 47 and ‘with a bullet in his head,’ Clint Malarchuk shares his heartbreaking story.” Buffalo News. March 23, 2018. Accessed: March 22, 2019. https://buffalonews.com/2018/03/23/at-47-and-with-a-bullet-in-his-head-clint-malarchuk-shares-his-heartbreaking-story/
Malarchuk, Clint. “Malarchuk’s frightening on-ice injury.” ESPN. December 20, 2014. Accessed: March 22, 2019. http://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/12000385/nhl-clint-malarchuk-remembers-frightening-ice-injury-cost-life
“Zednik’s injury brings Malarchuk’s own nightmare back to surface.” ESPN. February 12, 2008. Accessed: March 22, 2019. http://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?id=3242226