Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Richard Zednik’s horrifying injury brings Clint Malarchuk reluctantly back into the spotlight again

While Richard Zednik thankfully continues to recover in a Buffalo hospital from the gruesome cut to his jugular suffered on Sunday, the media spotlight has focused on another famous victim of hockey’s unpredictable nature.

Clint Malarchuk has become the hesitant spokesman for NHL survivors, as he fields question after question from a variety of media sources, all asking him to recount the day almost nineteen years ago, when he as he puts it nearly died on the ice.

Malarchuk has been very patient with media requests’, recounting how his only thought was to get off the ice that day so his mother, who was watching at home on television didn’t see him die on the ice.

As the interviews progressed through the day, you could sense how much of a life changing experience that his incident has been on his make up.

Memories that Malarchuk didn’t necessarily want to ever think about again, quickly returned and at the early moments, all he wanted to do was hide and keep a low profile, he recounts that on Sunday night after viewing Zednik’s injury he could not sleep one wink during the night.

To his credit, he’s been front and centre in explaining how Zednik may be coping at the moment and more importantly what may lie ahead for him on the road to recovery. As Malarchuk tells it, the incident that happened to him was quite traumatic and has left its mental scars over the years.

It’s to that point that he has offered up his services to the Panthers should they wish for him to just come and talk about this type of incident. If Zednik wishes, Malarchuk would have no problems talking things over with him either, perhaps offering up the best possible advice for Zednik, coming from someone who has been there and probably more than anyone else in hockey knows how this injury was and is much more than your regular hockey type injuries.

When he’s up to it, taking Malarchuk up on his offer is probably a very smart course of action for the Panthers and for Richard Zednik. If anyone can prepare him for the journey back to hockey it most likely would be Clint Malarchuk.

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