It’s been a busy day for the Thrashers front office. Just a few hours after signing defenseman Freddy Meyer the team has announced that former Buffalo Sabre Clint Malarchuk has been hired as a goaltending consultant. Malarchuk will spend some of his time in Atlanta working with Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason and will also travel to work with other goalies in the organization whether they’re in the AHL, ECHL, CHL or college (if NCAA rules permit it of course).
Malarchuk was most recently the goaltending coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets (he was their goalie coach during Steve Mason’s phenomenal rookie year) and has also worked for the Florida Panthers, Idaho Steelheads (as a head coach).
Who was the GM in Florida when Malarchuk was there? Rick Dudley. Dudley also coached Malarchuk in Buffalo (1989-90 through 1991-92) and played with him with the AHL Fredericton Express (1981-82).
Despite being a fairly good NHL goalie (his career record was 141-130-45) Malarchuk is probably most famous for having his carotid artery slashed by a skate in a gruesome on-ice accident in 1989 versus the St. Louis Blues (it’s on YouTube if you want to watch it, but it’s pretty graphic). As frightening as the incident was Malarchuk was back in net for the Sabres a week later. His return marked the end of the NHL career of the journeyman netminder who was called up from Rochester to fill in during his absence, but he has done alright for himself since then, parlaying an average hockey career into an outstanding broadcasting career. That journeyman goalie was Thrashers TV analyst Darren Eliot.