Podcast: Former NHL Goalie Clint Malarchuk Talks About Dealing With Mental Illness

Photo: Speakers' Spotlight
Photo: Speakers’ Spotlight


Former NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk was one tough hombre in his playing days. What nobody knew, not even Malarchuk himself, is that his toughness was constantly being tested by more than life in the NHL.

Growing up in Grand Prairie, AB, CA, Clint had struggles that he couldn’t identify. He was dealing with depression, anxiety, and OCD. However, in the 1970s and 1980s, there was less of an understanding, not to mention an acceptance, of mental health disease. That applies even more so to hockey goalies…especially if that hockey goalie is also a rugged cowboy. It was treated with a, “rub some dirt on it and get back in there” bravado.

Clint dealt with these undiagnosed issues throughout his childhood and career. Things though, took a horrific turn for the worst in March of 1989 when a gruesome, near death accident on the ice, in front of a packed arena, triggered a yet-to-be discovered diagnosis of PTSD. It was a cocktail of illnesses that would haunt him throughout the rest of his career and several years after.

With the love and support of his wife, Joanie, to whom he refers as his “Saint”, along with divine intervention, Malarchuk survived years of mental anguish, near tragedy, and (thankfully) a failed suicide attempt. He managed to come out the other side and has parlayed his experiences into a vehicle to help others, a public speaking career, and as an author (among other things).

I had the chance to talk to Clint over the phone about his tumultuous childhood, life in the NHL, his life-long battle against mental health disease, and his book; A Game of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond. It was a 90-minute phone call that felt like a half an hour. However, I could have talked to this amazing guy for hours. Malarchuk was genuine, candid, and very engaging. I hope you enjoy listening to this podcast as much as I had putting it together. Happy Trails!


Matt Petrero

Matt Petrero

Covering the Denver Broncos since January, 2013, Matt's unique style of humor-infused game analysis and all other things Broncos has garnered a steady increase in viewership on PredomiantlyOrange.com. And he brings that writing style to P2P. A New Jersey native, Matt currently resides in Maryland with his wife Jennifer and pup, Teddy. However, after summers spent as a kid and 10 years as a resident, (not to mention a love of most things from the Centennial state) he calls Colorado as his home state. Matt hosts a weekly two hour radio show on a local, Harford County, MD. station which pays homage to the music of the decades of the 70s and 80s. He has a healthy fascination for the Brooklyn Dodgers, early Rock n Roll, 1950's culture, and is a rockabilly geek. He not only loves the thrill of competition, but also the importance of it and it's performers in the community. And that's what makes P2P and Matt Petrero the perfect marriage (I know, speaking of myself in the 3rd person makes me squirm also).
Matt Petrero

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