Clint Malarchuk’s Lacerated Throat

When it comes to gruesome and cringe-worthy sports injuries, few can top the story of Clink Marlarchuk’s brutal encounter with Steve Tuttle on the ice during a 1989 hockey game between the St. Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabres. This is perhaps one of the most famous sports injuries in history, as it threatened Marlarchuk’s life and shook up audiences, causing a number of spectators to faint and two to have heart attacks. Let’s take a closer look at this infamous injury that was a definitive turning point in Malarchuks’ career.

A huge injury

During the game, Malarchuk’s teammate Uwe Krupp collided with Steve Tuttle on the ice, causing Tuttle’s skate to hit the front right side of Malarchuk’s neck. This severed Malarchuk’s carotid artery, causing immediate and massive blood loss.

Life-saving intervention

In later interviews, Malarchuk stated that he thought he would die on the ice, but he was fortunate to be in the presence of the Sabres athletic trainer, Jim Pizzutelli. As a former Army medic who had served in Vietnam, Pizzutelli was able to stabilize the wound by physically pinching off the artery and waiting for doctors to arrive after escorting Malarchuk off the ice. Though he had lost a substantial amount of blood, Malarchuk was able to joke in the ambulance asking if he would be back in time for third period.

A shaky career

Malarchuk was able to return to hockey after this injury, but he struggled to maintain a high level of performance, coping with mental trauma and alcoholism. He eventually transitioned into coaching, maintaining an active career until taking leave in the 2013-14 season.