Memories of Malarchuk
Clint Malarchuk was a busy guy yesterday.
Now a goaltending coach for the Blue Jackets, the former NHL netminder had more than 50 requests for interviews, and given Richard Zednik hasn't yet spoken, offered his own harrowing account of his near on-ice death experience.
"I looked at (referee) Terry Gregson, his eyes were way wide and he screamed, 'Get this guy a stretcher. He's going to bleed to death,'" said Malarchuk, 46. "I said, 'I'm not waiting for a stretcher,' and skated for the exit.
"I was scared, weak. I said to Pizza (former Sabres trainer Jim Pizzutelli, a former Vietnam medic who saved Malarchuk's life), 'Am I going to live?' Honest to God, I thought I was done. Blood was squirting everywhere, and I knew my mom was watching. I didn't want her to see her son die on live TV."
John Vogel in the Buffalo News writes that Zednik's injury was actually more severe than Malarchuk's gruesome cut:
The Clint Malarchuk comparisons can stop. Richard Zednik's injury was much more life- threatening.One reporter who's been covering the incident right from the very minute Zednik was cut is the Associated Press' Buffalo-based sportswriter, John Wawrow, who has penned countless updates in the past 36 hours.
"Clint actually cut his external jugular vein, which is quite different from your common carotid artery," Dr. Leslie J. Bisson said. "Your common carotid artery, when that's lacerated, it can very quickly become a fatal injury."
The four doctors who treated Zednik used words today such as "profusely," "devastating," "hanging by a thread" and "lucky" to describe the sliced carotid artery injury suffered by Zednik on Sunday.
He provides some good information on what the life-saving surgery entailed:
Doctors said the skate blade just missed cutting the jugular vein.I find it incredible how they can patch human beings up after something like that, but from the sounds of things, Zednik should be back to normal within a month or so.
The carotid artery supplies blood to the brain, while the jugular vein takes blood from the brain. Blood pressure is much higher in the carotid artery.
Sabres orthopedic surgeon Les Bisson, who attended to Zednik shortly after he got off the ice, said losing five units — about five pints — of blood was significant, but "not a lot" for this type of injury.
According to Noor, the slashed artery was "hanging by a thread." She stressed if the artery had been completely severed it would have recessed into the neck, requiring even more extensive surgery.
It's expected he'll be able to come back and play at some point, although I would guess that would be sometime next season.