Books·Canada Reads 2019

The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk, with Dan Robson

The Crazy Game is a memoir by Clint Malarchuk and Dan Robson.
The Crazy Game is a memoir by former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk, written with Dan Robson. (Submitted by Clint Malarchuk, HarperCollins, Erik Putz)

The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk and Dan Robson is on the Canada Reads 2019 longlist. Canada Reads 2019 is about finding one book to move you. The final five books and the panellists defending them will be revealed on Jan. 31, 2019.

The 2019 debates will take place March 25-28, 2019 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan

About The Crazy Game 

No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating and as stress-ridden as that of a hockey goaltender. Standing in the crease facing one-hundred-mile-an-hour slapshots, the entire game riding on your glove hand, standing on your head when necessary — all job requirements for those wanting to be the best goalies in the world. Now imagine doing that job while suffering high anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder, and having your career nearly literally cut short by a skate across your neck. 

The Crazy Game takes you deep into the troubled mind of Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender for the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres. Even as a boy, Malarchuk faced such deep anxiety that he missed school and acted out at school and with his friends. His OCD changed the way he trained, and he was almost always the last player off the ice. When his throat was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with depression and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life and left a bullet in his head. (From HarperCollins)

Clink Malarchuk on telling difficult stories

"Finish the book. That was the message. That was the reason I think I was saved...  I think the reason I played in the NHL is to give the avenue. Whether it's right or wrong, it makes you somebody incredible. And to have all these problems in my life — and overcome them — what's the reason? Well, I think it's because you're given a certain amount of fame and that gives you an avenue to reach out to people and do interviews and to write a book and to tell your story. 

People are really reaching out and thanking me and I'm inspiring them to get help, or their spouse, or their sibling.- Clint Malarchuk

"Even now that the book is released I'm getting a lot of emails and people reaching out. It happened before the book was out but now people are really reaching out and thanking me and I'm inspiring them to get help, or their spouse, or their sibling. There's a stigma attached to mental illness and it's not a good one. If you have cancer and you have to go for treatment, you're going to go tell your boss. But if you're struggling with depression or some sort of mental illness you don't go to your boss. And you should be able to." 

Watch Clint Malarchuk's full interview with Wendy Mesley here

From the book

Crazy — that's the word they always use to describe us. "You have to be crazy to be a goalie." Of course it's true. Standing in front of a hundred-mile-an-hour slapshot? Crazy. Having the outcome of every game rest on your shoulders? Crazy. Defending the net against Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux or Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin? Crazy.

Yes, you have to be crazy to be a goalie. It's the first rule. Watch closely during a game. Each has their own idiosyncrasies. No two are the same. Consider every perfectly adjusted strap, every twitch, every tantrum — they are all trying to cope. Goaltending is the most complicated, pressure-packed position in sport. A quarterback or a pitcher may be the closest to understanding the stress a goalie is under, but even they can't grasp the madness of this position. Why are goalies such unique personalities? It's the pressure. The physical, mental and emotional stress goalies face is uncomparable. Does a person become unique under the pressure, or is a unique person draw to the pressure? It has to be a little of both.

From The Crazy Game by Clint Malarchuk ©2014. Published by HarperCollins.

Interviews with Clint Malarchuk

Ex-NHL goalie Clint Malarchuk opens up on mental illness

8 years ago
Duration 9:16
Famous for nearly dying on the ice during an NHL game in 1989.


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