By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
Sacred Heart High School is hosting the 7th annual Wes for Youth Online Hockey Tournament today & tomorrow at Durham, Mildmay, and at Walkerton.
At least 14 teams split into divisions for Boys & Girls will participate in the event.
I say, " participate ", because the tournament winner has always been a non-factor for the event.
The important part is that players of both genders have a session in which they play, have fun and also have their eyes opened to aspects of life they may be seeing but not fully understanding.
As part of the understanding process, the tournament organizers brought in former NHL All Star Clint Malarchuk as a guest speaker last night at Walkerton Community School.
Here's what I knew about Clint Malarchuk; he was involved in the Good Friday Massacre between the Nordiques and Canadiens, and he suffered a horrifying neck injury while playing goal for Buffalo that nearly cost him his life.
What I didn't know about Clint Malarchuk could fill a book, in fact he's written a book called " The Crazy Game " that is on my required reading list for the future.
Along with the scars of the neck injury, Malarchuk has battled several other demons in his life, sinking to depths and episodes that would shake you.
Last Summer, he was a guest speaker at the ISC Fastball Championships in Kitchener- I just missed his appearance there, and I wasn't able to be in Walkerton last night.
However, I spoke with Clint Malarchuk last week in advance of his presentation and it was good to hear him laugh as he spoke while remaining very focused on a serious matter for him and for countless millions I imagine.
Whether Clint Malarchuk is speaking to ISC Fastball players or high school students at the Wes for Youth Online Tournament, his message is consistent, ' you don't have to suffer alone '.
I'm Fred Wallace