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Adam Deadmarsh Alumni Night

by Jill Fitzpatrick / Colorado Avalanche
All fans in attendance at Saturday's game will receive a free Adam Deadmarsh poster from renowned painter Stephen Holland
There have been many exceptional players throughout Colorado Avalanche franchise history dating back to the days in Quebec, but few provided what Adam Deadmarsh did.

At 6-feet and just under 200 pounds, he was not the biggest player in the league, but every time he touched the ice he showed a work ethic and commitment that was hard to match.

“What I tried to bring was hard work every night and a compete level that would make me competitive on the ice. I wasn’t always the most skilled guy, but I tried to make up for that with a little bit of grit and hard work.”

Now the Video/Development Coach for Colorado, Deadmarsh will be honored in front of his charges as part of the Avalanche Alumni Association before Saturday’s game versus the Dallas Stars. The young team can take note of his accomplishments and how he worked to achieve them. 

As an 18-year-old forward, Deadmarsh was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in the first round (14th overall) of the 1993 Entry Draft.

He moved with the franchise to Colorado in 1995 and won the Stanley Cup in 1996 after recording 17 points (5g/12a) in 22 postseason games at the ripe age of 21.

“It was exciting, there’s no question. But as my career went on, you realize just how hard it is to win and how fortunate we were to win that year. At such a young age, it was a great time.”

Of course the celebration hit a minor speed bump when his name was misspelled on the Stanley Cup as “Deadmarch.” When they fixed the error, it was the first time ever that a correction was made on the idolized trophy. 

The forward played with the talents of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg and still led his team with 33 goals during the 1996-1997 season.

“My job was really to go and create loose pucks and get them to those players and in turn, get open when they have it. I ended up being on the right end of some great passes from Joe and Peter over the years.”

Though born in Trail, British Columbia, Deadmarsh’s mother was an American, so he represented Team USA at two Olympic Winter Games and a World Cup of Hockey.

In the 1996 World Cup, he helped the American squad bring home the gold medal with a 2-1 series victory over Canada. At the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City he helped the red, white and blue advance to the finals and win a silver medal.

Deadmarsh remained in Colorado until Feb. 21, 2001 when he was traded with Aaron Miller and other considerations to the Los Angeles Kings for Rob Blake and Steven Reinprecht.

The newly acquired right wing became an instant hero in Los Angeles when he helped the team upset the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the 2001 playoffs. In Game Six of the series, Deadmarsh scored the overtime series-winning goal to advance the No. 7 Kings past the No. 2 Red Wings.

In the conference semifinals, however, the Kings could not surpass the Avalanche, losing the series in seven games. Colorado would go on to win its second Stanley Cup.

Though he still had a promising career in front of him, Deadmarsh was forced to announce his retirement on Sept. 22, 2005, due to post-concussion syndrome.

As his playing career was cut short, the Avalanche and Kings honored him and his contributions to both teams before a matchup between the two at Staples Center in 2006.

After being away from the game for a few years, Deadmarsh returned to the franchise of his professional birth during the summer of 2009, this time as a coach.

“I was away for quite a while and really missed the game. I still miss playing, but this is really the closest thing you can get to playing. I’m finding a lot of enjoyment in it.”

Prior to Saturday’s game, Deadmarsh will be the sixth former Avalanche player to be celebrated as part of the Alumni Association.

All fans in attendance will receive a free Adam Deadmarsh poster from renowned painter Stephen Holland and see him honored with a ceremonial puck drop.
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