ColoradoAvalanche.com profiles the players named to the Avalanche's 20th Anniversary Team.
Although he only won the Stanley Cup one time, Adam Deadmarsh holds an NHL first that nobody else can claim.
After the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996, Deadmarsh’s name was misspelled on the trophy, engraved as “Deadmarch” instead. The error was later corrected, making it the first and only time that a correction was ever made on the idolized prize.
The Quebec Nordiques drafted the forward in the first round (14th overall) of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, and he swiftly made the transition to the National Hockey League’s pace of play. His first campaign was in 1994-95, and he skated in 48 contests, registered 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) and finished with a plus-16 rating. The rookie then participated in all six of Quebec’s postseason contests, recording one assist.
Deadmarsh moved with the Nordiques to the Mile High City in 1995 and quickly won the hearts of Denver residents. He played in 78 regular-season games, and found the back of the net 21 times and added 27 helpers during the Avalanche’s inaugural season. In the 1995-96 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the right wing tallied 19 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 22 contests to help the team win its first championship.
“It was exciting, there’s no question,” Deadmarsh said of winning the Stanley Cup in 1996. “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.”
The following season, the right wing again had 27 helpers and also led the Avalanche with 33 goals.
That kind of play typified his six years with the Avs. He registered 271 points (129 goals, 142 assists) in 405 regular-season games with Colorado, skating with the club until Feb. 21, 2001, when he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings with Aaron Miller, a player to be named later (Jared Aulin) and the Avalache’s first-round pick in 2001 (Dave Steckel) for defenseman Rob Blake and forward Steven Reinprecht.
After helping the Kings defeat the Detroit Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs, Deadmarsh and the Kings lost to the Avalanche in the Western Conference Semifinals before Colorado won its second Stanley Cup.
“What I tried to bring was hard work every night and a compete level that would make me competitive on the ice,” Deadmarsh told ColoradoAvalanche.com about skating in an Avalanche sweater. “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.”
The 6-foot tall forward was born in Trail, British Columbia, but was able to represent the United States in two Winter Olympic Games and a World Cup of Hockey as a dual citizen because his mother was American.
Deadmarsh helped Team USA bring home the gold medal in the 1996 World Cup with a 2-1 victory over Canada in the final game. He had four points (two goals, two assists) in 7 contests. He made his Olympic debut in Nagano, Japan, in 1998 and returned in 2002 to help the United States win a silver medal in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over the course of nine seasons, Deadmarsh skated in a total of 567 NHL regular-season contests. He totaled 373 points (184 goals, 189 assists), a plus-43 rating and 819 penalty minutes before his career was cut short when he suffered a concussion 20 games into the 2002-03 campaign.
Deadmarsh never failed to make it to the postseason and skated in 105 playoff games. He wore an Avalanche sweater in 82 of those contests, registering 24 goals, 33 assists and a plus-10 rating in the playoffs for Colorado.
Deadmarsh could not stay away from the game for long, and after a seven year break from hockey, he once again joined the Avalanche in the summer of 2009; this time as Colorado’s video/development coach. In June 2011, two seasons after returning to the organization, the British Columbia native was promoted to assistant coach.
He held the assistant coach position for one year and said he appreciated the opportunity to return to game.
“I was away for quite a while and really missed the game,” remarked Deadmarsh. “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.”
Deadmarsh, alongside other members of the Avalanche’s 20th Anniversary Team, was honored in a special on-ice ceremony on Dec. 7, prior to the Avs taking on the Minnesota Wild. That wasn’t the last time he’d be seen at a rink with some of his former teammates either.
Deadmarsh will be behind the bench at the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game, calling the shots and coaching his squad against a Red Wings alumni team.