Former Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings forward Adam Deadmarsh announced that he would be stepping down from the bench and moving away from his assistant coaching role with the Avalanche. The decision was influenced because Deadmarsh continues to suffer from post-concussion symptoms he suffered during his playing days.
Deadmarsh was an early example of the long-term effects of concussions. His last concussion occurred over a decade ago, but he has never fully recovered from the two he suffered before having to sit out the 2002-2003 season and retire before playing another game. Deadmarsh could not exercise for a long time and gained weight as a result. He was quoted last season as still having good days and bad days with the issue, but decided the day-to-day of coaching was not good for his health.
As a player, Deadmarsh was usually the toughest guy on the ice. With the Avalanche, Deadmarsh was the perfect winger for both Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic and the team went to the Western Conference finals four times with Deadmarsh and won one Stanley Cup. He was a great contributor both in point production and physicality. He did not shy away from confrontation, which earned him respect for his teammates.
On their way to the Stanley Cup in 2001, the Avalanche traded Deadmarsh to the Los Angeles Kings. Deadmarsh was the hero in the Kings first round playoff series, scoring the winning goal when they knocked out the Detroit Red Wings. He had his best season the following year, scoring 62 points before concussion problems hit in 2002-2003.
Deadmarsh is one of the most loved players in both Colorado Avlanache and Los Angeles Kings history. He was a great teammate and an all around good guy in the community. The league should take note of the Adam Deadmarsh story. Let’s hope that the likes of Sidney Crosby do not meet a similar fate.