Colorado Avalanche: Facing Concussions in Modern Hockey

8 of 30

View image |

Colorado Avalanche Adam Deadmarsh

by Nadia Archuleta

When you think Colorado Avalanche greats, names like Peter Forsberg, Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy come easily. Push a little, and you come up with Sandis Ozolinsh, Claude Lemieux and Valeri Kamensky.

It takes a minute, but you might eventually come up with Forsberg’s favored linemate, Adam Deadmarsh, a power forward worthy of being Foppa’s wingman.

Right wing Adam Deadmarsh won the Stanley Cup in that inaugural season in Colorado, 1995-96. He continued to partner Forsberg for several more seasons until getting traded to the Los Angeles Kings.

Playing for the Kings didn’t agree with Deadmarsh, but not because he never got any Cups with them. Not long after the trade, Deadmarsh got into a fight with Vancouver Canuck Ed Jovanovksi:

You should cringe from the very beginning — Deadmarsh starts the fight without a helmet.

Hockey players commonly don’t get concussions during fights, but this one was an exception. Jovanovski knocked Deadmarsh out.

Deadmarsh’s second concussion was even more rare — it resulted from friendly fire. He was practicing with the Kings, he fell, he whacked his head against a teammate’s knee. Bad concussion.

Unfortunately, that would be his career-ending concussion. Compounded with the initial concussion, Deadmarsh’s symptoms still hadn’t gone away after three years.

In September 2005, Adam Deadmarsh had to officially retire from hockey.  Deadmarsh said of the decision:

"“It’s been the toughest decision I’ve had to make in my life, yet the easiest one. I say that because I’m retiring from a game I love to play and played all my life, but I think three years with symptoms from concussions is a good indicator that it would probably be a smart move to call it quits.”"

His last game had been on December 15, 2002.

Next: Jesse Winchester