who had Grateful Deadmarsh T-shirts tossed to him by adoringfans during
last spring's Stanley Cup parade, spends much of his time off the ice
competing with Forsberg, his best friend on the Avalanche. For mythical
championship belts, Deadmarsh and Forsberg will play pool, golf and
hoops and even bowl. (Deadmarsh admits to about a 150 average.) They
also have matching Harleys. 'I like Adam because he's an honest person,'
--Courtesy article, On His Way.
Forsberg Saddened By Loss Of Deadmarsh
DENVER- All evidence of Adam Deadmarsh's and Aaron Miller's days with the Colorado Avalanche has been wiped clean from the locker room.
Their sticks, even their numbers above the bin that held them, are gone from the hallway. The hooks that used to hold their skates and pads are empty. Their nameplates have been removed.
That emptiness is reflected in the faces of their former teammates as well, in particular Peter Forsberg.
"I didn't have a clue," said Forsberg, who was best friends with Deadmarsh, about how he learned of Wednesday night's trade that sent both players to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Rob Blake and Steven Reinprecht. "I was happy, we had an 8-2 win (over the Boston Bruins). All of a sudden some reporter asked me something about the trade. I thought he meant the (Ray) Bourque trade so I said 'Yeah, it's been good for us.' Then he said the trade for Blake. I didn't have a clue."
To be certain, the same giddy atmosphere that was present in the Avalanche locker room the past two seasons, when general manager Pierre Lacroix made the blockbuster trades of the year before the deadline, didn't exist Thursday.
While the Avs acquired one of the league's best defenseman in Blake and a promising rookie in Reinprecht, they lost two good teammates and friends in the process.
"We came in the league at the same time, we've been roommates, we've been really good friends for a long time ... .I'm so sad that he's leaving," Forsberg said of Deadmarsh. "But it's part of the business so I just have to go on."
Forsberg said he called Deadmarsh Wednesday night, and described him as both shocked and disappointed.
Deadmarsh, 25, began his career with the Quebec Nordiques in 1994-95 and was a member of the Stanley Cup-winning team of 1996 in Colorado. He played 452 career games with the franchise, scoring 136 goals and 150 assists. He scored two goals Wednesday night in what would be his final game as an Av.
He signed a three-year, $8.25 million contract in mid-August.
Miller, 29, played in the franchise's AHL affiliate for three years before joining the Avs full time in 1996. The defenseman had four goals, nine assists and was a plus-16 this year. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and is making $900,000 this season.
"It's definitely the toughest part of the business for most of the boys because you do forge friendships, you do get close," Shjon Podein said. "And the tough part is they or you could be gone at any time. It happened last night, we lost Adam and Aaron. When you have a team that's this tight and this close, it hurts.
"But you also look at what you get back and you get excited about that. You realize hopefully that's a trade that's going to make your team better and you go on."
Making things even more difficult on Deadmarsh is the fact that his wife recently delivered a set of premature twin girls who are still in the hospital in Denver. He will not join the Kings until tonight, and is expected to play his first game Saturday against Columbus. Miller joined the Kings in Calgary for their game Thursday night.
"I talked to Adam a little bit," said Bourque, who played for the Bruins for 21 years before being traded to Colorado last year. "I think it's tough for him. We all know his situation with his family. There's never a good time for something like this to happen when you're not expecting it but in his case it was a little tough."
Post-Game Interview- Deadmarsh/Forsberg
Post-Game Interview: March
Adam Deadmarsh (abbr. AD): It was a very emotional game for everyone, for me in particular because it was my old team. But most importantly, it was a big two points for the club. We're in a big race for the playoffs and every game is important.
Press: About the bizzare play in the second period where he was credited for a goal after hitting the post, then the goal was disallowed:
AD: I knew it wasn't in; it hit the post. When they said it was, I was actually very surprised. Sometimes when they say it's in, you don't argue too much. (laugh)
Press: About the Kings' performance in the past few weeks:
AD: We've been working very hard the last couple of weeks for sure, and that's how we're going to win some hockey games. Everyone's working hard on the same page; so I think we'll continue to be successful. So hopefully, that's in our blood, and we're going to keep doing it.
Press: About how he was talking on the ice with his former teammates:
AD: Yeah, I haven't seen those guys for a while, so . . . . (Asked "Were you saying 'How's your family?' kind of stuff?") No. (laugh) More like "I'm gonna run you this year," just something like that. I had to keep my head up 'cause the boys are looking for me.
PJ: You guys have been struggling just a bit in the past few games.
Peter Forsberg (abbr. PF): Yeah, in the last few games, it hasn't been too good. We have not done what we have to do offensively; we beat Calgary, 1-0, but other than that, we've been real bad. But we just have to work harder. Of course, (the Kings) have got a lot to play for; of course we want to win the President's Trophy, too. But I think they showed more intensity and more will than we did today. We've got four games to go, and we need to pick it up.
PJ: Do you feel that motivation is not there (since clinching the division title and the playoff berth)?
PF: Well, we're in a race for . . . I think we're three points away from winning the President's Trophy, so we should have a lot to play for, but we just didn't play good enough today.
PJ: You and Deadmarsh are the best of friends, but did you go talk to him before the game, or during the game, or . . .
PF: Yeah . . . well, it's not important. When you get on the ice, you don't really have any friends. It's good to see him doing well, and I wish him good luck.