Concussions prompt Deadmarsh to retire

Updated: September 22, 2005, 8:33 PM ET
Associated Press

Adam Deadmarsh retired from the NHL on Thursday because of post-concussion syndrome, ending a 10-year career that included a Stanley Cup title with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996 and two appearances for the U.S. Olympic team.

"I've kind of been holding on and hoping and praying that I'd recover from this concussion issue that I have and I haven't been able to do that," Deadmarsh told The Canadian Press from his home in British Columbia.

"I think it's time that I kind of moved on and made a decision and faced the fact that my brain doesn't want to play hockey anymore."

The 30-year-old player sustained his first serious concussion in November 2000 after a fight with Vancouver's Ed Jovanovski while he was playing for the Los Angeles Kings. Deadmarsh had a more severe concussion two years later after accidentally being hit in the head by a teammate's knee.

Deadmarsh, who hasn't played a game since Dec. 15, 2002, had 184 goals and 373 assists during his NHL career with Quebec-Colorado and Los Angeles. The 6-foot, 204-pound winger was an unrestricted free agent this summer.

"It's been the toughest decision I've had to make in my life, yet the easiest one," Deadmarsh said. "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.

"I have a family and that to consider as well."

While he says he doesn't experience headaches, Deadmarsh said he has not yet fully recovered.

"It's one of the most frustrating injuries I think you could possibly have from a sports aspect," he said. "Unless you have concussions it's kind of hard to explain to someone what it feels like, but you know it's something that's not supposed to be there."

Deadmarsh joins a list of players whose NHL careers have been cut short by concussions, including Brett Lindros, Pat LaFontaine, Geoff Courtnall, Nick Kypreos and Jeff Beukeboom.

"Something has been taken away that I love to do and I don't think I'll ever quite feel comfortable with that, but it's a decision I have to make," Deadmarsh said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press