There are plenty of teams who reward former stars (and beloved role players) from former eras with the chance to work their way into the front office. The Carolina Hurricanes already have Ron Francis and Rod Brind’Amour wearing suits for them just a few years removed from their impressive playing days.
The Colorado Avalanche seem like they’re following that trend as well. They attempted to bring in Patrick Roy as their head coach before Joe Sacco (featured in this post’s main photo) eventually got the job. Joe Sakic is already a member of their front office, while they promoted another memorable piece of their glory days today. The team announced that former player Adam Deadmarsh has been promoted to assistant coach. One cannot help but wonder if recently retired defenseman Adam Foote might be next in line.
Deadmarsh spent two seasons as a video/development coach for Colorado, so it’s not like he was rushed to the top ranks on name recognition alone. Perhaps the most stunning thing – something that underscores a career cut short by injuries – is the fact that Deadmarsh is only 36 years old.
Deadmarsh, 36, joined the Avalanche coaching staff in the summer of 2009 and has spent the last two seasons as Colorado’s Video/Development Coach. The Trail, B.C., native enjoyed a nine-year stint as a player in the NHL, appearing in 567 career games with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings. He totaled 184 goals and 373 points with 819 penalty minutes. Deadmarsh was part of the Avalanche’s first Stanley Cup championship team in 1996.
“Adam certainly deserves this opportunity,” said Avalanche Head Coach Joe Sacco. “With his background, we feel he will be successful in his new role.”
The team also announced that Tim Army was named the new assistant coach (focusing on video analysis).
Army, 48, has spent the last six seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, Providence College (Hockey East). Prior to joining the Friars, Army served as head coach of the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League for three years from 2002-03 to 2004-05. Army was an assistant coach in the NHL for nine seasons, spending four years with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (1993-94 to 1996-97) and five years with the Washington Capitals (1997-98 to 2001-02).
The Providence, R.I., native was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the ninth round (171st overall) of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He played three seasons at Providence College and then two years of pro hockey before returning to the Friars as an assistant coach in 1988.
“Tim has coached at all levels of hockey,” said Sacco. “His experience and passion will complete our staff very well.”
One other interesting bit: Steve Konowalchuk – another familiar name to hockey fans from the ’90s – will leave the Avalanche coaching staff to become the head coach for the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL. There is no word on whether or not he will receive a Ford Thunderbird for his troubles.