|Position: Left Wing
Born: April 15, 1950
Birthplace: Trail, British Columbia, Canada
Height: 5'11" Weight: 186 lbs.
Drafted by: Buffalo Sabres, 2nd Round, 15th
Overall, 1970 NHL Amatuer Draft
Seasons with Buffalo: 1970-71 to 1972-73
Uniform Numbers: 24, 8, 16, 9
|Ernest Charles Deadmarsh earned the nickname "Butch" because of his tough, hard-hitting playing style. He started his junior career as a member of the Tier II Kelowna Buckaroos of the British Columbia Hockey League, where he was the BCHL's Tier II Rookie of the Year for 1966-67. The following year, Deadmarsh was a BCHL All-Star.
In 1968, Deadmarsh made the jump to the major-junior Western Canada Hockey League, where he was a member of the Brandon Wheat Kings. As a Wheat King, Deadmarsh displayed the toughness that earned him his nickname, racking up a league-leading 301 penalty minutes in 1969-70. Despite spending so much time in the penalty box, he also managed to score some points. With 37 goals, 33 assists and 70 points, he was also the Wheat Kings' leading scorer for the 1969-70 season.
With an impressive junior career on his resume, Deadmarsh entered the 1970 NHL Amatuer Draft where he caught the eye of Punch Imlach, General Manager of the expansion Buffalo Sabres. When Deadmarsh slipped through to the second round,
|Imlach snapped him up, using the 15th overall pick, just the second in franchise history. Buffalo's first pick, of course, was used to select future Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault.
Though Deadmarsh looked to be a solid NHL prospect, he was nowhere near the phenomenon Perreault was expected to be. While Perreault immediately made an impact in the Sabres lineup, setting the NHL rookie goal-scoring record and winning the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year, Deadmarsh spent the majority of the 1970-71 season in the minor leagues as a member of the Salt Lake Golden Eagles, Buffalo's affiliate in the Western Hockey League. In 59 games with the Eagles, Deadmarsh scored 11 goals and 9 assists, while amassing 128 penalty minutes, the 2nd highest total on the team and 9th highest in the WHL. He made his NHL debut during the season with the Sabres, playing in 10 games throughout the season. While Deadmarsh notched 9 minutes in penalties for Buffalo during the season, he failed to score a point.
|In 1972, Joe Crozier took over as coach of the Sabres. Prior to the 1972-73 season, Crozier held one of the toughest training camps in team history, whipping the team into shape for his first full season as coach. The coach liked Deadmarsh's aggressive style, and he came out of the grueling camp with a spot on the Sabres' roster at left wing. Unfortunately for Deadmarsh, his AHL scoring touch didn't translate to the NHL. In 34 games as a Sabre that year, he managed just one goal|
|and one assist. The 1972-73 Sabres were a team on the rise, catching many of the NHL's more established teams off-guard. Unable to muster anything offensively, Deadmarsh didn't fit into the plan that GM Punch Imlach had for his team, and on March 14, 1973 he was traded to the expansion Atlanta Flames for right wing Norm Gratton. Gratton had been drafted four positions ahead of Deadmarsh in the 1970 draft, 11th overall by the New York Rangers. Deadmarsh finished the 1972-73 season as a member of the first-year Flames, playing in 19 games and scoring one goal.|
|In 1971, the Sabres organization decided to start their own minor-league affiliate, one which they would control, and the Cincinnati Swords were born. The Swords joined the American Hockey League for the 1971-72 season, and served as the Sabres' minor-league affiliate until 1973-74. Deadmarsh was a member of Cincinnati's inaugural team, playing 64|
|games as a member of the Swords in 1971-72. He scored a team-leading 34 goals that season, and was 3rd on the team in penalty minutes with 145. He was tied for 9th in the AHL in goals scored and 8th in the AHL in penalty minutes that year. As a Sabre, Deadmarsh played in 12 games, scoring his first NHL goal and adding one assist.|
|Deadmarsh remained with the Flames through the 1973-74 season, where he scored 6 goals and 1 assist in 42 games played. His totals for both goals scored and games played would be NHL career highs. In the only NHL Playoff action of his career, Deadmarsh appeared in all four of Atlanta's games in the 1974 Playoffs as the Flames were swept in the first round by the Philadelphia Flyers. Deadmarsh was held scoreless throughoutthe series.
Left exposed by the Flames for the 1974 Expansion Draft, Deadmarsh was chosen by the Kansas City Scouts. Deadmarsh started the season with the Scouts, the third time in his career he was a member of a first-year expansion franchise. He played just 20 games as a member fo the Scouts, scoring 3 goals and an NHL career high 2 assists. Mid-way through the season, Deadmarsh left Kansas City to jump to the World Hockey Association where he became a member of the Vancouver Blazers. Deadmarsh was one of a steady stream of players to leave the NHL for the supposedly greener pastures of the WHA in the early-to-mid 1970's. He finished the season with the Blazers, where he scored 7 goals and 8 assists while racking up 128 penalty minutes in just 38 games played.
In the off-season of 1975, the Vancouver franchise moved to Calgary, Alberta, where they became the Calgary Cowboys. As a Cowboy, Deadmarsh turned in his best year as a pro. In 79 games played, he scored 26 goals, 28 assists and registered a team-leading 196 penalty minutes. He finished the season 5th in scoring on the team.
|Deadmarsh as a member of the Atlanta Flames, 1974|
|Deadmarsh split the 1976-77 season between the Cowboys and the Minnesota Fighting Saints thanks to a mid-season trade. In 38 games with Calgary, Deadmarsh scored 13 goals and 17 assists. After the trade, he played in 35 games with the Fighting Saints, he scored 9 goals and 4 assists. A struggling franchise financially, the Fighting Saints suspended operations in February, 1977 and did not finish the 1976-77 WHA schedule.
A free agent after the Fighting Saints folded in 1977, Deadmarsh signed with the Edmonton Oilers for the 1977-78 season. He played just 20 games as a member of the Oilers before being teaded in December, 1977 to the Cincinnati Stingers. Deadmarsh finished the season with the Stingers, scoring 7 goals and 6 assists in 45 games played.
At the end of the 1977-78 season, Butch Deadmarsh retired from professional hockey.
|Butch Deadmarsh is a second cousin of current Los Angeles Kings star Adam Deadmarsh.|