1970 NHL Amateur Draft Pick
Round Overall
2 15
Butch Deadmarsh
Selected by Buffalo from Brandon (WCHL)
Buffalo Sabres Brandon Wheat Kings
Butch Deadmarsh

5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Left-hand shot

Left Wing

Pre-Draft Statistics

Year Team League GP G A TP PIM
1967-68 Kelowna BCJHL -- -- -- -- --
1968-69Brandon WCHL 47 19 23 42 130
1969-70 Brandon WCHL 54 37 33 70 301

Pre-Draft Notes

1969-70 WCHL Penalty Minutes Leader. ... Named 1966-67 BCJHL Rookie of Year.
Canadian • Born April 5, 1950 in Trail, British Columbia • Hometown: Trail, British Columbia

Career Vitals

First contract: 1970
Debut: October 10, 1970
(Buffalo at Pittsburgh)
Final NHL game: November 27, 1974
(Kansas City at Atlanta)
Retired: 1978
Stanley Cup: Never won
Numbers worn: 16, 24 (Buffalo); 10 (Atlanta);
20 (Kansas City)

Career NHL Statistics

Teams: Buffalo, Atlanta, Kansas City
Years: 1970-1974. Playoffs: 1974

Regular Season
5 years 137 12 5 17 155
Stanley Cup Playoffs
1 year 4 0 0 0 17
Complete statistics available at NHL.com 

Career Highlights

Played on first Buffalo Sabres team during franchise's inaugural season of 1970-71, and made his NHL debut in team's first game on Oct. 10, 1970. During that game, he fought Lowell McDonald in the third period and was called for the second major penalty in Buffalo Sabres history. ... Led Cincinnati (AHL) with 34 goals in 1971-72. ... Played 12 regular-season games for 1972-73 Cincinnati team that went on to win AHL regular-season and playoff titles, but was traded before playoffs. .... Played on first Atlanta Flames team in Atlanta-Calgary franchise's inaugural season of 1972-73. ... Played on first Kansas City Scouts team (franchise that became the New Jersey Devils) in team's inaugural season of 1974-75, and played in franchise's first game on Oct. 9, 1974, at Toronto as one of team's alternate captains.

Deadmarsh Makes History

In the fall of 1974, Butch Deadmarsh became the first player ever sold from an NHL team to a WHA team. On Nov. 28, 1974, the expansion Kansas City Scouts sold Deadmarsh's rights to the WHA's Vancouver Blazers in a deal that became unavoidable after Deadmarsh declared his desire to play in the WHA. Over the previous summer, with one year left on his NHL contract, Deadmarsh announced that he had signed a three-year WHA deal with Vancouver, effective at the start of the 1975-76 season. By going to the Blazers, he would have an opportunity to play in his native province of British Columbia. That left him a lame duck with the new Kansas City team, which had taken him in the 1974 NHL Expansion Draft. Deadmarsh attempted to get the Scouts to release him outright so he could go to Vancouver without waiting, but his efforts went nowhere. He even refused to report to the Scouts' training camp. On Sept. 18, 1974, the Scouts suspended him indefinitely and began fining him an undisclosed daily amount for not being in camp. He quickly relented and seemed to be prepared to play for Kansas City. But it was an uncomfortable situation, and by late November, the Scouts decided to sell his rights to the Blazers in order to end all the controversy. Scouts general manager Sid Abel was also concerned that the team would lose Deadmarsh for nothing at the end of the season. The price for Deadmarsh's professional playing rights was $30,000 -- which was the NHL's waiver price at the time. Over the more than two years the WHA had existed, no other NHL team had taken money from a WHA team in exchange for one of its players. On Nov. 29, 1974, Deadmarsh made his WHA debut in Vancouver's 5-1 home win over New England.

Transaction History

Feb. 14, 1973 -- Traded Buffalo to Atlanta in exchange for Norm Gratton. June 12, 1974 -- Claimed by Kansas City from Atlanta in NHL Expansion Draft. Nov. 28, 1974 -- Professional playing rights sold by Kansas City to Vancouver (WHA) for remainder of 1974-75 season when Deadmarsh cleared waivers after announcing he had already signed a WHA contract to play for Vancouver in 1975-76. September 1976 -- Traded by Calgary (WHA) with Jack Carlson and Dave Antonovich to Minnesota in exchange for Jim Harrison. Jan. 9, 1977 -- Traded by Minnesota (WHA) to Calgary in exchange for Richard Lemieux. The trade was voided, and Deadmarsh was returned to Minnesota when Lemieux refused to report to Minnesota. January 1977 -- WHA rights sold by Minnesota with John Arbour and Danny Gruen to Calgary. May 31, 1977 -- Signed with Edmonton (WHA) as an unrestricted free agent after Calgary franchise folded. December 1977 -- Traded by Edmonton (WHA) to Cincinnati in exchange for Del Hall.

Significant Injuries

Missed part of 1973-74 season with broken ankle, an injury suffered during Atlanta's Jan. 7, 1974, game at Toronto. He did not return until Atlanta's Feb. 28, 1974, game vs. Los Angeles. ... Missed remainder of 1974-75 season with broken jaw, an injury suffered in the second period of Vancouver's Feb. 22, 1975, game at Houston.

Life Outside the NHL

Full Name: Ernest Charles Deadmarsh
Nickname: "Butch"

Other Post-Draft Teams: Salt Lake (WHL); Cincinnati (AHL); Vancouver, Calgary, Minnesota, Edmonton, Cincinnati (WHA)

Career Beyond Hockey: Lived and worked in Calgary for many years after his retirement before later moving back to his native British Columbia.

Family: Second cousin of former NHL player Adam Deadmarsh and former minor-leaguer Jake Deadmarsh.


Selected by Winnipeg Jets in 1972 WHA Draft -- the first-ever WHA Draft -- in February 1972. Selected by Cincinnati Stingers in 1973 WHA draft of extablished professional players. Was member of Vancouver (WHA) team that relocated to Calgary on May 7, 1975. Was member of Minnesota Fighting Saints WHA team that folded Jan. 17, 1977.
Total Selected: 115
Forwards: 67
Defense: 36
Goaltenders: 12
Major Junior: 87
College Players: 18
Canadian: 109
Euro-Canadian: 0
American: 6
European: 0
Reached NHL: 62
Won Stanley Cup: 12
Hall of Fame: 3
All-Star Game: 11
Year-end All-Star: 4
Olympians: 2
Picks Traded: 13


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