By CAROL STUART / Brentwood Home Page
Fourth-generation NHL player Blake Geoffrion, who grew up in Brentwood, has decided to hang up his skates following a skull fracture.
Fourth-generation National Hockey League player Blake Geoffrion, who grew up in Brentwood and was the first Nashville youth player to reach the NHL, has decided to hang up his skates following a skull fracture.
“It was a tough decision but knew it was one that needed to happen. Life is more important,” Geoffrion, 25, told BHP on Monday.
After the severe skate-slashing head injury suffered Nov. 9, Geoffrion gave up the game while playing for the same storied Montreal Canadiens franchise as his dad Danny Geoffrion and NHL Hall of Famers, grandfather Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion and great-grandfather Howie Morenz.
Geoffrion had been assigned to the Habs’ minor-league Hamilton Bulldogs team during the NHL lockout when the freak injury occurred in a game played at the Montreal arena, attended by Blake’s parents. He needed emergency surgery just to survive, and permanent brain damage was possible.
“It came down to the doctors not being able to clear me to play for a very long time,” he said of the retirement decision.
Geoffrion, who currently lives in Chicago, has been hired as a scout for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets according to ESPN.
“Whatever I end up doing I will do it the same way I played the game,” Geoffrion said. “With passion, work ethic, and good standing character.”
The next chapter of his life involves a wedding. He and his fiancee, who graduated from the Loyola University’s School of Law in May, will marry next month and head off to their honeymoon.
“After suffering an injury in November and taking time to recover and reflect, I have decided to step away from the game of hockey for the time being,” Geoffrion said a news release from the Canadiens.
While he still has some lingering effects of the brain injury, Geoffrion has finished his rehabilitation.
“A young player appreciated by everyone within our organization, Blake has shown a lot of courage since suffering a serious injury,” said Marc Bergevin, Canadiens general manager. “He made the decision to end his professional hockey career and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
Geoffrion, suffered a depressed skull fracture after the accident involving a hit from a Syracuse Crunch player in an AHL game. A second-round pick in the 2006 draft, he had eight goals and five assists in 55 career NHL games.
The center, who shoots left-handed, was drafted by his hometown Nashville Predators but finished his career at Wisconsin, where he won college player of the year awards and made the NCAA finals. Geoffrion, who attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana in high school to pursue his hockey career, later played in 42 games over two seasons with the Preds including the playoffs.
After being traded to the Canadiens organization during the trade for defenseman Hal Gill, he saw action in 13 games and scored two goals for Montreal at the end of the 2011-12 season. He wore the number 57 in honor of his grandfather and great-grandfather, whose 5 and 7 Canadiens’ jerseys are hanging from the rafters.
One of his three younger hockey-playing brothers, Sebastian, played at A-Game in Cool Springs this past weekend during a Predators developmental camp.
“My career has been incredible, and I truly believe the Lord has a plan for me,” Geoffrion said in an email to BHP. “Our family has great faith. I have met and established relationships with some really great people and accomplished almost every hockey goal I had set for myself.
“I am proud for what my family and life has taught me, and I am proud to have worn the Geoffrion name on my back.”