Blake Geoffrion

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Blake Geoffrion
Born (1988-02-03) February 3, 1988 (age 26)
Plantation, FL, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 188 lb (85 kg; 13 st 6 lb)
Position Center
Shot Left
Played for Nashville Predators
Montreal Canadiens
NHL Draft 56th overall, 2006
Nashville Predators
Playing career 2010–2013

Blake Daniel Geoffrion (born February 3, 1988) is an American former professional ice hockey player. He last played with the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League. He was a second round selection of the Nashville Predators, 56th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and made his NHL debut on February 26, 2011. In doing so, he became the first fourth-generation player in the league's history, after his father Dan, grandfather Bernie and great-grandfather Howie Morenz. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in 2012 and while playing with their minor league affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs, suffered depressed skull fracture that forced his retirement from the game in 2013. He then joined the Columbus Blue Jackets as a pro scout.

A graduate of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program, Geoffrion represented Team USA three times. He was a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2006 IIHF World U18 Championship and won bronze at the 2007 World Junior Hockey Championship. He moved on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he enjoyed a standout college career. He was a conference all-star in his senior year of 2009–10, was also named the consensus All-American and Player of the Year and won the Hobey Baker Award as the top college player in the United States.

Playing career[edit]

College[edit]

Geoffrion was born in Plantation, Florida, but grew up in Brentwood, Tennessee.[1] He first attended the Culver Military Academy where he helped his team win the Indiana state championship in 2003.[2] He was invited to join the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP) where he spent two seasons between 2004 and 2006. He made his international debut with Team USA at the 2006 IIHF World Under-18 Championship. He scored five points in six games in the tournament for the gold medal winning Americans.[3] From the USNTDP, Geoffrion was recruited to play with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Badgers.

Geoffrion joined the Badgers in 2006–07 where he led the team in penalties with 62 minutes.[2] He again played for Team USA, this time at the 2007 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships where he appeared in all seven of his team's games, registering one assist as the Americans won a bronze medal.[4] In his sophomore season, Geoffrion improved to 30 points overall, and tied for the team lead with 19 points in Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) play. His teammates named him the most competitive player on the Badgers.[2] He returned to the World Junior Hockey Championships in 2008, scoring one point in six games while the Americans failed to win a medal.[5]

Named co-captain of the Badgers in his sophomore season of 2008–09, Geoffrion led his team in goals within the WCHA with 12, and tied for the lead overall at 15. His overall total of 28 points was fourth best on the team.[2] Serving as a tri-captain, he led the WCHA in goal scoring in 2009-10 with 19, and was second in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) with 28. He reached the 50-goal plateau for his college career on March 13, and 100 points on February 19.[2] Considered one of the NCAA's most complete players, Geoffrion was his team's top faceoff performer and was praised for the way his play improved as his team's games grew in importance.[6]

He was named a first-team all-star in both the WCHA and the NCAA-West.[7] Additionally, Geoffrion was named US College Hockey Online's national player of the year,[8] Soon after the Badgers reached the 2010 NCAA championship game, Geoffrion was named the winner of the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in American college hockey.[9] In doing so, he became the first Wisconsin player to win the award.[10] Geoffrion and the Badgers were unable to cap off their season with a championship, however, losing 5–0 to the Boston College Eagles before a world indoor record crowd of 37,592 at Ford Field in Detroit.[11]

Professional[edit]

Following his sophomore season with the Badgers, the Nashville Predators made Geoffrion their second round selection, 56th overall, at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He chose to complete his college career before turning to the professional game, and signed an amateur try-out contract with the Predators American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals to conclude the 2009–10.[12] He appeared in three playoff games with the Admirals, and scored two goals.[7]

The Predators signed Geoffrion to a 2-year entry-level contract on June 15, 2010, making him the first native of Tennessee to sign an NHL deal.[13][14] He was assigned back to Milwaukee to begin the 2010–11 AHL season where he struggled to begin the season before injuries and the promotion of other players to Nashville opened up more ice time for him. After scoring 16 points in his first 31 games of the season, Geoffrion improved to 17 points in seven games at the end of January and beginning of February. His scoring outburst made him the first player to earn consecutive AHL player of the week since Jim Carey in 1994.[15]

As a result of his improved play Geoffrion was recalled to Nashville on February 25, 2011. After Jared Ross, he became the second player raised in the American South to participate in an NHL game.[16] One night later, he made his National Hockey League debut against the Dallas Stars.[17] He scored his first NHL goal, in his third game, against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Martin Gerber on March 1. Geoffrion registered his first hat trick on March 20, 2011, against the Buffalo Sabres.

On February 17, 2012, Geoffrion was traded to the Montreal Canadiens with Robert Slaney and a 2012 second-round pick for defenceman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.[18] To honour his grandfather and great-grandfather, Geoffrion chose to wear number 57 on his jersey (Bernie Geoffrion wore 5, Howie Morenz wore 7).[19]

Geoffrion began the 2012–13 season with the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs. During a November 9, 2012, game against the Syracuse Crunch, he suffered a depressed skull fracture following a hip check by Jean-Philippe Côté.[20] As Geoffrion fell to the ice, his head struck the end of Côté's skate blade, causing the injury. He required emergency surgery to repair the fracture, and was initially expected to make a full recovery.[21] Four months after the injury, Geoffrion informed the Canadiens that he was contemplating retirement due to the injury, though he had not come to a final decision.[22] He eventually decided to retire from professional hockey on July 15, 2013, at the age of 25.[23] The following day he was hired by the Columbus Blue Jackets as a pro scout.[24]

Family and personal life[edit]

Upon making his debut with the Predators, Geoffrion became the NHL's first fourth generation player.[25] His great-grandfather (paternal grandmother's father) was Hockey Hall of Famer Howie Morenz,[26] and the man named the best hockey player of the first half of the 20th century by the Canadian Press.[17] His paternal grandfather, Bernie "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion, is also a Hall of Famer and the man who invented the slap shot. (Hence the nickname "Boom-Boom".)[27] His father, Dan, played three NHL seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets.[17] Geoffrion's uncle by marriage, Hartland Monahan, was also an NHL player, while Hartland's son Shane is a Major League Baseball player.[28]

Geoffrion was close to his grandfather, and was the last person "Boom Boom" spoke to before his death in 2006. Geoffrion wore #5 while with the Predators in his honor, while his teammates have nicknamed him "Boomer", after his grandfather.[14] He has three brothers: Nick, Sebastien and Brice.[2]

He majored in consumer affairs at Wisconsin,[2] and is associated with a marketing firm in Madison. He continues to learn about marketing and public relations, and writes a weekly blog for Nashville newspaper The Tennessean.[29]

Geoffrion got engaged to his girlfriend Katelyn Deady in June 2012 [30]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2004–05 U.S. National Development Team USDP 48 9 18 27 86 10 2 5 7 23
2005–06 U.S. National Development Team USDP 54 18 23 41 68
2006–07 University of Wisconsin WCHA 36 2 4 6 62
2007–08 University of Wisconsin WCHA 36 10 20 30 52
2008–09 University of Wisconsin WCHA 35 15 13 28 73
2009–10 University of Wisconsin WCHA 40 28 22 50 56
2009–10 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 3 2 0 2 0
2010–11 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 45 11 26 37 38 1 0 2 2 2
2010–11 Nashville Predators NHL 20 6 2 8 7 12 0 2 2 4
2011–12 Nashville Predators NHL 22 0 3 3 17
2011–12 Milwaukee Admirals AHL 20 2 7 9 8
2011–12 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 9 4 8 12 4
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 13 2 0 2 10
2012–13 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 10 4 2 6 9
NHL totals 55 8 5 13 34 12 0 2 2 4

International[edit]

Year Team Comp GP G A Pts PIM
2006 United States WJC18 6 1 4 5 8
2007 United States WJC 7 0 1 1 6
2008 United States WJC 6 0 1 1 8
Junior int'l totals 19 1 6 7 22

Awards and honors[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Bronze 2007 Mora
IIHF U18 Championships
Gold 2006 Halmstad
Award Year
All-WCHA First Team 2009–10
  • 2009–10: Consensus first-team All-American honors
  • 2009–10: Consensus player of the year honors
  • 2009–10: Hobey Baker Memorial Award (Top U.S. Collegiate Player)
  • 2010: Nominated for ESPY Award for Best Male College Athlete

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chat live with Wisconsin forward Blake Geoffrion". CSTV. 2008-01-22. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Blake Geoffrion player profile". University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  3. ^ "Player statistics by team: USA" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2006-08-25. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Player statistics by team – USA". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2007-01-05. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  5. ^ "Player statistics by team – USA" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2008-01-05. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  6. ^ "UW's Geoffrion named a Hobey Baker finalist". WKOW. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  7. ^ a b "Blake Geoffrion profile". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  8. ^ "USCHO Awards: In Mr. Everything Role, Geoffrion is Nation’s Best". US College Hockey Online. 2010-04-15. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  9. ^ "Wisconsin's Blake Geoffrion wins Hobey Baker Award". The Sports Network. 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  10. ^ Lerch, Chris (2010-04-09). "Geoffrion First Wisconsin Player to Win Hobey Baker Award". US College Hockey Online. Retrieved 2010-04-10. 
  11. ^ Gerstner, Joanne (2010-04-10). "B.C. wins 4th N.C.A.A. title, crushing Wisconsin before record crowd". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  12. ^ Milwaukee Admirals (2010-04-16). "Admirals sign Blake Geoffrion; Will join team for playoff run". Nashville Predators Hockey Club. Retrieved 2010-04-16. 
  13. ^ "Preds Sign Brentwood Native Blake Geoffrion". Nashville Predators Hockey Club. 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  14. ^ a b Van Diest, Derek (2011-03-01). "Predators' Geoffrion excited by opportunity". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  15. ^ Kramer, Lindsay (2011-02-11). "Geoffrion starting to get a good read on AHL". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  16. ^ Cooper, Josh (2011-02-25). "Predators call up Brentwood's Blake Geoffrion". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  17. ^ a b c Meltzer, Bill (2011-02-26). "Predators' Geoffrion Carries on the Name". Versus. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Canadiens acquire Geoffrion from Predators in trade for Gill". TSN. February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ Montreal Canadiens (2012-02-17). "All in the family". Canadiens.com. Retrieved 2012-03-03. 
  20. ^ "VIDEO: Near-fatal skull fracture jeopardizes Blake Geoffrion’s NHL dream". Hamilton Spectator. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  21. ^ Branswell, Brenda (2012-11-13). "Danny Geoffrion thankful for care his son, Blake, received after head injury". Montreal Gazette. p. A20. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  22. ^ Glennon, John (2013-03-13). "Blake Geoffrion pondering retirement, his father says". The Tennessean. Retrieved 2013-03-13. 
  23. ^ "Canadiens' Geoffrion Steps Away From Hockey At Age 25". TSN. 2013-07-15. Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  24. ^ Gretz, Adam (2013-07-16). "Blake Geoffrion hired as pro scout for Columbus Blue Jackets". CBS Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  25. ^ "Preds Call Up Blake Geoffrion and Matt Halischuk From Milwaukee". Nashville Predators. 2011-02-25. Retrieved 2011-03-07. 
  26. ^ http://thehockeywriters.com/hockey-royalty-part-one-howie-morenz/
  27. ^ Duplacey, James; Zweig, Eric (2010). Official Guide to the Players of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Firefly Books. p. 187. ISBN 1-55407-662-5. 
  28. ^ Matheson, Jim (2011-03-01). "Predators’ Geoffrion a fourth-generation NHL player". Edmonton Journal. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  29. ^ Mertz, Adam (2011-02-17). "Ex-Badger Geoffrion continues to brew up 'storybook career'". The Capital Times. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  30. ^ https://twitter.com/BriceGeoffrion/status/212029343285772291

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Matt Gilroy
Winner of the Hobey Baker Award
2009–10
Succeeded by
Andy Miele