Blake Geoffrion retiring from the NHL

Montreal Canadiens prospect Blake Geoffrion announced Monday that he would be retiring.

The 25 year-old didn’t completely rule out a return, saying he has “decided to step away from the game of hockey for the time being,” in a statement released by the Canadiens, although a return seems unlikely.

Geoffrion suffered a skull fracture while playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal’s AHL affiliate, in a game against the Syracuse Crunch on Nov. 9, Geoffrion carried the puck along the boards when he took a hit from Crunch defenseman Jean-Philippe Côté, launching both into the air. As Geoffrion came down, Côté’s skate struck his head, causing his skull to fracture.

Geoffrion was rushed to the hospital and underwent brain surgery the following day. A metal plate was inserted into his skull. Luckily, the forward was able to avoid any brain damage.

“After suffering a skull fracture, it’s probably not safe to {continue playing]… the complications of something happening again are too high,” Geoffrion told The Tennessean.

Drafted by his hometown Nashville Predators in the second round in 2006, Geoffrion became the first player raised in Tennessee to play in the NHL. He was also the fourth generation in his family to reach the professional ranks, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Howie Morenz, his grandfather Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, and his father Dan Geoffrion. Montreal acquired Geoffrion in a trade with Nashville in February of 2012, as he became the fourth player in his family to suit up for the Canadiens.

“He has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time. He has won the Hobey Baker (college hockey’s top player with Wisconsin in 2010), he has made the NHL, he has scored a hat trick, it’s all good stuff,” Geoffrion’s father added. “At the end of the day, it’s a sad day. It’s unbelievable. At 25, he was just hitting his peak time, but it is what it is.”

The Columbus Blue Jackets hired Geoffrion as a pro scout shortly after he retired.

“I can’t wait to get started. I’ve always followed depth charts, and I’ve always kept track of the players in this league, what they can and can’t do. It’s definitely a passion of mine, and I’m excited to join the Blue Jackets,” he said to The Columbus Dispatch, as he moves on to the next chapter of his hockey career.

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Categories: Hockey