When the Predators arrived in Nashville no one could have expected the impact hockey would have on the culture of this southern city, nor on the children living within the greater Nashville area. There are now thousands of children playing the game of hockey in Middle Tennessee, and to this point, the player many of Nashville’s youth have aspired to is Blake Geoffrion.
On Monday, Geoffrion announced his retirement from the game of hockey following a head injury that has sidelined the third-year forward since November.
It was a humble beginning to what would become a decorated hockey career for the Brentwood native. He grew up just a short drive from Bridgestone Arena and honed his skills at Metro Park’s Centennial Sportsplex – a place where his name still hangs in the rafters because of his contributions to the game in Nashville.
When he outgrew the youth leagues here, Geoffrion moved on to bigger and better things – Culver Military Academy’s storied hockey program in Indiana, the United States National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., and the University of Wisconsin, where he would go on to win the 2010 Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA’s top player.
In 2006, Geoffrion’s path to the NHL was cast when Nashville’s President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile selected him in the second round of the NHL Entry Draft. For Geoffrion, playing in the NHL was almost inevitable. He comes from one of the most well-known bloodlines in all of professional hockey – his father Danny Geoffrion, grandfather Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and his great-grandfather Howie Morenz all played for the Montreal Canadiens. “Boom Boom” and Morenz have nine Stanley Cups between them and are both enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. When Blake donned the Predators sweater and took the ice for the first time on Feb. 26, 2011, he not only became the game’s first fourth-generation player, but the first Nashville-raised player to break into the NHL.
He would go on to post 11 points (6g-5a) in 42 games for the Predators – including a hat trick on March 20, 2011, where he scored all three goals in regulation on the way to a 4-3 OT win at Buffalo. He saw time in 22 games in 2011-12 before he was traded to Montreal – the place where it all began for the family – in the deal that brought defenseman Hal Gill to the Music City. Geoffrion played 13 games for the Habs in 2011-12, scoring two goals. This past season with Hamilton, Montreal’s AHL affiliate, he posted six points (4g-2a) in nine games prior to the injury.
While the 25-year old forward’s time was cut short, his impact on hockey in the greater Nashville area will be felt for years to come. The Nashville Predators would like to thank Blake Geoffrion for his commitment and contributions to the game of hockey. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors and in his new position as a professional scout for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
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