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NHL.com: Geoffrion signing brings hockey royal to Nashville

Tuesday, 06.15.2010 / 2:01 PM CT / Features
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NHL.com: Geoffrion signing brings hockey royal to Nashville
In Blake Geoffrion, the Nashville Predators have added a member of one of hockey's royal families.

Geoffrion Family Tree
(click to expand)
Not only did Geoffrion's father, Dan, play in the NHL, but his grandfather, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion is a Hall of Famer from his days with the Montreal Canadiens, and his great-grandfather is the legendary Howie Morenz, another Hall of Famer.

That's an incredible hockey lineage for a young player like Blake, who signed a two-year deal with the Predators Tuesday. Still, he said he feels more pressure being a Tennessee boy than he does following in the family footsteps.

"I think a little bit of pressure comes along with (the family name), but there's more pressure in being from Brentwood (Tn.)," Geoffrion said. "A lot of friends and family here want me to be on the Nashville Predators as soon as possible. Helping get more kids involved in hockey here, being involved with the community, adds more pressure too.

"I think a little bit of pressure comes along with (the family name), but there's more pressure in being from Brentwood (Tn.). A lot of friends and family here want me to be on the Nashville Predators as soon as possible. Helping get more kids involved in hockey here, being involved with the community, adds more pressure too." - Blake Geoffrion
"As for my family, I think I'm a completely different player than my dad, my grandfather and my great-grandfather. They were natural goal scorers and I think I bring a little bit of everything to the game. I don't really feel a lot of pressure from that, but I respect our name and take a lot of pride in it. Hopefully, I can have half the careers that they had."

Blake Geoffrion, 22, already is well on his way as a Hobey Baker Award winner and a leading player on the University of Wisconsin team that went to the championship game of the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four.

Geoffrion was the second-round pick, No. 56, of the Predators at the 2006 Entry Draft. At that point, Geoffrion had completed two seasons with the United States National Under-18 Team. Geoffrion played four seasons at Wisconsin, scoring 55 goals and adding 59 assists in 155 games.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to be signing with the Predators," he said. "I've been a Predators fan since they started here in 1998 and we had season tickets. I always followed them when I was away. I rooted for them when they played the Detroit Red Wings, unlike everybody else up there (in Wisconsin).

"To sign an NHL contract with Nashville is a great feeling. I want to thank everyone who helped me get here, from my family to all the coaches that I've had and the players around me. I've had some great mentors and I can't thank those people enough. It's just the first step, and hopefully I can proceed beyond this."

Geoffrion's 28 goals this past season were third-highest in the NCAA and led to his selection as the 2010 Hobey Baker Award winner and U.S. College Hockey Player of the Year. He was also the MVP of the NCAA West Regional after Wisconsin defeated Vermont and St. Cloud State. They advanced to the championship game against Boston College but lost, 5-0.

"I had an opportunity to leave last year after my junior year and turn pro," Geoffrion said. "I decided to come back, not only because I knew we were going to have a good team, but because it also allowed me to get better mentally and physically, off the ice and on the ice. Also, I got my degree.

"It turned out exactly like I wanted it to. We were able to make it all the way to the final game, to compete for the national championship. We had a great group of guys. I can't thank my teammates enough for what they did for me on an individual level, winning the Hobey Baker and U.S. College Player of the Year. The coaching staff at Wisconsin was the reason I won those awards.

"It was huge to come back and finish my college career with a chance to win a national championship. It could go down as one of Wisconsin's best teams ever. Even though we didn't win the game, I was really proud of the guys. … We faced a lot of adversity throughout the year, losing our starting goalie, and a lot of guys had injuries. We worked hard for four years and missed the NCAA tournament a couple of times, so getting there was a great goal and I'm glad we reached it.

"I take a lot of pride in what I do every day at the rink. And I finished my senior year with a degree in Consumer Affairs."

Geoffrion joined the Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators' AHL affiliate, for three Calder Cup Playoff games and scored 2 goals. He said he gained some insight into the pro game from that experience.

"The game is totally different. The guys in the AHL are much smarter. They don't run around as much as in college. I think the college game is faster in that aspect. They're positioned well, offensively and defensively and the guys are bigger and stronger. My big experience was checking Chris Chelios behind the net and he said, 'Hey kid, who do you think you're dealing with?'

"And, I said, 'Oh, sorry, Mr. Chelios,' so that was my little moment in the AHL."

Author: John McGourty | NHL.com Staff Writer

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33