Preds Call Up Blake Geoffrion and Matt Halischuk From Milwaukee
Friday, 02.25.2011 / 6:59 PM CT / News
By Press Release - Nashville Predators
|Coach Trotz has hinted at a Blake Geoffrion recall for a while. During Training Camp, Trotz regularly commented on Geoffrion's two-way game, size, and ability to get to the front of the net -- and noted those were things he wanted to see out of the team in '10-11. Throughout the season, Trotz has continually included Geoffrion's name on the shortlist for potential recalls. The last two days, Trotz expressed a desire to add another center to the active roster -- and made a point to mention the reports of Geoffrion's steady play in Milwaukee.
Preds GM David Poile also foreshadowed Geoffrion's recall earlier this month when commenting on Geoffrion earning AHL Player of the Week honors: "His play since after Christmas has really improved and obviously it’s being recognized by the AHL Player of the Week this week and his five-point game this past weekend. ... He’s going to certainly get his opportunity here in Nashville – I can’t tell you when and we don’t want to set a timeline – but it will happen."
After conversations with the coaches in Nashville and Milwaukee, Poile and Trotz felt that time was now.
"Blake Geoffrion is certainly playing his best hockey, his most consistent hockey," Poile said. "I think (Milwaukee Head Coach) Lane (Lambert) has really prepared Blake to come in and have success right away. They've done a really good job in Milwaukee of not only winning hockey games, but -- equally if not more important to the Predators -- consistently developing pro hockey players."
Beyond the immediate on-ice boost Geoffrion gives the Preds, his recall is also a major coup for the local youth hockey community.
"I think it's a great statement for hockey in Middle Tennessee that you can live in Tennessee, grow up here, and play hockey and one day you can play in the National Hockey League," Poile said. "This has to be a tremendous boost to any young child now playing minor hockey or parents of children who are thinking of putting their kids into minor hockey. Blake Geoffrion is going to make his NHL debut. For a kid it is now, who is going to the next one from Nashville to play in the National Hockey League."
--Jay Levin, NashvillePredators.com
Geoffrion, 23 (2/3/88), is the first Tennessee native to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft (56th overall, second round, in 2006) and this is his first career recall. He ranks second on the Admirals in points (11g-26a-37pts, 45gp) and earlier this month became the first AHLer in 16 years to be named League Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.
The Brentwood native will become the first-ever fourth generation NHLer, following in the footsteps of Hockey Hall-of-Fame grandfather, Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and great grandfather, Howie Morenz (a part of the Hall of Fame’s first induction class) and father, Danny, who was drafted eighth overall by the Canadiens in the 1978 Draft, and played for both Montreal and Winnipeg during his NHL career, as well as Quebec in the World Hockey Association. The University of Wisconsin product is in his first professional season after winning the 2010 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s most outstanding player last spring.
Halischuk, 22 (6/1/88), has played 11 games for Nashville this season – all since making his club debut on Jan. 16 at Chicago – posting three points (1g-2a) and a +1 rating while averaging 9:46 per game. The Toronto, Ont., native, acquired from New Jersey in the offseason, also has 23 points (11g-12a) in 37 games for the Admirals, including four (2g-2a) in his last three outings.
With just two games remaining in February, the Predators begin their “March” to the playoffs with a four-game road trip that will take them through Western Canada and make a stop in California before returning home to play 12 of their final 15 2010-11 games at Bridgestone Arena. With playoff hockey right around the corner, the Preds are offering a March to the Playoffs package so fans don’t have to miss a minute of the action. This special package provides fans four games for the price of three, a parking pass for each game and priority to purchase playoff tickets before the general public. Tickets for all home games are still available and may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-PUCK (7825) or online at nashvillepredators.com.