Nashville Predators sign Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion to two-year deal


BlakeGeoff.jpgJust about every team in the NHL envied the Chicago Blackhawks last night, but one of the clubs with the most bittersweet feelings must have been the Nashville Predators (as Dirk Hoag from On the Forecheck discussed). While both the Flyers and Predators pushed the Stanley Cup champions to a sixth game, one could make an argument that Nashville’s stifling style gave the Blackhawks genuine cause for concern. Ultimately, though, they didn’t get the job done.

Still, as the cliche goes, living well is the best revenge. The Predators hope to do that by getting better this summer, but as a low-budget, small market team they’ll have to find cheaper ways to do so. One of those methods is building up through the draft and the team hopes to keep that going after signing 2010 Hobey Baker award winner Blake Geoffrion to a two-year contract, as the young player reported on his own Twitter account.

The Predators selected Geoffrion with the the 56th pick in the 2006 draft.

You could say that Geoffrion has hockey – heck, even hockey greatness – in his blood. His father Dan played a few years in the league, but dig deeper into the Hobey Baker winner’s family tree and you’ll see true hockey royalty. His grandfather is Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, a Hall of Fame forward who revolutionized the sport with his slap shot. Of course, Bernie lived under the sizable shadow of all-time great Howie Morenz (Blake’s great-grandfather), one of only seven Montreal Canadiens to have his number retired.

Blake might not be a future legend of the NHL, but he isn’t a slouch, either. As I mentioned, he won the Hobey Baker award for the best player in NCAA hockey and collected a slew of other honors as well. My guess is that, at 22, he’ll be given a true opportunity to make the team during training camp this summer.

Let’s all agree that his nickname will either be “Boom Boom”, “Boom Boom Jr.” or “Little Boom Boom” (if you’re a fan of Yogi Bear). Much like how every person with the last name Campbell must be known as “Soupy,” every Geoffrion should be referred to in some “Boom Boom” fashion. I think this is a reasonable request.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?