Blake Geoffrion

Geoffrion announces retirement


Back in March, it was reported that 25-year-old Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion had retired after suffering a serious head injury while playing for AHL Hamilton in November.

That report was quickly refuted, with Geoffrion’s dad saying his son was only considering retiring.

But today, Geoffion made it official.

“After suffering an injury in November and taking time to recover and reflect, I have decided to step away from the game of hockey for the time being,” he said in a release. “I would like to thank Geoff Molson, Marc Bergevin, the entire Montreal Canadiens organization as well as the Hamilton Bulldogs organization for everything they have done for me. They have been unwavering in their support, professionalism and kindness. I cannot thank them enough.”

Geoffrion required immediate surgery for a depressed skull fracture that he sustained on a hit (video) from Jean-Philippe Cote of the Syracuse Crunch.

Drafted 56th overall by Nashville in 2006, Geoffrion was a star with the University of Wisconsin and was the Hobey Baker winner in 2010.

He was also a fourth-generation Hab, as the son of former Canadien Danny Geoffrion, the grandson of Hall of Famer Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and the great-grandson of another Hall of Famer, Howie Morenz.

The fact Geoffrion said he was stepping away from hockey “for the time being” seems to leave the door open for a return down the line. Hopefully he gets to the point, health-wise, where he can consider it.

“I love the game of hockey more than anything and this decision tears me up inside,” Geoffrion said in March, “but we are talking about my brain. Not a knee or a shoulder. I want to have a family, have kids, play with them and [have] a strong quality of life for another 60 or 70 years.”

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.