Geoffrion announces retirement

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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.”

Video: Weise records Gordie Howe hat trick after spirited scrap with Hamonic

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Thursday’s game between the New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers wasn’t even nine minutes old by the time Dale Weise had recorded the Gordie Howe hat trick.

Already with the opening goal and an assist on Radko Gudas‘ goal, giving Philly a 3-0 lead, Weise dropped the gloves with Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic for a spirited fight off a faceoff.

Not many, if any, positives for the Islanders after a disastrous start. Needing a win to close the gap on the Boston Bruins in the wild card race, New York fell behind 5-0 by the time the first period was over.

There is perhaps even more bad news for the Islanders: Hamonic wasn’t on the bench to begin the second period.

The Islanders have since provided an update: Hamonic will not return to this game due to an upper-body injury.

 

 

The Islanders are off to a disastrous start in Philly, Flyers chase Greiss

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Talk about the worst possible start for the New York Islanders.

Trailing the Boston Bruins by four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, the Islanders lived through a nightmare to begin Thursday’s game, falling behind the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-0 — before the midway point of the first period.

Dale Weise started the scoring at 4:30 of the first period. By the 9:19 mark, the Flyers opened up a four-goal lead and had already chased Islanders starting goalieThomas Greiss, who allowed three goals on eight shots.

Jaroslav Halak was brought into the game and promptly surrendered a goal to Jordan Weal.

It continued to get worse for the Islanders, who finished the first period trailing by five goals. Shots? They were 19-10 in favor of Philly. Yup. It was bad.

With Josh Ho-Sang in the box serving a double-minor for high sticking, Wayne Simmonds gave Philly a 5-0 lead with his 30th goal of the year.

Shaping up to be a long night for the Islanders.

Karlsson’s ironman streak comes to an end as Sens visit Wild

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For the first time since the lockout-shortened season, the Ottawa Senators will not have star defenseman Erik Karlsson in their lineup.

With the Sens four points back of Montreal for the Atlantic Division lead, Karlsson will not play tonight versus the Minnesota Wild, which ends his ironman streak at 324 consecutive games played.

Karlsson trails Brent Burns by only five points for the lead in that category among NHL defenseman. He also logs close to 27 minutes of ice time per game. Only three blue liners in the entire league — Dustin Byfuglien, Drew Doughty and Ryan Suter — play more on average per game.

The injury reportedly occurred when Karlsson blocked a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. Trade deadline acquisition Jyrki Jokipakka is expected to make his debut for Ottawa, per the Citizen.

“If we miss him for a game or two, we’re not sure what’s going to happen,” forward Mark Stone told the Ottawa Citizen. “He’s the best defenceman in the world. If you take him out of your lineup, it’s obviously a huge blow.”

WATCH LIVE: Stars at Bruins

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The Boston Bruins hold the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference, and they will look to continue their push for the playoffs when they host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

You can catch the game on NBCSN (7:30 p.m. ET) or online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:

McAvoy has the talent to improve Bruins right now

NHL on NBCSN: Bruins continue push for playoff spot against Stars

Stars go deeper than rock bottom in Ruff’s ‘worst game’ with team