Blake Geoffrion

Report: Montreal forward Geoffrion retires (Updated)

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He’s only 25 years old, but Blake Geoffrion’s professional hockey career is over. According to ESPN’s John Buccigross, the Montreal Canadiens forward has informed the club he’s retiring after suffering a serious head injury while playing for AHL Hamilton in November.

“I love the game of hockey more than anything and this decision tears me up inside,” Geoffrion said, “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.

“These last three months of recovery have been hell. For two months I would sit in the shower for an hour with no lights on. My head was throbbing. The plate in my head is still sensitive. I’ve tried to put a hockey helmet on four or five times and I can’t even put that on yet.”

On Nov. 9, Geoffrion required immediate surgery for a depressed skull fracture that he sustained on a hit (video) from Jean-Philippe Cote of the Syracuse Crunch.

Geoffrion was drafted 56th overall by Nashville in 2006. A star with the University of Wisconsin, he 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.

Update from John Glennon of The Tennessean (1:41 p.m ET):

Update (3:53 p.m. ET):

In a release, the Canadiens confirmed that Geoffrion “notified general manager Marc Bergevin Wednesday that in light of his health condition, which has shown no significant improvement since he underwent surgery last November 10, he felt it was his responsibility to inform the Canadiens’ management that he was considering retiring from professional hockey.”

Montreal’s Prust out two weeks with separated shoulder

Brandon Prust, Justin Peters
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Brandon Prust has been a surprisingly key player for Montreal this season, but now the Habs will have to find out what they can do without him for a short time.

The team announced Prust has a first-degree shoulder separation and will miss 10-14 days to recover from it. He suffered the injury last night in Montreal’s comeback victory over Tampa Bay. Rugged forward Ryan White will reenter the lineup to take his place.

Prust has been a boon for Montreal contributing toughness (81 penalty minutes) and penalty killing while also adding some offense with four goals and five assists. His work on a line with Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher has helped both of those rookies get off to flying starts.

Courtesy of Kukla’s Korner, here’s video of how he was injured.

Video: Gionta notches 20,000th goal in Canadiens’ franchise history

briangiontagetty
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The Montreal Canadiens fell to the New York Islanders 6-3 on Tuesday, but their last score was quite the franchise milestone. Brian Gionta’s power-play marker was the 20,000th goal in team history.

Here’s video of the goal:

NHL Network trotted out a helpful infographic that listed the top goal scoring teams in NHL history:

Montreal: 20,000
Boston: 19,169
Toronto: 18,930
Detroit: 18,448
New York Rangers: 18,135

It’s hard to imagine any team surpassing the Habs on this list, at least as long as they exist. (The second place Bruins will take a few seasons to hit 20K, for one.)

Too bad it didn’t happen in Montreal, although from the sound of the crowd in Long Island, at least a few people sensed it was a special moment.

Canadiens fire back at Bruins’ ‘ridiculous’ claims of embellishment

Michel Therrien
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The Montreal Canadiens earned a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Sunday, but what was said about the contest has attracted far more attention.

“There was a lot of embellishment,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said on Sunday. “It’s pretty embarrassing for our game.”

It’s doubtful that Julien merely made those comments in the heat of the moment, given that he went on to talk yesterday about the need for the NHL address what he sees as an embellishment problem.

Now, the Canadiens have voiced their response.

“To me, those comments that he made were ridiculous and I think he was very frustrated to have lost that game,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien, according to the team’s website. “Claude can concentrate on his team and I’ll concentrate on my own.”

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty suggested that Julien made those comments because of “jealousy.”

“We’re at the top right now and reading comments like that is awesome,” Pacioretty added. “If we’re in last place, they wouldn’t be saying anything about us, but we’re in first place and it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Related:

Bruins head coach fumes about Montreal’s ‘embellishment’

Lucic takes another shot at ‘embellishment’

Bruins head coach fumes about Montreal’s ’embellishment’

Claude Julien
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The Montreal Canadiens didn’t just snatch first place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Sunday. Some would argue they also got in their heads.

The rage boiled over when Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara got into fights about 30 seconds apart, but the angriest person might just be head coach Claude Julien. He griped about Montreal drawing penalties to CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty.

“There was a lot of embellishment,” Julien said. “It’s pretty embarrassing for our game.”

Haggerty believes that Julien’s irritation isn’t just related to tonight’s contest.

The Bruins’ next game against Montreal takes place in Boston on March 27. After that, their final match of the 2013 season will happen in Montreal on April 6.