Blake Geoffrion

Habs’ Geoffrion releases statement, cleared by neurosurgeon to return home


Montreal Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion has released a statement in the wake of a depressed skull fracture suffered on Nov. 9 while playing for AHL Hamilton.

The fracture required immediate surgery and admittance into Montreal General Hospital’s ICU.

Here is Geoffrion’s statement, courtesy

I want to sincerely thank all fans, friends, family members and everyone from the hockey world for the incredible support I have received. I was cleared by the neurosurgeon and the Club’s medical staff to return home for a 3-week period of complete rest.

I am very happy to be home for Thanksgiving. I would like to thank Dr. Mulder and the Club’s medical staff, as well as the entire medical personnel at the Montreal General Hospital for their extraordinary care.

I am very grateful to Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin for the unrelenting support they have shown myself and the members of my family.

I also wish to thank all members of the media for respecting this healing period.

The Canadiens announced that Geoffrion would be out of action indefinitely, and that doctors are confident he’ll make a full recovery.

Geoffrion, 24, was Nashville’s second round pick at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and acquired by Montreal in February’s Hal Gill trade. He appeared in 13 games for the Habs last year, scoring twice, and had posted 2G-4A-6PTS in 10 games with Hamilton before the injury.

Canadiens prospect Blake Geoffrion hospitalized with head injury


Canadiens prospect Blake Geoffrion was the victim of a head injury when he fell to the ice following a hit from Jean-Philippe Cote, La Presse writer Marc Antoine Godin reports. There was blood on the ice as he exited Friday’s game between Geoffrion’s AHL Hamilton Bulldogs and the Syracuse Crunch.

He was hospitalized and needed surgery, according to Canadian Press writer Heather Engel.

The good news is that Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre said that the injury isn’t life-threatening.

Beyond that, not much information has been released yet regarding the nature or severity of Geoffrion’s injury.

Geoffrion was taken in the second round of the 2008 NHL entry draft and excelled with the University of Wisconsin. Over the past few years, Geoffrion he been trying to establish himself at the NHL level and has 55 combined games with the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators on his resume.

Update: Cote’s skate might have made contact with Geoffrion’s head based on reports from Marc Antoine Godin and the Montreal Gazette.

Roundup: Habs re-up with Geoffrion, Pens sign Strait


Some minor signings to pass your way…

Montreal re-ups with Geoffrion

The Canadiens have kept some famous bloodlines in the organization by agreeing to terms with RFA forward Blake Geoffrion on a one-year, two-way deal worth $803,250.

Geoffrion, 24, is the great-grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Howie Morenz and his paternal grandfather is also a Hall of Famer — Bernie “Boom-Boom” Geoffrion, the former Canadien known for inventing the slapshot.

A former standout at the University of Wisconsin, Geoffrion broke onto the scene in his rookie year in Nashville, scoring 6G-2A-8PTS in 20 games during the 2010-11 season. He regressed during his sophomore campaign, however, and was packaged as part of the deal that saw Hal Gill go from Montreal to the Predators at the trade deadline.

Last season, Geoffrion played a career-high 35 games at the NHL level — 22 with Nashville, 13 with Montreal — scoring 2G-3A-5PTS and averaging over 11 minutes per night.

Pittsburgh gets Strait

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Penguins have agreed to terms with RFA defenseman Brian Strait on a one-year, two-way contract worth $605,000 at the NHL level.

Strait, 24, has only seen action in 12 NHL games over the last two years, spending most of his time with AHL Wilkes-Barre. That said, he could be in the mix for a regular gig with Pittsburgh this season — following the trade of Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix, the Penguins essentially have an open competition for the bottom pairing on its blueline between the likes of Strait, Deryk Engelland, Ben Lovejoy, Philip Samuelsson and Simon Despres.

Montreal signs Palushaj to one-year deal

The Montreal Canadiens have agreed to terms with RFA winger Aaron Palushaj on a one-year, two-way deal. Financial terms were not released — his previous contract was a three-year, $2.1 million deal worth $883,333 annually.

Palushaj, 22, was drafted 44th overall by St. Louis in 2007 and acquired by Montreal in exchange for Matt D’Agostini in 2010. Last year was the first time he saw significant action in the NHL — he appeared in 38 games for the Habs, scoring 1G-4A-5PTS.

A skill winger that lacks size (5-foot-11, 187 pounds), Palushaj was a dynamic scorer at the AHL level last season, recording 22G-35A-57PTS in 68 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

With the signing, Montreal now has just three RFAs left — forward Blake Geoffrion and defensemen P.K. Subban and Raphael Diaz.

Hal Gill sticks in Nashville: two years, $4 million


The Nashville Predators have agreed to terms with UFA defenseman Hal Gill for two years, $4 million.

Gill, 37, came to Nashville at February’s deadline for a steep price — Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a 2012 second round pick — and the Preds retained him after injuries derailed most of his time in the Music City.

(Translation: If you’ve paid for a rental, might as well pay more to actually see what you’ve rented.)

The contract represents a slight pay cut for Gill — down from $2.25 million annually — but he could find himself in a good situation should Ryan Suter fly the coop via free agency.

The Preds currently have four defensemen under contract (Gill, Ryan Ellis, Kevin Klein and Roman Josi) with Gill being the most veteran of the lot. There’s an opportunity for him to get quality playing time and fill a mentorship role, something he had in Montreal with P.K. Subban.

It’ll be interesting to see what effect this deal has on the market come July 1. Gill wasn’t going to be the most sought-after blueliner, but he’s the latest in a run of veteran UFA defensemen signings, joining the likes of Dennis Wideman, Shane O’Brien, Brad Stuart and Barret Jackman.