Blake Geoffrion has about as much hockey credibility as any player, ever.
Not only is he just the fourth NHL player ever to come out of the American South, he’s also the first fourth-generation player in league history — in fact, a trade last year sent him to the Canadiens, where his father, grandfather and great-grandfather all played, as well. Geoffrion also won the 2010 Hobey Baker Award, hockey’s equivalent of the Heisman.
And, now, his career may be over.
Back in November, waiting out the NHL lockout in the AHL and playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs, Geoffrian took a legal, clean check from the Syracuse Crunch’s Jean-Philippe Cote, crashing into the boards and Cote’s skate. Although Geoffrion was able to shake off the blood-drawing hit and skate off the ice, later at the hospital things turned bad. The 25-year-old started convulsing, doctors discovered brain damage and removed pieces of his skull in an emergency surgery to treat swelling.
Four months later Geoffrion is still experience debilitating symptoms, and John Buccigross initially reported on Wednesday that Geoffrion had informed Montreal he was retiring from hockey. Later in the day the Canadiens released a statement refuting that report, saying only Geoffrian was “considering” retirement.
“I love the game of hockey more than anything and this decision tears me up inside, but we are talking about my brain,” said Geoffrian in an unattributed quote appearing on Deadspin.
If you’re so inclined, check out a video of the November hit which caused the injury below.
Thumbnail photo via Facebook/Blake Geoffrion