According to John Buccigross of ESPN Blake Geoffrion has informed Montreal Canadiens management that he is retiring from Pro Hockey. This is truly heartbreaking news. Geoffrion hasn’t played since November when he suffered a skull fracture and concussion in an AHL game. He was expected to make a full recovery and said just a month ago that he wasn’t planning on retiring.
Geoffrion reportedly had this to say about his decision:
“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.”
Geoffrion is part of an NHL Legacy as grandson of Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and son of Dan Geoffrion, which make the ending of his NHL career at the early age of 25 all the more devastating, but his injury was severe. After the hit Blake’s father, Dan, explained what happened to Josh Cooper of the Tennessean:
“We’re lucky that he’s alive,” …“They removed the piece of his skull that was about the size of a silver dollar,” Danny said. “They had to replace that with titanium and metal mesh. And that’s what the plate consists of, with the screws and all that, so he now has that in his head. It was unreal.”
With the dawn of Geoffrion’s retirement, I wouldn’t be surprised if the concussion debate started up again. There is no doubt that more severe punishment for hits to the head will result from this announcement, but before we start arguing we need to acknowledge the brave decision that Geoffrion made. I also hope that kids looking toward a career in the NHL look at this as a wake up call. Anything can happen and even if you do make the big time there is no guarantee that you will be there for long.
I want to wish Blake all the best going forward and say that I truly admire him for making this tough decision.
For more on Blake Geoffrion check out this story from our friends over at Predlines: http://predlines.com/2013/03/13/blake-geoffrion-former-nashville-predators-forward-retires-at-age-25/