Blake Geoffrion, 25, mulls retirement
Montreal Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion, 25, grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion and great grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Howie Morenz, told the team that he is considering retirement after suffering a serious head injury.
Geoffrion had told ESPN.com that he was planning to retire, but sources then said he had reconsidered. The Canadiens did not indicate when a final decision will be made.
Geoffrion, while playing for the AHL's Hamilton Bulldogs on Nov. 9, 2012, in Montreal's Bell Centre, suffered a depressed skull fracture following a hard, legal check from Syracuse Crunch defenseman J.P. Cote. As Geoffrion fell to the ice, his head was struck by Cote's skate blade an inch and an half above his left ear, slicing his skin and fracturing his skull.
I met with four doctors, the last being Dr. Julian Bailes in Chicago, and they all told me the same thing. I should take another career path.” -- Blake Geoffrion
After arriving at Montreal General Hospital, Geoffrion had a seizure and emergency surgery, when a titanium and metal mesh/plate and acrylic bone was implanted to repair the fracture and protect his brain.
"I met with four doctors, the last being Dr. Julian Bailes in Chicago, and they all told me the same thing," Geoffrion told ESPN.com. "I should take another career path."
In a statement, the Canadiens said that Geoffrion has "has shown no significant improvement since he underwent surgery last November 10," so "he felt it was his responsibility to inform the Canadiens' management that he was considering retiring from professional hockey."
Bailes is chair of the NorthShore University HealthSystem department of neurology in Chicago. Since 1994, Bailes has been a neurological consultant to the NFL Players' Association.
Geoffrion was born in Florida and raised in Nashville, Tenn. After being selected by the Nashville Predators in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft, he played four years of college hockey at Wisconsin, where he won the 2010 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's best player. He played 42 games for Nashville and 13 for Montreal in parts of two seasons.
"I love the game of hockey more than anything, and this decision tears me up inside," Geoffrion had told ESPN.com, "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 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."
Geoffrion has a degree from the University of Wisconsin. His fiancée, Katelyn Deady, also graduated from Wisconsin and will graduate from Loyola University School of Law in May. The two plan to be married on Aug. 17.
Information from ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun was used in this report.
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