2012-2013 Milwaukee Admirals: 58 G.P., 28-24-3-3–62 pts., 147 goals scored, 170 goals allowed, 11th place in the Western Conference (3rd Midwest Division). Leading scorer: Taylor Beck (11 goals, 28 assists, 39 points). Best Recent Win: March 8-9, 4-3 over Chicago; 3-2 at Chicago. Worst Recent Loss: March 3, Grand Rapids 5 at Milwaukee 1.
The physical nature of the game of hockey has left a laundry list of players of have been forced to retire early. Some great players like Cam Neely and Bobby Orr, just to name two, and of late Marc Savard and Chris Pronger, saw their careers shortened by injuries. But a much sadder outcome is players like Brett Lindros or now potentially Blake Geoffrion, whose careers were cut down before they ever truly got started.
Geoffrion got to suit up for exactly 55 games of NHL hockey and lasted professionally for parts of four professional seasons, numbers that many like myself would be envious of, but there was a whole lot of years of hockey left in the 25-year-old, who made the right call to think about calling it quits today.
Blake has no bigger fan than myself, even if he’s never quite met lofty expectations. But what people don’t realize is that Geoffrion was still developing, and was certainly a late bloomer. The Brentwood, Tennessee native scored just six points his first year at Wisconsin before capturing the Hobey Baker as college hockey’s best player his senior season. The number of college players that have grown that much in four years you can count on one hand.
In 2010-2011 Geoffrion showed signs of emerging as a real NHL prospect. After a slow start he became a dominant force at the AHL level with the Admirals, scoring 37 points in 45 games before being called up to Nashville. With the Predators he would score six goals in 20 games (including a hat-trick) and then dress for 12 playoff games.
Who knows what kind of player Geoffrion would have become without his injury history? Likely, not the force that Nashville was expecting with their second-round pick in 2006, but still a solid professional player. We all miss you Blake!
So Roundtable . . . Do you have any favorite Geoffrion moments?