The Montreal Canadiens are regarded not only as one of the best hockey franchises in the NHL but one of the best sport franchises in the entire world. This distinction has nothing to do with all the Stanley Cups they have won or with all the superstars that have graced the bleu, blanc et rouge sweater. It has all to do with the way the organization treats all its players, past and present. When you put that hallowed sweater on, even if it’s just for one game, you are a Hab for life.
What they also do is treat any Habs player’s family as one of their own. They did this when they drafted John Ferguson Jr., son of one of the greatest players in the history of both the team and the league, John Ferguson. Junior didn’t have a long career in the league, but the team helped him get into management.
The Habs did the same when they acquired Blake Geoffrion from the Nashville Predators in early 2012. Geoffrion’s career was stalling down south, so the Habs brought him in and hoped to groom him into a third line player. Out of every average player in the league, why would the team pick Geoffrion?
Geoffrion is the NHL’s first fourth-generation player. The man named the best hockey player in the first half of the 20th century by the Canadian Press, Howie Morenz, is his great-grandfather. His own grandfather is Bernie ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion. Both are in the Hockey Hall of Fame and his father Dan played with both the Habs and Winnipeg Jets. His family bleeds bleu, blanc et rouge.
Geoffrion scored his first goal in a Canadiens sweater against the Vancouver Canucks last season. He started the locked-out season playing with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. It was there where he suffered a horrific injury after a hip check led to his head hitting a skate blade. He suffered a skull fracture. He came back, but realized he couldn’t safely play the game he loved.
Today, Geoffrion informed the club that he is considering the idea of retirement, per his dad. If he does retire, he will have played 55 games, scoring eight goals with five assists. But if he does hang up the skates, he would retire a Canadien. That single distinction has defined his family and now it will define him for the rest of his life. He will be shown the same respect his forefathers were shown. I am sure all Habs fans wish only good luck to Geoffrion.
Follow Shahab on Twittter @SchoolboyShebe
Add Shahab to your network on Google+