Geoffrion Adds His Chapter to Family Legacy
Becomes First Badger to Win the Hobey Baker Award
by Matthew Conyers/CHN Staff Writer
DETROIT At some point, Blake Geoffrion knows the interviews will become a little old hat.
But at this moment — no matter how predictable some of the questions are — he’s going to indulge himself. After all, it’s not every day you win a Hobey Baker Award.
“It’s something you got to do, and I know I was a little kid once and I always wanted to know what happened behind the scenes and see how people were,” Geoffrion said. “I actually enjoy [the interviews].”
Geoffrion won the Hobey Baker Award on Friday at Ford Field, become the first Wisconsin player to win in its 30-year history. The senior center and runner-up for College Hockey News’ Player of the Year from Brentwood, Tenn., has 28 goals and 22 assists headed into Saturday’s National Championship game with Boston College.
A win Saturday for Wisconsin would make Geoffrion the second straight Hobey winner to claim the National Championship the next night. Matt Gilroy of Boston University won the award in 2009. Geoffrion would be the sixth player overall to achieve that feat.
“Emotionally and mentally I have to clam down here and save some energy for [Saturday’s] game,” Geoffrion said. “I think I’m going to go back tonight and get a good meal in me and rest.
“I just need to calm down and be around my team and relax.”
For the 2010 winner, hockey has always been part of the picture.
His father, grandfather and great grandfather all played in the NHL. All but his father are in the Hall of Fame.
His grandfather, Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, won six Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens, and his great-grandfather Howie Morenz won three Stanley Cups with the Canadiens and had his number (7) retired. Geoffrion’s father Danny played for the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets from 1980-82.
“It’s pretty special,” Geoffrion said. “My family is unbelievably skilled and they’re great hockey players. Just to put my name in there is very special to me and my family. I know they are very proud of me.”
The close exposure to the professional game made Geoffrion a big fan of the NHL, but not quite so with college hockey.
“You know what, I really wasn’t one,” Geoffrion said. “I always knew about Michigan because they always had the goal strips on their helmets, but my whole family grew up playing junior hockey so I heard all the major junior stories. I wasn’t really aware of Wisconsin or college hockey until I went to the USA program and started talking to different schools.”
As the season wore on and Wisconsin continued to find itself in the national limelight, Geoffrion knew it could be a special second weekend in April.
“For me, that’s why I came back — I always had a good feeling that we were going to do something special and have a great team and have an opportunity to win,” Geoffrion said. “I think right at the beginning of the year [I had a good feeling about the season].”
Geoffrion was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA West Regional after leading Wisconsin to its first Frozen Four since 2006, when it won the title.
After Thursday’s 8-1 semifinal victory over RIT, Geoffrion is one goal behind Hobey Baker finalist Bobby Butler of New Hampshire for the national lead.
But Geoffrion is only worried about one title this weekend and he’s dead set on adding his name to the small list of Hobey Baker winners and National Champions.
“The job is not done yet,” Geoffrion said.