51-Blake Geoffrion - Hamilton Bulldogs

The Canadiens capped ‘Trade Deadline Day’ by calling up forward Blake Geoffrion from their Hamilton farmclub and returning Louis Leblanc to the Bulldogs.   If Geoffrion is in the Canadiens lineup in Tampa Tuesday night, he will be the fourth generation of one of hockey’s royal families, including Hall of Famers Howie Morenz and Bernard Geoffrion,  to play in a Canadiens uniform.  In only five games with Hamilton after he was acquired from Nashville as part of the Hal Gill trade ten days ago, Geoffrion scored eight points; 2 goals and 6 assists off twenty shots on goal.

We’re told Geoffrion’s callup was due to the injury status of Travis Moen and Mathieu Darche.  Moen has what has been variously called a neck or concussion injury (refered to by the team as ‘upper body’) and Darche has been suffering from dizzy spells, which also smacks of a concussion.

Not for lack of trying, but the best the Canadiens could do on trade deadline day was send Andrei Kostitsyn to Nashville in return for a 2013 second round draft choice and the recovery of a conditional pick they gave up in the Hal Gill deal.  The injured Travis Moen plus Chris Campoli and Mathieu Darche remain with the team and will be unrestricted free agents on July first.

One can only speculate on the reason for today’s re-entry waiver claim the Canadiens made on Minnesota forward Brad Staubitz.  In 114 games with Minnesota the last two seasons the 6’1″ – 215lb. Staubitz  has nine points, 246 minutes in penalties and 24 fights, which pretty much defines his past and probably future role.

From the Canadiens Communications Department –

MONTREAL (February 27, 2012) – The Montreal Canadiens announced today that forward Blake Geoffrion has been recalled from the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs. Geoffrion will join the team in Tampa Bay and will be available for the game against the Lightning on Tuesday, February 28. The Club announced that forward Louis Leblanc has been assigned to Hamilton. The 24-year old Geoffrion took part in five games with the Bulldogs since being acquired from the Nashville Predators on February 17. He collected eight points (2 goals, 6 assists), with a +1 plus/minus differential and 20 shots on goal. One of his goals was tallied on the power play. The 6’01’’, 190 lbs left winger played 22 games with the Predators this season. He registered three assists, 29 hits and 17 penalty minutes, playing an average of 10 minutes and 20 seconds per game. In his second year in professional hockey this season, Geoffrion also played with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals recording nine points, including two goals, in 20 games. A native of Plantation, Florida, Geoffrion was drafted in the second round, 56th overall by the Predators at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was awarded the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as the Top U.S. Collegiate Player in 2010. Recalled from the Bulldogs on February 1, the 6’ and 184 lbs centre played 26 games with the Canadiens this season, including his first NHL game on November 30 against the Ducks in Anaheim. Leblanc recorded seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) including his first career NHL goal on December 15 against the Philadelphia Flyers. He registered 33 shots on goal, 42 hits and displayed a +2 plus/minus differential, while playing an average of 10 minutes and 26 seconds per game. The 21-year old Pointe-Claire, Quebec native posted 17 points (9 goals and 8 assists) in 25 games thus far with the Bulldogs this season. Leblanc scored two of his goals on the powerplay. He added 92 shots on goal. The Canadiens’ first round selection, 18th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Leblanc signed a 3-year contract with the Club on July 30, 2010.