Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Two Blake Geoffrion Autographed Index Cards

I had to do some amount of research before identifying this bittersweet return, because the only thing that was included in the regular-sized envelope was these two signed index cards:
Usually, when sending out regular trading cards, I use small envelopes, and the fact that these didn't come in one but in a self-addressed stamped regular-sized envelope clued me in that it might be from someone I'd sent 4x6 pictures to, which narrowed the list down a bit.

From there, I used Google Images until I fell on this card, which was pretty much a match:
And then my heart broke.

Blake Geoffrion is a fourth-generation Montréal Canadiens player: his great-grandfather is the legendary Howie Morenz (one of the first inducteed when the Hall Of Fame opened in 1945), his grand-father was Bernard ''Boom Boom'' Geoffrion (a 1972 Hall Of Fame inductee and one of the first players with an amazing slap shot), and his father was Dan Geoffrion, a hard-working journeyman who played 32 games with the Habs.

I was extremely happy when the Habs traded for Blake last season - he's part of the Habs family, part of its century-old history, and he deserved to have a chance to show what he's got to the unique Montréal crowd - part Apollo theater-like in its ''tough love'' and hard-critique approach, but also part blind, unfailing love and religious devotion.

Whether superstars or grinders, fighters or snipers the Montréal crowd knows the game well enough to respect all the players who get them out of their seats and/or give it their all, which explains why they still adore the likes of Saku Koivu and Steve Bégin even years after they've departed. And though Geoffrion The Fourth was looking to be more Bégin than Morenz (although he did win the Hobey Baker Award in 2009-10), there was room for him on this team, wearing the three-coloured jersey. There's always room for heart and pride on an NHL team.

He did play 13 games to close out the 2011-12 season, but with the lockout, he started the current season in the NHL, with the Hamilton Bulldogs, centering the first line and mentoring a bunch of kids who wound up playing on the big club in the end; unfortunately, Geoffrion himself couldn't, as the result of a November 9th freak accident where, when checked by former Habs prospect Jean-Philippe Côté, he fell to the ice (possibly suffering a concussion), then a skull fracture after hitting Coté's skate. He notified the team's GM Marc Bergevin two weeks ago that he may retire at season's end.

I'd sent Blake Geoffrion one card (a rookie card from his Nashville Predators days) and four self-made 4x6 pictures on April 3rd, 2012, and he kept them all but returned these two index cards I'd enclosed for protection, signed in blue pen. So, all in all, it's a 0/5, 2/0 return from a guy who may never play again, and it took exactly a year to make it back to me.

I wish him the best for the future. He's studied in marketing and public relations, so perhaps he'll come back to the Habs more of a behind-the-scenes role in the future...

No comments:

Post a Comment