To say today has been interesting would be an understatement.
Blake Geoffrion, the only Hobey Baker winner from the University of Wisconsin, the young man who grew up rooting for the Nashville Predators as his hometown team, was traded by the Preds to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens: the team that boasted Geoffrion's great-grandfather, Howie Morenz; his grandfather, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion and his father, Danny.
Geoffrion was with the Milwaukee Admirals in Oklahoma City, preparing for tonight's game with the Barons. The team arrived in Oklahoma City Thursday afternoon and had a practice at the Cox Convention Center at 5:15 that night. Then, the players went to dinner.
Friday morning, the phone rang in Admirals coach Ian Herbers office advising him that something was going down. Herbers was instructed to keep Geoffrion off the ice rather than take part in the morning skate. Since the team had practiced the night before, the pregame skate was an optional, although nearly everybody took part. Geoffrion went onto the ice. Since the deal hadn't been finalized, the coaches struggled with how they could follow the orders without making Geoffrion anxious. It still could've fallen through.
Herbers called Geoffrion off and Nashville Assistant GM Paul Fenton spoke to Geoffrion on the telephone. Fenton let Geoffrion know he was involved in the trade to Montreal in exchange for defenseman Hal Gill.
The trade was soon finalized. At 1:50 pm, Admirals equipment manager Dave Randolph walked from the rink to the nearby hotel with Geoffrion's sticks and equipment bag. Geoffrion was standing near the entrance of the hotel with his phone to his ear and waiting for a cab. He gave Randolph, Hockey Operations Coordinator Ryan Costello and me a hug. He then granted me his first "official" interview as a member of the organization that made his family one of the greatest in sports history.
Blake is a unique personality and will be well-received in Montreal. He is headed to Hamilton first to play for the Canadiens AHL affiliate and to get his feet wet with the organization. There's a good chance he'll be in the visitors locker room when the Bulldogs visit in a few weeks.
Geoffrion was starting to get his groove back recently. Hopefully that continues and he's in the Canadiens lineup soon. Here's to his success.