The Canadiens sent out a press release on Thursday with a statement from Blake Geoffrion, who suffered a serious head injury while playing for the Hamilton Bulldogs in an AHL game against the Syracuse Crunch on Nov. 9 at the Bell Centre. Geoffrion was rushed to hospital and had surgery that night for a depressed skull fracture.
“I want to sincerely thank all fans, friends, family members and everyone from the hockey world for the incredible support I have received,” Geoffrion said. “I was cleared by the neurosurgeon and the club’s medical staff to return home for a three- week period of complete rest. I am very happy to be home for (U.S.) Thanksgiving.
“I would like to thank Dr. Mulder and the club’s medical staff, as well as the entire medical personnel at the Montreal General Hospital for their extraordinary care. I am very grateful to Geoff Molson and Marc Bergevin for the unrelenting support they have shown myself and the members of my family. I also wish to thank all members of the media for respecting this healing period.”
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs announced on Thursday that they have signed veteran defenceman Mike Commodore to a professional tryout contract. As per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
Commodore, 33, has spent parts of 11 seasons in the NHL with the New Jersey Devils, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning. In 484 regular-season games, the 6-foot-4, 225-pound defenceman has registered 106 points (23 goals, 83 assists) and 683 penalty minutes.
In 2004, Commodore was part of the Flames team that advanced to the Stanley Cup final before losing in seven games to the Lightning. In 2006, the Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., native won the Cup with the Hurricanes when they beat the Edmonton Oilers in seven games.
Commodore could provide some veteran leadership and toughness to a young Bulldogs defence corps. The Bulldogs’ next game is Sunday at 4 p.m. against the Lake Erie Monsters at Hamilton’s Copps Coliseum.
The Bulldogs (6-7-2) are coming off a 2-1 win over the St. John’s IceCaps Wednesday night in St. John’s, N.L. Goalie Cedrick Desjardins made 29 saves for the victory. The Bulldogs managed only two shots on goal in the first period, and didn’t get their third shot until midway through the second. Michael Blunden and Steve Quailer scored for Hamilton.
In Toronto this week, a Maple Leafs fan payed $5,300 for an old toilet from the team’s locker room at Maple Leaf Gardens. This should give hockey fans who dislike Toronto more ammunition for Maple Leafs jokes. Read more by clicking here.
(Photo by Peter McCabe/The Gazette)