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The Blake Geoffrion story

Stashed in: Young Americans, Hockey, Brain

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Fourth-generation Montreal Canadiens player Blake Geoffrion recently retired after suffering a freak skull fracture. Find out what he learned by being forced to give up his lifelong dream of playing professional hockey.

Forced to retire at age 25:

"I love the game of hockey more than anything, and this decision tears me up inside, it's killing me," Blake says, "but we are talking about my brain. Not a knee or a shoulder. I want to have a family, have kids and a strong quality of life for another 60 or 70 years. The first three months of recovery were hell. The plate in my head is still sensitive. I've tried to put a hockey helmet on four or five times, and I can't even put that on yet."

One has ample time to think when recuperating from injury and surgery. Immobility and isolation make our heads noisier. We need peace. We need closure. And after hours and days and months of thought, Blake Geoffrion, at age 25, has retired. He is taking a job as a pro scout with the Columbus Blue Jackets and will be based in Chicago.

"I think this particular situation," Geoffrion says, "is trying to make me realize that family and friends are the most important thing in my life, not hockey. I might have had those backwards. But it's hard because I left home at age 14 to attend military school and to chase my dream of becoming an NHL player. So, it's like I didn't want anything to get in my way, even if that meant sacrificing friends and family. Well, after this has all happened, I am dead wrong. The amount of people that have reached out to me and shown their support is unbelievable. And I can't even start to say the support my family had shown. I love my family, my friends and my fiancée with all of my heart."

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