Bernie Geoffrion

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by reckoning, Mar 9, 2006.

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  1. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    Bernie Geoffrion will have his number retired by the Canadiens this week. One of the most famous stories about Geoffrion concerns the 1955 season when he won the scoring title. Only problem was that the beloved Maurice Richard had been leading the league in scoring until getting suspended for the final three games (+ playoffs). The Montreal fans were not happy to see anybody take the scoring title away from Richard, even though it was another Hab. Before the first playoff game when Montreal honoured Geoffrion for winning the scoring race the hometown fans loudly booed Geoffrion!! The poor guy; what was he supposed to do? Intentionally not get any points the last three games?

    So it will be great to see him finally get a night solely in his honour so the Montreal fans can give him the applause, thanks and appreciation he deserves.

    Just curious if any of you 50+ fans saw him play in his prime and have any memories on what type of player he was; strengths, weaknesses, etc. Where would the various stat gurus on here rate him? What did Hab fans here think of his stint coaching Montreal; was he in a no-win situation?

    Just looking for opinions and memories about a player who often gets overlooked when the games all-time greats are mentioned.

    Bernie Geoffrion:

    1 Hart Trophy
    2 Scoring Titles
    2 Times leading NHL in goals
    2 times leading playoffs in points
    1 1st All-Star selection
    2 2nd All-Star selections
    1952 Rookie of the Year
    393 career goals (5th highest all-time when he retired)
    6 Stanley Cups
    #42 on The Hockey News Top 100 Players list
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2006
  2. KOVALEV10*

    KOVALEV10* Guest

    I would really love to hear Ogopogo and God Bless Canada's opinions on him.
     
  3. Leaf Lander

    Leaf Lander Registered User Sponsor

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    a sad note to his story is he was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer
    I will be tuneing in to see this ceremony
     
  4. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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  5. Leaf Lander

    Leaf Lander Registered User Sponsor

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    That is too bad

    the cancer has spread

    what a shame

    interesting note: boom wife is montreal great Howie Morenz's saughter
     
  6. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Also, only second player to score 50 goals. Not an easy feat in the oroginal six.
     
  7. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Plus the All Star selections when you're in a league with the Rocket and Gordie Howe. No conferences in those days.
     
  8. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Very good point. This was a very competitive era for right wings, Much like centers today. For example in 1958-59, 5 of the top 8 point getters were right wings--Bathgate, Howe, Litzenberger, Geoffrion, Hebenton.
     
  9. God Bless Canada

    God Bless Canada Registered User

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    Ask and you shall receive, buddy, although I think resident historians like ClassicHockey and justsomeguy, or even murray, who's been around a little longer, might be able to do Boom Boom a little more justice.

    Kovy, remember that best clutch players thread from a week ago or so? Well, add Boom Boom Geoffrion's name to that list. Can't think of many guys who reached double-digits for playoffs points eight years in a row. I'm not a big believer in stats being the be-all and end-all, but that's bloody amazing, especially when you consider he did it at a time when teams played, at the most, 14 games in the playoffs.

    Obviously, the first thing you hear about the guy was his shot. He didn't get the nickname Boom Boom for floating soft shots from the faceoff circle. Boasted likely one of the hardest shots of his day, and he knew how and when to use it. Surprising he only reached 30 goals in his career, but I guess that's the reality of the Original 6/the 70-game schedule/only playing a full slate of games once in his career. Anyone who scored 50 goals during the Original 6 pulled off one of the greatest goal scoring feats of all-time.

    I think he's likely one of the more underrated among the all-time great Habs. A thread appeared recently on Elmer Lach. I think Geoffrion merits consideration among the Habs who aren't given enough credit, too. We often talk about the Richards, Beliveau, Morenz and LaFleur when discussing the great Habs' forwards, and for good reason, but Geoffrion sometimes slips under the radar.

    It's very sad that he won't be there Saturday night, but it's still going to be a special night. A much deserved honour, only wish it could have happened a little earlier. But the Habs have had a knack for being patient when retiring numbers.

    Anyone who's going to be at the game tomorrow night, would love to read a report.
     
  10. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    Good synopsis. Not a Montreal fan but there was something about the Boomer. He wore his heart on his sleve. I may bewrong but I believe he invented the slapshot. He was also a good singer. I remember him on the CBC in the early 60's. He also married Howie morenz's daughter. Son Danny did play in the WHA & NHL for a bit. Mother nature is a mad scientist. Pray that Boomer recovers from his latest ailment.
     
  11. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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    That article was so sad; especially the part about how excited he was to get his number retired and how much he was looking forward to the ceremony, only to have his health take such a bad turn right before it. Cancer is a *****. I pray he`s able to be as comfortable and pain-free as possible during this tough time.
     
  12. ClassicHockey

    ClassicHockey Registered User

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    Sad to hear about 'Boom Boom' Geoffrion today. He was a man of many talents.
    Although he may not have invented the slapshot, as I've seen others use it before he did, Geoffrion made it famous. Besides his scoring ability, Geoffrion was a tough player and not many took liberties with him. There was the infamous stick swinging match with the Rangers' Ron Murphy that got Geoffrion suspended.
    Geoffrion's heart was set on becoming the captain of the Montreal Canadiens and he was hurt deeply when the honour went to Jean Beliveau after Doug Harvey was traded. No shame losing out to Beliveau of course, but Geoffrion's play started to decline a bit after that. The previous season had seen 'Boomer' score the 50 goals in the 1960-61 season. But I suspect that Geoffrion's skating started to decline a bit and he retired after the 1963-64 season. He did make a nice comeback for the Rangers in the 1966-67 season.

    But in his prime, Geoffrion was an absolute star player and probably doesn't get the recognition that he deserves. He had to compete with Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe and Andy Bathgate in the 50's. And yes, he was hurt by the reaction of the Montreal fans when he passed the Rocket and won the scoring championship. But what was he supposed to do?

    I remember Geoffrion singing on that CBC show and of course, the Miller Lite commercials showed that he could be a comedian as well.

    Ironic that they are retiring his sweater tonight.
    QUOTE=murray]Good synopsis. Not a Montreal fan but there was something about the Boomer. He wore his heart on his sleve. I may bewrong but I believe he invented the slapshot. He was also a good singer. I remember him on the CBC in the early 60's. He also married Howie morenz's daughter. Son Danny did play in the WHA & NHL for a bit. Mother nature is a mad scientist. Pray that Boomer recovers from his latest ailment.[/QUOTE]
     
  13. Ogopogo*

    Ogopogo* Guest


    Geoffrion is the 46th greatest player of all time (not including goalies) on the Ogopogo list. In addition, he is the tied for 25th in all-time points and #22 on my all-time goal scoring list.

    Good guy (I loved his laugh) and a great player. Hard not to like Boom Boom.
     
  14. Boomer just passed away.

    RIP
     
  15. Leaf Lander

    Leaf Lander Registered User Sponsor

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    ahh my how sad


    may he god rest his soul
     
  16. #66

    #66 Registered User

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    Wow it had to happen today. I would suggest to anyone wanting to hear some great Boom Boom stories to buy Jean Beliveau: My Life in Hockey. Its a great read in the first place but the Boom Boom tales are classic.
     
  17. reckoning

    reckoning Registered User

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  18. Dave is a killer

    Dave is a killer Dave's a Mess

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    Rip Boom Boom

    considering this is a History of Hockey Forum ... and the Boom Boom Geoffrion thread ... first off lemme preface this, I'm an American and not really steeped in Hockey Tradition/History, but I do know one thing in life ... is that you DON'T HOLD 35+ year old GRUDGES from a personal standpoint or professional.
     
  19. Evil Chris

    Evil Chris Registered User

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    I met Boom Boom in the Habs alumi room (I'm allowed in, don't ask me how you figure it out) prior to a Leafs/Habs game earlier this season. He was eating a hot dog and joking around with us. Easy guy to talk to that's for sure.

    I didn't know he was sick at that time.
    RIP.
     
  20. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    Thought you'd like this,being a Chicago fan. MY father watched the game with me tonight and was recounting stories during the ceremony. You mention Litzenberger, the old man told me the story of how he came to be traded to montreal. Apparently after a loss, Dick irvin saw Litzenberger with a beer open in the coach car rather than the club car. He didn't like the idea of a casual attitude after a loss, didn't react well after losing at the best of times, and went berserk on Eddie Litz. He was traded to the Hawks the next day. My father worked with a guy who took care of Irvin and Selke's pigeon's while they were on the road. Don't ask me, they were pigeon enthusiasts. The guy said that Litzenberger had 30 minutes to get his stuff and get the hell out of the building. True story ? No idea.

    He then went on to tell me about the Rangers coach and some hookers, but I imagine board rules and all.... Told me what Mtl. street the coach lived on. His mind wanders and he's pretty weak these days, but the stories are coming out like crazy these days.
     
  21. pappyline

    pappyline Registered User

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    thanks for sharing that story with me. I was a big Chicago fan (until they let Hull go to the WHA) and also a big Litzenberger fan. For 3 years he was up there with the best. then he had that car accident that injured him & killed his wife when he was in his prime. Actually in 54-55, Montreal gave him to Chicago as part of the help Hawks initiative. He won the Calder that year and became a superstar, making the second all star team in 56-57. was captain of the hawks when they won the cup in 60-61. Never the same after that even though he was on 3 more cup winners with the Leafs. May have had a drinking problem. remember a Punch Imlach column in a Toronto paper that describe an unnamed player with a drinking problem. sure sounded like Litz. Nonetheless he was a great player in the 6 team NHl and is very under rated.

    Write down your father's stories. They probably all have some truth in them.
     
  22. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    I'm sure they do, though like most of us, he doesn't allow it to ruin a good story.
     
  23. Chili

    Chili Registered User

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    I hope they replay the ceremony on the NHL Network, missed it last night.

    Only saw him with the Rangers a bit. CBC showed him on the Johnny Carson show at the time, that looked like a hoot.

    That news hit hard yesterday morning, close to the anniversary of his father in law (Howie Morenz who passed away March 8th, 1937).

    RIP Boom.
     
  24. mcphee

    mcphee Registered User

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    I taped it, if it isn't replayed, pm me.
     
  25. chooch*

    chooch* Guest

    Are you teh guy who slammed penalty box doors?

    Re Dan Geoffrion - anyone know why an 8th overall pick (was it by Pollock in 78?)
    scores 20 goals with the Winnepeg Jets in his first full season and then plays only 1 more game? Reminded me of Boom Boom personality wise during ceremony.

    What happened?
     
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