Geoffrion dead at 75

Former Montreal Canadiens Bernie Geoffrion, Oct. 15, 2005 in Montreal. You are invited to sign...

Former Montreal Canadiens Bernie Geoffrion, Oct. 15, 2005 in Montreal. You are invited to sign Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion's Book of Condolence at ObituariesToday.com. (CPimages/Paul Chiasson)

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Not unlike many in the National Hockey League world yesterday morning, Pat Quinn felt a tug at the heart with the news of the death of Bernard (Boom Boom) Geoffrion.

"It's a sad day for me and a lot of people who loved Bernie Geoffrion," the Maple Leafs coach said. "He was the first coach when I played (for the Atlanta Flames) and he was one of the most caring guys I have run into in this profession. I watched how he treated people and felt it was an important way to build teamwork."

Geoffrion died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 75 of stomach cancer.

The Montreal Canadiens, for whom Geoffrion became a legend, retired his No. 5 last night before their game with the New York Rangers.

Back in October, when the Canadiens announced plans to retire Nos. 5 and 12 this season, the Leafs were in town and Quinn and Geoffrion embraced at the Leafs bench.

"It's something we wished for him to see, his banner being raised to to the roof," Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. "That would have been an extremely proud moment for him, but I'm sure he would also wish it was a night of celebration. Obviously, it's a very sad moment."

Elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, Geoffrion had 822 points in 883 games with the Habs and Rangers during a 16-season career, and won six Stanley Cups.

But he will forever be remembered as the player who made popular the slapshot.

While he was playing junior hockey for Laval, he already had the shot and was given the nickname Boom Boom by a Montreal sportswriter.

"In his era, there were only two or three guys on each team, if that, who had what you would call a major-league shot," TV analyst Harry Neale said. "He was the one."

Geoffrion is survived by his wife Marlene, the daughter or another Habs legend, Howie Morenz, and three children.

You are invited to sign Bernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion's Book of Condolence at ObituariesToday.com.

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CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

- 1951-52 Calder Trophy

- 1954-55 Art Ross Trophy

- 1960-61 Art Ross Trophy

- 1960-61 Hart Trophy

CAREER TOTALS

REGULAR SEASON

GP G A PTS

883 393 429 822

PLAYOFFS

GP G A PTS

132 58 60 118


Photos