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Montreal Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion steps away from hockey at age 25

MONTREAL - Montreal Canadiens forward Blake Geoffrion announced his retirement on Monday.

The 25-year-old had been considering stepping away from hockey due to lingering effects of a skull fracture and concussion suffered during an American Hockey League game in November.

Geoffrion, the grandson of Canadiens legend Bernie Geoffrion and great-grandson of superstar Howie Morenz, notified general manager Marc Bergevin in March that he might retire.

“After suffering an injury in November and taking time to recover and reflect, I have decided to step away from the game of hockey for the time being," Geoffrion said in a statement Monday.

The six-foot-one centre was skating for the Hamilton Bulldogs when he suffered a depressed skull fracture from a hit by defenceman Jean-Philippe Cote of the Syracuse Crunch during a Nov. 9 American Hockey League game at the Bell Centre.

The Plantation, Fla., native underwent surgery a day later to repair damage that his father Dan Geoffrion, who also played briefly for the Canadiens, said could have been life-threatening or caused brain damage.

The Canadiens acquired Geoffrion on Feb. 25, 2012 as part of a trade that sent defenceman Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators. He had two goals in 13 games for Montreal last season.

Geoffrion won the Hobey Baker Memorial Award in 2010 as the top player in U.S. university hockey with the Wisconsin Badgers. He was selected in the second round of the 2006 NHL draft by Nashville.

He has eight goals and five assists in 55 career NHL games.

“A young player appreciated by everyone within our organization, Blake has shown a lot of courage since suffering a serious injury," said Bergevin. "He made the decision to end his professional hockey career and we wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

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