In somewhat of a surprise move, the call-ups that were deemed necessary by all of the day's prior activity by the Nashville Predators are none other than Brentwood's own Blake Geoffrion as well as Matt Halischuk who played 11 games with the Preds earlier this season.
When his skate first touches the ice, Geoffrion will become the first Tennessean to play in the National Hockey League.
He is expected to make his NHL debut in Dallas on Saturday night against the Stars. His first home game could be Sunday against Columbus.
It is somewhat surprising that the Preds would recall an untested rookie over Chris Mueller who performed well in stints in Nashville earlier this year.
Since it is doubtful that the Predators would head into the playoffs with a unseasoned player like Geoffrion centering a line, it lends further credence to David Poile being active over the next 72 hours trying to land a veteran center and possibly another forward or defenseman.
Here is the full press release from the Predators...
PREDATORS RECALL BLAKE GEOFFRION, MATT HALISCHUK FROM MILWAUKEE
Nashville, Tenn. (February 25, 2011) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has recalled forwards Blake Geoffrion (BLAYK JEHF-ree-ohn) and Matt Halischuk (mat HUH-lihs-chuhk) from Milwaukee (AHL).
Geoffrion, 23 (2/3/88), is the first Tennessee native to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft (56th overall, second round, in 2006) and this is his first career recall. He ranks second on the Admirals in points (11g-26a-37pts, 45gp) and earlier this month became the first AHLer in 16 years to be named League Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.
The Brentwood native will become the first-ever fourth generation NHLer, following in the footsteps of Hockey Hall-of-Fame grandfather, Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion and great grandfather, Howie Morenz (a part of the Hall of Fame’s first induction class) and father, Danny, who was drafted eighth overall by the Canadiens in the 1978 Draft, and played for both Montreal and Winnipeg during his NHL career, as well as Quebec in the World Hockey Association. The University of Wisconsin product is in his first professional season after winning the 2010 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey’s most outstanding player last spring.
Halischuk, 22 (6/1/88), has played 11 games for Nashville this season – all since making his club debut on Jan. 16 at Chicago – posting three points (1g-2a) and a +1 rating while averaging 9:46 per game. The Toronto, Ont., native, acquired from New Jersey in the offseason, also has 23 points (11g-12a) in 37 games for the Admirals, including four (2g-2a) in his last three outings.
With just two games remaining in February, in Dallas tomorrow at 1 p.m. (FOX Sports Tennessee, 102.9 The Buzz) and at home on Sunday against the Columbus Blue Jackets (2 p.m., 102.9 The Buzz) the Predators will begin their “March” to the playoffs with a four-game road trip that will take them through Western Canada and make a stop in California before returning home to play 12 of their 15 remaining 2010-11 games at Bridgestone Arena. With playoff hockey right around the corner, the Preds are offering a March to the Playoffs package so fans don’t have to miss a minute of the action. This special package provides fans four games for the price of three, a parking pass for each game and priority to purchase playoff tickets before the general public. Tickets for all home games are still available and may be purchased at the Bridgestone Arena box office, by calling (615) 770-7800 or online at nashvillepredators.com.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass