In 2010, Blake Geoffrion made hockey history in a ceremony at Granberry Elementary School when he became the first native Tennessean to sign an NHL contract. It just so happened that contract was with his hometown team, the Nashville Predators. In his first season, Geoffrion played in 20 games with the Preds and scored six goals with a shooting percentage of 25%. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Geoffrion won the Hobey Baker Award in 2010 for being the nation’s outstanding collegiate hockey player.
Geoffrion is part of a legendary hockey family that includes his great grandfather, Howie Morenz, and grandfather, Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, who are both in the NHL Hall of Fame, and his father, Danny Geoffrion, who played in the NHL and was a first-round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens. In this interview, Geoffrion shares memories of his Metro Schools days.
Which schools did you attend in Metro Nashville Public Schools?
I attended Granbery Elementary School, Glendale Middle School, and McMurray Junior High School from kindergarten all the way to eighth grade.
Were you all books and study or did you participate in extra-curricular activities? Did you play other sports?
I was pretty active. I played basketball, baseball, football, and hockey. I was pretty athletic.
Are there any particular teachers that made a great impact on you?
There was one coach I had, my football coach at McMurray Middle School his name is Coach McClain, when I was there. He had a pretty big influence in my life just teaching me different things and kind of being one of my good buddies while I was at McMurray.
Middle school is pivotal for many people. Did your middle school experiences shape your future?
Middle school was a little bit of a rude awakening. That was when you started to switch classrooms for different subjects and what not. So, it was kind of getting used to that. It was a little different, so it definitely helped me with that aspect of school.
You are part of a legendary hockey family, but also the first native Tennessean to play in the NHL. What is it like to continue one tradition and – we hope! – start another?
It’s quite an honor to grow up here and to play all my youth hockey league, go to school here, and kind of grow up with the team, per se, when they moved here in ’98. I’ve always been a fan. I always wanted to play in the NHL, and it just so happened that I was on the Predators, which made it even sweeter when I got here to play a couple games. It made it even sweeter that it was with the Nashville Predators in my hometown. So, it means a lot. I’m very honored to be part of the Predators organization and a proud member of this city.
Do you have any advice for today’s students?
I would just say work hard, study hard, listen to your teachers – they know what they’re talking about, not only in the classroom but in life lessons as well.