Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, a 6 time Stanley Cup winner with Montreal,commonly credited with the innovation of the slapshot, and a former coach of the expansion Atlanta Flames, has passed away at the age of 75.
Geoffrion was a scoring star on powerhouse Canadiens teams that also featured Hall of Famers Maurice “Rocket” Richard, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey and Jacques Plante. Montreal won a record five straight Stanley Cups from 1956-60.
In 1960-61, Geoffrion won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP after becoming the second player to score 50 goals in a season. Richard was the first. Geoffrion later came out of retirement to join the Rangers for two seasons.
The Canadiens planned to go on with a scheduled ceremony to retire Geoffrion’s jersey before Saturday night’s game against the Rangers. Geoffrion’s wife, Marlene, his three children and his grandchildren were all expected to attend.
A falling-out with the Canadiens management led to the long delay in retiring Geoffrion’s number.
“They procrastinated a long time,” Bouchard said. “Everybody else in Montreal who made the Hall of Fame had their jersey retired. His jersey should have been hanging up in the old Forum. That was the mecca.”