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Catalog Archive / Fall 2023

Legacy on Ice
Blake Geoffrion and the Fastest Game on Earth

“A wonderful book about the fastest, meanest, greatest sport in the world and a man who lived it to the core.”
—Rich Cohen, New York Times bestselling author of Pee Wees: Confessions of a Hockey Parent

“Jefferies captures Blake’s essence both on and off the ice, providing glimpses of a sport’s transformative journey and of a family-rooted individual, wonderful teammate, determined athlete, and passionate competitor. Although Blake has many more chapters to live, this book encapsulates his story, highlighting his passion, his sacrifice, and how he found strength in overcoming adversity.”
—Hilary Knight, Olympic Medal-winning American ice hockey forward

In 2010, Blake Geoffrion became the first player from the University of Wisconsin hockey team to receive the Hobey Baker Award, recognizing him as the best player in men’s college hockey. Blake was a rising scion of hockey royalty, descendant of legendary Canadian players Howie Morenz and Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, and he would soon be the first fourth-generation player to reach the NHL. His professional career promised to cement his family’s storied legacy on ice. But in 2012, while playing for the Montreal Canadiens’ minor league team beneath Morenz’s and Boom Boom’s retired numbers, Geoffrion suffered a devastating injury that ended his career—and nearly his life.

With sure-footed and swift-moving prose, Sam Jefferies tells Geoffrion’s story against the backdrop of modern North American hockey. Thorough research and scores of interviews fuel this tale of soaring success and terrible tragedy, offering insight not only into one man’s athletic journey but also into the rise of American hockey on the national and international stage. Geoffrion’s brief career, marked by tribulation and triumph, illustrates the subtle but omnipresent currents of American media, sports labor, and the interplay between college and professional athletics. It tells the story of what was, what is, and what may yet be for the fastest game on earth.


Sam Jefferies. Photo credit, Marta Gabriela Photography. Sam Jefferies, a University of Wisconsin–Madison alumnus, is a freelance writer and communications professional in Seattle. His work has appeared in Sports Business Journal, Sporting Classics Magazine, the Seattle Times, Newsweek, and elsewhere.




“A must read. . . . Jefferies’ overall attention to detail jumps off the page—he knew the name of Geoffrion’s French bulldog, George—but his descriptive writing style makes it easy to devour the book in short order. Any hockey fan will enjoy this book, but any hockey fan with a connection to Mitchell and Stratford won’t be able to put it down.”
The Mitchell Advocate

“The book reveals the finer details of North American hockey and its public reception over the years. Above all, it documents one man’s meteoric rise, tragic fall, and admirable resilience.”

“Jefferies tells the story in descriptive, quick to the punch prose. Like the best sports writers, he puts the story into wider contexts, including the prideful importance of hockey in Canada, its slower reception in the U.S. and the imprint of labor-management relations within the sport.”
Shepherd Express

“Takes you to the front-row seat for each individual moment that helped Geoffrion in his hockey journey. . . . There is something in this book for everybody. The great lengths Jefferies had gone to, ensuring there were plenty of sides and perspectives to every story within the book, is commendable. . . . Well worth the read if you have even the slightest interest in anything the sport of hockey has to offer.”
The Hockey Writers

“Geoffrion’s story is one of triumph and tragedy, and to have it put together so eloquently with details you won’t find anywhere online made it a treat to read. . . . You not only get great detail about the life and career of Geoffrion, but a glimpse at how the landscape of North American hockey has changed through the program that he was a part of.”
Habs Eyes on the Prize



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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Foreword by John Buccigross
Prologue: One Night in Montreal
Chapter 1: Williamson County
Chapter 2: USA Hockey
Chapter 3: Finding Wisconsin
Chapter 4: Chasing the Hobey
Chapter 5: The Pros, and the End


Of Related Interest


Home of the Braves
The Battle for Baseball in Milwaukee
Patrick W. Steele


A History of Badger Baseball
The Rise and Fall of America’s Pastime at the University of Wisconsin
Steven D. Schmitt

Legacy on Ice: cover depicting a photograph of Blake Geoffrion from behind, wearing his number 57 red, white, and blue hockey jersey, the ice ahead of him. The title text is written in large blue and red font, taking up the space around Geoffrion's figure.

Larger images

October 2023
192 pp. 6 x 9
6 b/w illus.

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Cloth $27.95
ISBN 9780299344900
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