Bernard Joseph Andre “Boom Boom” Geoffrion (February 16, 1931 - March 11, 2006) became the second player in the history of the NHL to score 50 goals in one season in 1960-61 after teammate Maurice “The Rocket” Richard accomplished it in 50 games in 1944-45. As a boy growing up in Quebec, a sportswriter nicknamed him “Boom Boom” for his thunderous slapshot. Bernie played junior hockey with the Laval/Montreal Nationale scoring 174 goals and 136 assists in 167 games. He joined the Montreal Canadiens in 1950 on a line with Richard and Jean Beliveau, two of the greatest Canadiens or NHLers in history. He scored 30 goals and 24 assists for 54 points in his first season as he took home the coveted 1952 Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. Geoffrion, Beliveau and Richard played alongside one another, but also competed against each other for the team lead in goals and points. In 1954, when Bernie beat Richard in the scoring race in the final game of the regular season, Habs fans booed the otherwise fan favorite. Boom Boom played right wing for sixteen years in the NHL with the Canadiens (1950-1964) and the New York Rangers (1966-1968).
Geoffrion led the NHL twice in goals and points in a season winning the Art Ross Trophy in 1955 and 1961. Bernie helped lead the Canadiens to six Stanley Cups including five consecutive from 1956-1960. He became the second player to score 50 goals in a season and led the NHL in points in 1960-61 earning the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s Most Valuable Player. Bernie was the poster child for the rugged and hard nosed playing style of the 1950s and 1960s as he had his nose broken nine times and received over 400 stitches for various cuts to his body. Geoffrion retired from the Canadiens after the 1963-64 season, but was coaxed back to the NHL for two more seasons with New York before he retired permanently in 1968. Bernie Geoffrion finished his career with 393 regular seasons goals and 429 assists for 822 points in 883 games. He also scored 58 playoff goals and 60 assists in 132 games while collecting six NHL titles. He became the head coach of the Rangers immediately upon retirement, leading them to a 22-18-3 record. Bernie Geoffrion was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. In 1972, he became the first head coach of the Atlanta Flames. He compiled a coaching record of 114-119-48 in 281 games with the Rangers, Flames and Canadiens.