Provided by Geekie

Tri-City to Charlotte to Carolina to NHL bubble: the Geekie story

 

Morgan Geekie played two games in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League with the Neepawa Natives in the 2014-2015 season where he scored once and added one assist. In the same season, he scored 27 times and added 36 assists with the Yellowhead Chiefs. It was also the year he made his Western Hockey League debut with the Tri-City Americans, playing 11 games with the WHL club.

That start in Tri-City has ultimately led Morgan to some pretty special things including becoming a Calder Cup Champion, and he’s now also played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. From small-town Strathclair, Geekie has worked tirelessly over the years and his family has been right by his side the entire time. His brothers, Conor and Noah Geekie, were both all-star hockey players. Conor now plays with the Winnipeg ICE while Noah has chosen the baseball path as he’s set to join the Emporia State University Hornets in Kansas.

Craig Geekie — their father — has played in the WHL before and had a short stint professionally, so the Geekie family is well known in the sports world, but at the end of the day, it’s hard work that pushes a person over the edge and Morgan has given his all since day one.

In his last season in the WHL with the Americans, Geekie put up 111 points in 82 games. 27 of the points came in a 14-game playoff run that the Americans went on.

Junior days numbered

It was a tough ending to what turned out to be a very solid junior career for the Strathclair native as the Americans lost in six games to Everett in the Western Conference Final. Geekie had one goal and went 8-for-17 from the faceoff dot in the 6-5 overtime Game 5 loss. But staying positive, Geekie looked past what had happened and focused on the future as he joined the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers in the 2018-92547423 874348489655215 6732281612081299456 n 22019. He immediately became an everyday guy. In 73 games in his rookie professional campaign, Geekie scored 19 times and added 27 assists, but that was just the start of what turned out to be a year he won’t ever forget.

After a 51-17-7-1 regular season, Charlotte were favourites to win the title and they did just that. In the fifth game of the final against Chicago, Morgan scored one goal and had one assist in a 5-3 win.

In the playoff run, Geekie scored eight goals and had 10 assists for an 18 point total in 19 games. Combine that with his 27 playoff points with Tri-City the season prior and Geekie had 45 points in two playoff runs, one which led to a championship.

“That was definitely one of the most special years of my career so far and I’ll never forget it,” said Geekie. “We had such a great group of guys that played so well together. Our coaching staff was also unbelievable, they believed in us that we could win a championship and we wanted to reward them for believing in us.”

NHL comes calling

The sports world came to a screeching halt in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus. All professional sports were sidelined alongside amateur sports and everything in between. Before that, Morgan accomplished another feat that he won’t forget. He got the call-up to the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes ahead of a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

(Provided by Geekie) What a debut it was against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

In a 6-2 win, Morgan potted two goals and added one assist for a three-point performance in his NHL debut.  Geekie learned of his first NHL recall from Charlotte Checkers Head Coach Ryan Warsofsky on Saturday, March 7. He figured he was going to the coach’s office to work through some pregame video. He left the office phoning his family, sharing the good news.

Morgan then hopped on a flight out of Charlotte at 8 p.m. that same day and landed in Pittsburgh later that night. Morgan’s family was also in attendance at the game.

“It was kind of a whirlwind. Getting that call, ending up on a plane, and then getting into town, I don’t think I slept much that night,” said Geekie. “It’s one of those things that you know who you’re playing against, those guys have had storied careers. There were some nerves but I was just trying to go out to help the team win a game.”

“It was incredible having my family and my girlfriend at the game,” offered Geekie. “The guys in the room were incredible and they helped me learn the systems. Everything just seemed to align perfectly for that one.”

Bubble

Back in late May, the National Hockey League announced its Return-to-Play Plan which included a modified 24 team playoff format. Fast forward to mid-July and the NHL announced the two hub cities. The 12 Eastern Conference teams would begin in Toronto while the 12 Western Conference teams would begin in Edmonton. The Conference Finals in both conferences and the Stanley Cup Final would take place in Edmonton.

Being a member of the Hurricanes, Geekie found himself in the Toronto bubble. A week after entering the bubble, the Hurricanes began their first-round best-of-five series against the New York Rangers.

“The NHL did a great job of giving us everything we needed. We had to sign into this app and take our temperature every day,” said Geekie. “There was a golf simulator and some other activities for us and we had our own floor. It wasn’t an ideal situation for anyone, but I think it was handled very well.”

(Provided by Geekie) The Hurricanes did the job against New York.

Carolina made quick work of the Rangers, sweeping them in three games to advance to the Sweet 16. That set them up for a date with the Boston Bruins.

“New York was a good team, but we prepared well for them. Our coaching staff did a great job in getting us ready for what was to come,” offered Geekie. “We went out, got a couple of bounces, and found a way to get it done.”

Geekie and the rest of the Hurricanes were bounced from the playoffs with a five-game defeat at the hands of the Bruins.

“They capitalized on their chances. We had some tough injuries at a bad time, but that happens,” said Geekie. “The series just didn’t go our way. Boston is a very good team.”

Family time

Morgan is now back home spending lots of time with his family, and of course, he will take some time off before he ramps things up again with a goal of cracking the Hurricanes roster from the get-go next season. He’s made plenty of noise with the team already and that was just a small sample size of what most believe will be an extremely successful career.

“That’s definitely the goal I set for myself heading into camp, whenever that may be,” ended Geekie. “I’m just going to go in and earn every inch that is up for grabs. I know there are so many guys battling for spots. I just have to battle harder and work my hardest and we’ll see where the chips fall.”

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