Simon Gagne might have played his last game in a Boston Bruins uniform.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday that the winger will not return to Boston this season because of personal reasons. Gagne’s father died last month after battling liver cancer.
“At this time Simon feels that he has to be home with his family, and he has the complete support of the Boston Bruins organization with this decision,” Chiarelli said in a statement released by the Bruins. “Given Simon’s decision not to return to the team, we have to change his status to maintain a full roster. I spoke to Simon about this, and he assured me that we have his full support with this status change.”
Gagne last played Dec. 6 against the Arizona Coyotes before taking a leave of absence Dec. 10.
“The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing,” Gagne said. “To play in the NHL, you have to be 100 percent mentally, emotionally and physically committed to the game. At this time, I know that I cannot be close to those levels. The Bruins organization and my teammates have been great to my family and I during this time.
“When I decided not to return this season, I spoke to Peter and assured him that I did not want the organization or my teammates to be impacted. Together we made the decision that my status would be changed so that the team could have a full active roster. In addition, I would like to thank the fans and the NHL family for all of the support that they have given my family and I during this difficult time — it has truly meant a lot.”
Gagne had three goals and one assist in 23 games with the Bruins this season, after signing a one-year deal in October. His status has been changed to “suspended player.”
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images