Boston Bruins forward Simon Gagne to sit out remainder of season

Boston Bruins forward Simon Gagne will not return to the NHL again this season due to personal reasons.

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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement on Monday following the death of Gagne's father on December 27.

Gagne took an indefinite personal leave of absence on December 10 to attend to his ill father, who passed away with liver cancer 17 days later.

"The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing," Gagne said via the team's official website.

"To play in the NHL you have to be 100 per cent 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."

The 34-year-old, who scored three goals and dished off one assist in 24 games for the Bruins in 2014-15 after joining the team on an initial tryout contract, added: "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 is now listed as a "suspended player" in order to maintain Boston's full roster.

"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," said Chiarelli.

"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."

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