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Simon Gagne won't return to Bruins

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins announced Monday that veteran forward Simon Gagne will not return to the team this season due to personal reasons.

Gagne took an indefinite leave of absence on Dec. 10 to be with his ailing father, who recently passed away from an incurable form of liver cancer. Gagne is now considered a suspended player in order for the Bruins to maintain a full roster.

"The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing," Gagne said in a statement released by the team. "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 [Chiarelli] 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, 34, signed with the Bruins at the start of the season and had three goals and one assist for four points in 23 games.

"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. "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."