Gagne left the team Dec.10, taking an indefinite leave of absence to be with his father in Quebec who was suffering from liver cancer. His dad passed away due to the illness Dec. 26.
“The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing,” said Gagne. “To play in the NHL you have to be 100% mentally, emotionally and physically committed to the game. At this time I know that I cannot be close to those levels."
The Bruins changed Gagne's status to a "suspended player" after consulting with the forward in order to be able to maintain a full roster for the remainder of the season.
“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 Boston Bruins General Manager Peter 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.”
Gagne thanked his team and the fans for the support he has received.
"The Bruins organization and my teammates have been great to my family and I during this time," said Gagne. "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 joined the team during training camp this season, earning a one-year contract. The 34-year-old played 23 games scoring three goals and an assist.