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Simon Gagne leaves Bruins to be with family following father’s cancer diagnosis

12.10.14 at 4:00 pm ET
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Simon Gagne has taken a leave of absence to be with his family. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Simon Gagne has taken a leave of absence to be with his family. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Simon Gagne has left the Bruins for the time being to be with his family in wake of his father’€™s cancer diagnosis. Gagne has not been with the team the last two days, with Claude Julien saying earlier Wednesday that the 36-year-old had taken an “€œindefinite”€ leave of absence.

Gagne is still a member of the Bruins but has been put on the team’€™s non-roster list. The Bruins recalled forward Craig Cunningham from Providence Wednesday.

News of Gagne’€™s family situation was reported Wednesday by TVA’€™s Renaud Lavoie via Twitter. Gagne issued a statement through the Bruins later in the afternoon.

“I have taken a personal leave of absence from the Boston Bruins in order to return home to Quebec to be with my father, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer,” Gagne said in the statement. “The doctors — who have been great throughout this whole process — unfortunately informed us that his cancer is not curable. I greatly appreciate the support and understanding that the Bruins organization and my teammates have given to me and my family since I let them know the news and I look forward to rejoining them when the time is appropriate. Until then, I would kindly ask everyone to respect my family and I’s privacy during this difficult time.”

The Bruins do not know how long Gagne will be away from the team, but Cam Neely said he and the organization felt it was important to grant him his leave.

€”œI can speak first-hand; it’€™s difficult when you’€™re thousands of miles away and your family — especially your parents –€” are going through something difficult,” Neely said. “It’€™s hard to keep focused on what you have to do, so it’€™s very important for the organization to not only understand it, but respect it and give a player the opportunity to do what they need to do.”

Gagne, who did not play last season, is on a one-year deal that he signed early in the season after spending training camp with the B’€™s on a tryout. In 23 games this season, Gagne has three goals and one assist for four points and an even rating.

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