Wednesday December 10th, 2014

Boston Bruins forward Simon Gagne has left the team and returned home to tend to his sick father.

"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 a statement issued through the club. "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."

Watch: Stunning Jean Béliveau tribute video by Tim Thompson

You'd never wish this on anyone but it's especially tough to see Gagne, easily one of the classiest men in the league, having to deal with this personal tragedy.

The 34-year-old was enjoying a successful return to the game with the Bruins after sitting out all of last season recovering from post-concussion syndrome.  He had three goals and four points in 23 games and brought a valuable veteran presence to a room that was racked by injuries this year.

Our thoughts are with him and his family as he goes through this difficult time.

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