The Bruins and Simon Gagne announced Monday that the veteran forward will not return to the team this season as he remains with his family following the death of his father.

Simon Gagne played 23 games for the Bruins this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

Simon Gagne played 23 games for the Bruins this season. (Harry How/Getty Images)

The Bruins and Simon Gagne announced Monday that the veteran forward will not return to the team this season as he remains with his family following the death of his father.

Gagne, who signed a one-year deal with the Bruins in October and registered three goals and one assist over 23 games, took a leave of absence on Dec. 10 following his father’€™s cancer diagnosis. The Bruins have changed his status to ‘€œsuspended player,’€ a move that Gagne supported.

By suspending Gagne, the Bruins will not be charged with his $600,000 cap hit.

‘€œThe 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. ‘€œTo 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 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.’€

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara‘s PCL injury cost him 19 games this season. It also weakened what is perhaps the NHL All-Star weekend’s most watchable event.

Given that Chara is not an All-Star this season, he will not participate in the Hardest Shot competition, which he was won five times in a row from 2007-2012. The NHL has not had an All-Star weekend the last two seasons due to the 2012-13 lockout and the 2014 Winter Olympics, so Chara is still the defending champion in the talent show.

Over the years, Chara set new records in the contest and developed a good rivalry with Nashville’€™s Shea Weber, who has finished second to Boston’€™s captain in each of the last three contests. In the last contest, Chara’€™s shot was clocked at 108.8 miles per hour, the fastest on record to date.

Chara is understanding of why he won’€™t take part in the contest, as he noted that you need to be an All-Star first, and it would have been hard to make a case for him qualifying.

“Obviously I missed a big chunk of the first half,” he said. “It’€™s based on the play and performance of the players, and obviously I didn’€™t play most of it.”

Given that there hasn’€™t been one of these contests in a couple years and that Chara is now in his age 37-38 season, it would have been interesting to see if Chara’€™s shot still reigned supreme. Furthermore, Chara is two victories shy of tying wooden stick wonder Al MacInnis for most Hardest Shot crowns (seven).

Chara’€™s been able to step into powerful shots at points this season on goals against Buffalo on Oct. 18 and last week in Pittsburgh. Asked whether he felt his shot remains the hardest in the league, Chara thought for three full seconds before answering.

“I don’€™t know,” he said. “It’€™s a different thing doing the shots during the game and when you have to skate into it and wind up. I assume I could be up there, but a lot of guys have hard shots.”

Chara won’€™t win this season, but given that a healthy Chara should be an automatic All-Star, perhaps he’€™ll return to the contest in the coming seasons.

“It’€™s fun,” he said. “I think it was exciting for fans; it was exciting for players. We always made it kind of interesting with different players and it was always a bit hyped before the contest.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
David Pastrnak

David Pastrnak

WILMINGTON — The Bruins began their preparations for a three-game homestand Monday after taking Sunday off.

The B’€™s sported the same lines they used in Saturday’€™s 3-1 win over the Flyers, with David Krejci still centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on Boston’€™s top line.

Pastrnak’€™s presence and Daniel Paille‘€™s recent promotion to Patrice Bergeron‘€™s line has moved Reilly Smith out of the top six, as he has taken Chris Kelly‘€™s spot on Carl Soderberg’€™s line, which in turn has left Kelly on the fourth line.

The lines were as follows:

Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak
Lucic – Bergeron – Paille
Smith – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Kelly – Campbell – Cunningham

All seven defensemen and both goaltenders took part in practice.

The B’€™s will host the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning on Tuesday. Tampa Bay, currently eight points ahead of the Bruins with one game in hand as of Monday morning, will play the Flyers Monday night in Philadelphia.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Zdeno Chara is not washed up just yet.</p>
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Patrice Bergeron was named to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, making him the Bruins’€™ lone representative in this month’€™s e

The Bruins sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence after Saturday’€™s victory over the Flyers.

Seth Griffith

Seth Griffith

The Bruins sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence after Saturday’€™s victory over the Flyers.

Griffith has played in 30 games this season for the Bruins, many of which have seen him play on the right wing of David Krejci‘€™s line. With David Pastrnak currently serving in that role and the rest of Boston’€™s forwards healthy, he was a healthy scratch on Saturday for the second straight game.

Pastrnak, who has played seven NHL games, can play two more without accruing an NHL season on his contract. If he plays 10 games, the first year of his three-year entry level pact will be burned. If Pastrnak performs like he did Saturday, when he netted the first two goals of his NHL career, it would appear a good bet that he’€™ll stick with the B’€™s.

Jordan Caron is now the Bruins’€™ 13th forward with Griffith in Providence.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Patrice Bergeron was named to the 2015 NHL All-Star Game on Saturday, making him the Bruins’€™ lone representative in this month’€™s exhibition.

The selection is the first of Bergeron’€™s career. He leads the Bruins with 31 points and 21 assists.

Each team needed at least one representative for the contest. With Zdeno Chara not making the team, he will be unable to defend his title in the Hardest Shot competition, which he last won in 2012.

There has not been an All-Star Game in either of the last two seasons due to the lockout in 2013 and Olympics in 2014.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

David Pastrnak scored the first two goals of his NHL career as the Bruins beat the Flyers Saturday in Philadelphia, 3-1 (box), to give them their third th