SimonGagne
by Zack Cox on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 2:15PM

SimonGagne

WILMINGTON, Mass. — Patrice Bergeron extended the invitation. Simon Gagne accepted.

Gagne, who hasn’t appeared in an NHL game since the 2012-13 season, is one of three players currently attending Boston Bruins training camp on a tryout basis. When speaking with reporters after Monday’s practice, the 34-year-old forward shared that Bruins center — and fellow Quebecer — Patrice Bergeron initiated the process of bringing him down to Boston.

Gagne and Bergeron talked in July while promoting a charity hockey tournament, the first time the two had spoken since the Bruins were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“He kind of asked me where I was in my training and asked what I was looking for,” said Gagne, who sat out last season as he recovered from neck, head and groin injuries. “At first, he thought I was looking more for a contract, but I told him no, I was looking to go for a tryout this year — something I was not willing to do last year.”

The chat set the wheels in motion, and after discussions with head coach Claude Julien and general manager Peter Chiarelli, Gagne was a Bruin — at least for the time being. His tryout contract earned him a jersey for training camp, but a spot on the regular-season roster is far from guaranteed.

This past year has not gone as planned for the two-time All-Star. Injury concerns, coupled with his severe drop-off in offensive production — 12 total goals in 72 games over his last two seasons — left Gagne as a man without a team.

“At first, my goal was to come back and play last year,” Gagne explained. “Around December, I had a call from a team, …read more