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For Bruins, Pete Frates was an Inspiration

Face of fight against ALS passed away on Monday at the age of 34

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

OTTAWA - Pete Frates, the face of the fight against ALS and one of the main inspirations behind the Ice Bucket Challenge, passed away on Monday at the age of 34. The Beverly, Mass., native, who was diagnosed with the dreaded disease in 2012, became a Boston icon over the past decade, inspiring millions with his courage and determination, all while raising awareness and funds with the Ice Bucket Challenge and other initiatives.

Through the years, the former St. John's Prep standout (in baseball, hockey, and football) and Boston College baseball captain became a familiar face around TD Garden and forged friendships with many in the Bruins dressing room, including former Black & Gold forward Gregory Campbell, who was one of the first celebrities to take on the Ice Bucket Challenge back in the summer of 2014.

From 2014: Ice Bucket Challenge Making Its Way Around Bruins Organization

The phenomenon took the world by storm, producing nearly 17 million videos on Facebook while raising over $200 million for ALS research.

"Pete Frates was the definition of an inspiration," the Bruins said in a statement posted on social media on Monday afternoon. "His courage, determination, and fight made Boston - and the world - proud. And that impact will never be forgotten. The Boston Bruins offer their sincere condolences to the Frates family during this difficult time."

Following Boston's loss to the Senators on Monday night, several Bruins also made sure to offer their condolences to the Frates family.

Patrice Bergeron: "I just want to express my most sincere sympathy to the whole Frates family. Obviously what Pete and the rest of his family have done for raising awareness for ALS has been so inspirational for all of us. We're going to miss him dearly."

Bruce Cassidy: "I wanted to start by offering the condolences of the Bruins to the Frates family. A tough day for them and we're thinking of them. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

Zdeno Chara : "Very sad news. We were connected to Pete. Our condolences go to the whole family. He was such an inspiration for us. We are thinking of them and obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

Torey Krug: "From all the guys in the room, condolences to the Frates family. Pete was an unbelievable person and he's done a lot. He's a true hero. It's a tough loss, but he's made a lot of lives better."

Tuukka Rask : "I just want to send my condolences to Pete Frates' family. Heard about his passing today. He inspired us all with everything he did. He was going through a lot, but he raised a lot of awareness and money for that terrible disease. Our thoughts are with his family."

This past July, fellow Massachusetts natives Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner, as well as Bruins legend Ray Bourque, joined Frates and his family for a special event in Copley Square to mark the five-year anniversary of the Ice Bucket Challenge.

"He inspires a lot of people. He inspires us," Coyle said at the event. "You can see how this thing blew up. People take part because of the guy that he is and what he does, what it represents. You look up to people like that."

Video: Bourque, Coyle & Wagner Participate in ALS Awareness

Here are some photos of Frates and the Bruins through the years:

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