On Tuesday it was announced that Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis will no longer play hockey because of a medical condition related to blood clots (the release is here and the story is here). His teammates and head coach reacted to the news following their practice in Denver, Colorado this afternoon.
"It's definitely a difficult situation. Most guys wouldn't have been able to even come back after what he went though the last couple of years. But it's something he needs to do at this point in his life. He has a family and he has to look out for himself. But we're going to miss him a lot. He's a great guy, great teammate. I know he'll have a hard time staying away from the rink, so hopefully we'll see lots of him."
On what Dupuis meant to him: "I don't think I can get through it."
"We worry about him as a person, not as a hockey player. We appreciate all the memories, but you have to take care of your family and self before your team. He's always thought of the team first in almost every aspect of his professional career."
"He's always smiling, joking, a fun guy to be around every single day. It doesn't matter what's going on in his personal life, bad days at the rink. He's a guy you can lean on to make the environment easier. But he's also a guy that will work every single time to be the best player that he is. It's a huge loss in the locker room."
"He's always been a big part of our team. He's funny, always says stupid stuff or keeps the mood light. He was a good teammate. I feel fortunate I got to play with him for so many years and won with him."
On his first impression of Dupuis: "Who is this guy? We got (Marian) Hossa, who is this Dupuis guy? (laughs). He got along with everyone right away. He's just that type of guy. Right off the bat he was easy to get along with."
"Even last year the way he tried to battle back and return for playoffs, you have a lot of respect for a player like that. He puts the team first in every avenue. He's an all-team guy. That's why fans rally around him; his teammates rally around him."