Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron was seen having what appeared to be a lighthearted conversation with Buffalo Sabres star Tage Thompson at center ice before the two teams battled it out Saturday night.
Days later, Thompson revealed to The Buffalo News that the Bruins veteran approached him to ask how his wife was after being diagnosed with cancer in 2019.
“It’s big,” Thompson said Monday. “Obviously, he didn’t have to say anything. He kind of went out of his way to check on her and ask how she’s doing. It’s just the kind of guy he is. He’s just a genuine guy, cares about other people.”
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According to the outlet, Thompson’s wife, Rachel, had a cancerous mass removed from her leg in 2019 and has been cancer-free since.
Bergeron, who played with Thompson’s father in the AHL during the 2004 NHL lockout, confirmed the conversation with Boston Hockey Now.
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“His wife was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, and I think she was cancer-free now. So I was just saying that I was thinking of her and happy for them,” he told the outlet. “I wasn’t sure that she was cancer-free, and he said that [to me that she was cancer-free] so I was super happy for him, for her and for their family. It was cool.”
Bergeron added that he remembered Thompson and his brother while playing for the Providence Bruins that season and called it “full circle” to now share the ice with him in the NHL.
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“It’s one of those things where it hits you a little bit,” Bergeron said. “That was an eye-opener and to have Tage on the ice and doing so well in the league and coming into his own is so impressive. I feel like I kind of know him a little bit [from] knowing him as a kid when I was in Providence, so it’s pretty special.”