While the Boston Bruins were overall satisfied with the club's performance this past season and during their playoff run, the team now faces a great deal of adversity and sadness with the news they shared on Wednesday afternoon through their social media accounts. The Bruins have made the devastating announcement of the passing of Terry O'Reilly's son Evan O'Reilly, who died on Tuesday at the age of 34.
The team has of course sent out their deepest condolences and thoughts to the O'Reilly family. Along with the tragic report, the Bruins posted a lovely picture of Terry O'Reilly's and his son Evan O'Reilly at what appears to be a Montreal Canadiens hockey game. Both men can be seen on the picture with a media pass from the Canadiens and the Bell Centre.
Terry has been a member of the Boston Bruins since the team selected him in the first round, 14th overall, during the 1971 National Hockey League amateur draft. The right wing spent his entire career with the Bruins, playing in a total of 891 contests before retiring. He tallied 204 goals, 402 assists and 606 points with the Black and Yellow. He also added a whomping 2095 penalty minutes to his career stat sheet as one of the most effective enforcers of NHL history.
He also served as the captain of the Bruins during the 1983–84 and 1984–85 seasons before his retirement.
Despite all the great accomplishments he managed to live with the Bruins, one of his greatest will undoubtably remain his son Evan. Evan was born with biliary atresia, a malfunction in the liver's bile ducts which prevent the body from properly cleaning wastes. He underwent several operations in link with his condition during his life.
Terry O'Reilly became the replacement head coach of the Bruins during the 1986–87 NHL season and kept his job until 1989, when he left to care for, and spend more time with, his son who was seriously ill with liver disease.
'Evan's doctors told me that some children like Evan have lasted up to two and one-half years without a transplant,' O'Reilly had told the newspaper back in 1983 when Evan was just four months old and awaiting a transplant. 'But there are no guarantees that he can make it until there's a donor available.'
No details have been given of the cause of death of Evan, who passed away at just 34 years old.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Terry O'Reilly and his entire family at this very difficult time.