Remembering the Humboldt Broncos

During this difficult time, the hockey community came together.

On Friday, the small town of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, population of 5,869, endured a tragedy it never should have had to deal with. The entire junior hockey team and staff were on a bus en route to a must win game 5 playoff game in Nipawin when they were hit at an intersection by a tractor trailer. Of the 29 passengers, 16 died in the accident and many more were transported to the hospital with injuries, some critical. Many of the players families were waiting at the arena in Nipawin already when they received the news. I cannot even imagine what the families are going through as I sit with a heavy heart struggling to write this article five days later, and I never personally knew any of the victims.

The horrific bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team reached beyond the town limits of Humboldt though and affected the entire hockey community. Hockey is an interesting sport, largely concentrated in the northeast and Canada, but ever growing. The community of hockey fans is extremely tight knit, making the tragedy that happened over 2,000 miles away still affect hockey fans here in Charleston. Before the final regular season Stingrays game on Saturday night, the team held a moment of silence for the victims.

The entire hockey community has been coming together to help the families of the victims and the entire town of Humboldt during this difficult time. The GoFundMe page has now raised $9,484,851 by 114,155 people in 5 days. The fundraiser page originally set its goal at 2 million dollars but raised the amount to 4 million when the number of victims from the crash was released. They have more than doubled their goal at this point though because of the generous efforts of the hockey community and many organizations in Canada. Some of the highest donors include NHL teams such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators, and Calgary Flames, who donated their 50/50 raffle earnings to the cause. Other large contributions came from Canadian Tire Corporation, Bauer Hockey, Lulu Lemon, and Chevrolet Canada. Similarly, multiple clothing brands such as Nation Gear and Gong Show Apparel which normally sell hockey themed t shirts have created charity shirts with the proceeds going to the victims’ families as well. Everyone is coming together to help the city of Humboldt during this tragic time.

People are showing their condolences in ways beyond just donating money though. Starting on Monday, people began posting photos on social media of hockey sticks lined up outside their homes with the hashtag: #PutYourSticksOut. The movement started when TSN announcer Brian Munz posted a photo of a text message he got that said: “Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it… wherever they are.” The goal of this social media campaign was to continue to bring awareness to the tragedy and allow others to show their condolences. These photos have now been posted beyond just families and friends but by NHL and college hockey teams too. Finally, on Thursday April 12, many students all across Canada and the United States are wearing hockey jerseys to school to remember the players lost in this tragedy. Although many people at AMHS were unaware of this tribute, I was honored to wear my Stingrays jersey to school today to remember the victims of Humboldt.

This tragedy is something no one should ever have to experience, but it is amazing to see how the hockey community comes together in times of need. My heart aches for the players, staff, and their families following this tragic accident. Please take the time to remember the victims of this tragedy and keep the Humboldt community in your thoughts.

Parker Tobin, 18  Jaxon Joseph, 20  Stephen Wack, 21  Logan Schatz, 20

Adam Herold, 16  Logan Hunter, 18  Conner Lukan, 21  Evan Thomas, 18

Jacob Leicht, 19  Logan Boulet, 21  Dayna Brons, 21  Brody Hinz, 18

Tyler Beiber, 29  Darcy Haugan, 42  Mark Cross, 27  Glen Doerksen

You can contribute to the cause and find their Go Fund Me page here: