Tragedy in Saskatchewan

 

Humboldt (SK) Broncos, via their Twitter feed.

The road to the NHL is different than it is for other professional athletes. For many, the dreams get serious at age 16 when they enter Junior Hockey. There are three leagues run under the auspices of the Canadian Hockey League and there are even CHL teams based in the United States. Choosing to play in these leagues, while considered amateur, can make you ineligible to play in the NCAA.

For Humboldt, Saskatchewan, their Broncos have been a center of their community of 6,000 souls. They took the Royal Bank Cup Championship in 2003 and 2008. Friday night the team bus, headed to a semifinal game against Nipawin, was hit by a tractor-trailer. The RCMP reports 15 fatalities including the head coach and the team captain. Many more are hospitalized with severe injuries. The driver of the truck was uninjured.

You can not make sense of this any more than you can make sense of a mass shooting.

“Our community is in utter shock and we are trying our best to comes to grips with this unimaginable tragedy,” Broncos president Kevin Garinger said on Saturday morning.

Like others in the small community, he said he knew each of the young men and staff on the team personally, and had been billeting one of the players at his home.

“This is much larger than anyone can begin to imagine.”

Details of this story from CBC.ca and TSN.ca

Published in Sports
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  1. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Awful, and so sorry to hear it. As a parent of teen athletes, it’s too easy to imagine such a tragedy.

    • #1
  2. Kay of MT Inactive
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Dear G-d, please…

    • #2
  3. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    The hockey world is a tight knit community. Portland, Oregon has a junior team, the Winterhawks. There will be two families grieving for each of the players lost in this terrible accident.
    Click on the link for Winterhawks billets.

    • #3
  4. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    The Nashville Predators played the Canadian national anthem before their game with Columbus tonight. And Joey Votto, the Reds All-Star first basemen and proud son of Canada is playing tonight with “Humboldt Broncos” written on his shoes.

    • #4
  5. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    Moment of silence with Humboldt’s logo on the ice before the NCAA final tonight between Minnesota-Duluth and Notre Dame.  Such a tragedy.

    • #5
  6. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    No words…<\3

    • #6
  7. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    The one thing I was struck by this disaster – and for a small town like Humboldt (pop 5869, 2016) loosing 14 teens like this is tragic and a disaster – I thinking about how rare these disasters are. Considering how often high school teams, field trips, even just daily school commutes – how often youngsters are on buses… How rare these disasters are…

    I was thinking that every school year I probably put on 7000+ miles just going to school on the bus, and some kids put on a lot more miles than I did.

    • #7
  8. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    The one thing I was struck by this disaster – and for a small town like Humboldt (pop 5869, 2016) loosing 14 teens like this is tragic and a disaster – I thinking about how rare these disasters are. Considering how often high school teams, field trips, even just daily school commutes – how often youngsters are on buses… How rare these disasters are…

    I was thinking that every school year I probably put on 7000+ miles just going to school on the bus, and some kids put on a lot more miles than I did.

    My thoughts too.  And thank God for that, because they are just so awful.  

    • #8
  9. Jules PA Inactive
    Jules PA
    @JulesPA

    May G-d comfort the family and friends of those who died. 

    Such a heartache. 

    • #9
  10. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The Nashville Predators played the Canadian national anthem before their game with Columbus tonight. And Joey Votto, the Reds All-Star first basemen and proud son of Canada is playing tonight with “Humboldt Broncos” written on his shoes.

    We did the same last night at the Carolina Hurricanes game against Tampa Bay. Hockey is a small community. The Campnes head coach, Bill Peters, said he knew several involved personally. I’m sure some of our players do, too. So sad. 

    @occupantcdn, I had the same thought. 

    • #10
  11. Kevin Creighton Contributor
    Kevin Creighton
    @KevinCreighton

    I grew up in Calgary, spent my summers in Three Hills and I went to school out in Moose Jaw. To grow up in Western Canada is to spend hours and hours on buses traveling in between small towns. This could have been me, or any number of my friends growing up.

    I’ve only been to Humboldt once, but I know what that town is like, having lived in prairie towns identical to it in every way except the name. This will affect them for years.

    Such a loss.

    • #11
  12. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    A sad thing indeed . . .

    • #12
  13. Allan Rutter Member
    Allan Rutter
    @AllanRutter

    Thanks for explaining the context of youth hockey in Canada. That age helps me place it alongside high school football, club volleyball or American Legion baseball here in Texas. Losing so many young men at that age will affect this small prairie town that is so similar to West Texas towns my parents grew up in. Plenty of parties that will need prayers and help.

    • #13
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Allan Rutter: Thanks for explaining the context of youth hockey in Canada. That age helps me place it alongside high school football, club volleyball or American Legion baseball here in Texas.

    Juniors run from ages 16-21. I used to produce college hockey games and I know that because they receive stipends for living expenses the NCAA does not consider these kids amateurs. So at a very young age these boys have to decide if they’re good enough to go pro and forego the opportunity to play in a major US university program on full scholarship.

    Now, if they get into the league and find out they’re not that good (or just not ready to play at that level yet) the NCAA gives them an out. They have to sit out their freshman year and then sit out an equivalent number of games played in Juniors.

    These young men weren’t just from Humboldt. They were from towns all over Western Canada. Families take them in like exchange students and billet them while they continue their high school studies. But they become a large part of those communities.

    • #14
  15. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    There is now a fund me page for the Bronco’s families.

    https://www.gofundme.com/funds-for-humboldt-broncos

    I got the link from Sportsnet.ca. https://www.sportsnet.ca/hockey/juniors/gofundme-account-set-humboldt-broncos-victims-families/

    Sportsnet is a part of Roger’s Media. Roger’s is Canada’s 3rd largest media company, owning more than 50 radio stations, and a dozen TV stations and cable channels. They have the resources not to be tricked into linking to a fraud.

     

     

    • #15
  16. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Crash investigation underway, photos of the crash site – dont worry nothing graphic.

    http://calgaryherald.com/news/canada/humboldt-broncos-bus-crash-what-the-photos-show-about-the-point-of-impact/wcm/aec6c4e5-9a49-44d0-ae6b-e22c8e1db6c2?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox

     

    • #16
  17. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Humboldt Bronco’s season opener is tonight. It will be televised nationally on TSN. (I believe it can be streamed from TSN.ca as well)

    The ‘pregame’ show starts at 7:30ET – the pregame show will be a documentary about the accident and the players who’ve recovered to rejoin the team for tonight’s game. There will be a ceremony in remembrance after the game.

    I heard about this as I was driving home from work this morning, after the morning DJ crew talked about it they played “Big League” by Tom Cochrane and Red Rider. Maybe I am tired, but its the first time I’d really cried over Humboldt.

    https://www.tsn.ca/video/humboldt-broncos-preparing-for-emotional-night-on-wednesday%7E1352125

    See if anyone else has the same reaction:

    • #17
  18. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Recalling this, as the NHL soon gets underway again…Horrendous!

    • #18
  19. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Nanda Panjandrum (View Comment):

    Recalling this, as the NHL soon gets underway again…Horrendous!

    Yup. Saturday. I think it would be better to start the season earlier so the playoffs could end sooner. Playing hockey in June is just nuts.

    • #19
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