On Friday, the hockey world learned of a tragedy that took place in Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. As the team was heading to a game on a bus, the vehicle collided with a transport truck on a rural highway.
Photo: Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press
On Saturday morning, news confirmed that 15 people had died with the other 14 sent to the hospital as a result of the collision.
— Peter Mansbridge (@petermansbridge) April 7, 2018
“Those young men were chasing a dream,” Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said to open up his press conference after his team held a morning skate on Saturday. “They were the pride of their community, and our heart goes out to them. A lot of young players, in this league, were chasing that same dream and being on the same buses in a way. That brings some reality to what we do for a living,”
Trotz continued. “For anybody who’s been on those buses and traveled and done all that. The players come from all over Western Canada and they come and play in a small town, you’re embraced by a small town and you’re the pride of the small town. And you’re chasing a dream to play in the Western Hockey League and hopefully move onto the pros.” This news also hit home for Chandler Stephenson. His hometown is in Saskatoon which is about 75 minutes away from Humboldt. Stephenson even crossed paths with three of those players on the Broncos over the summer.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words. Couldn’t really believe something like that could happen… It was a freak accident by the sound of it and it could happen to any hockey team that travels on a bus,” said Stephenson.
Stephenson was asked about how much the game of hockey means in those communities.
“The Broncos were their everything (in Humboldt). Just listening last night on the radio how the mayor was saying about how people came to the church and everyone was making their way down there and gathering, comforting each other and grieving together,” said Stephenson.
Aerial video from the scene:
Stephenson, along with Brett Connolly and Madison Bowey took to Twitter to send their condolences:
Deepest thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by the horrible and saddening news with the Humboldt Broncos.
— Chandler Stephenson (@CStephenson22) April 7, 2018
Tough news to wake up to this morning. Sending all my thoughts and prayers to the families and those involved in this tragedy. #humboldtbroncos
— Brett Connolly (@bconnolly8) April 7, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with the players, families, friends and everyone who has been effected by this terrible tragedy #PrayForHumboldt
— Madison Bowey (@m_bows4) April 7, 2018
On the media side of things, analyst Alan May and radio broadcaster John Walton also expressed condolences.
I cannot imagine the pain, sorrow & suffering for all the families, friends, communities they come from & the city of Humboldt. All my thoughts, prayers & condolences to all of you. #prayforhumboldt the fabric of these junior hockey towns is wholesome, honest & compassionate pic.twitter.com/UC71815fUw
— Alan May (@MayHockeyNBCS) April 7, 2018
Walton talked about broadcaster Tyler Bieber who was one of the 14 who passed away from the accident.
I didn’t know Tyler, and yet I feel like I did. I’ve been in that seat on the team bus. I’ve watched a lot of the world pass outside my window from that seat. I’m sick to my stomach for his passing, and for all those lost in this awful tragedy. #prayforhumboldt https://t.co/6ejgUb9fiK
— John Walton (@WaltonCaps) April 7, 2018
By Michael Marzzacco