Broadcasters pay tribute to Humboldt crash victim Tyler Bieber

By Gregory Strong

When Les Lazaruk looked up at the broadcast booth at Elgar Petersen Arena during Tyler Bieber’s funeral service, he thought of an idea to honour the memory of the Humboldt Broncos play-by-play announcer.

Lazaruk offered to call a Broncos game next season for free and he put out a call on Twitter for fellow broadcasters to do the same. It wasn’t long before several prominent on-air personalities volunteered their services.

Sportsnet’s Rob Faulds and TSN’s Chris Cuthbert and Gord Miller all tweeted offers to participate in the initiative. Other broadcasters from a variety of leagues and sports also wanted to get involved and support the effort.

“Tyler loved sports and he was involved in sports in all kinds of ways because it was his passion,” Miller said Friday from Chicago. “He loved to do it. I think a great way to honour him is to show our passion for it too.”

Bieber, who was 29, also coached high school basketball and football teams. He was one of 16 people who died after the Broncos’ bus and a transport truck collided last week near Tisdale, Sask.

He also ran his own CFL website, cfldaily.ca, for years and was one of the league’s pioneers on social media, founding his @CFLDaily twitter account in January of 2010. He also wrote for CFL.ca.

Hundreds of mourners attended Bieber’s funeral service on Thursday.

Lazaruk, the play-by-play voice of the Western Hockey League’s Saskatoon Blades, said with the Broncos set to play 58 games next season, he’s hoping 57 other broadcasters can enter the booth for a game apiece.

He added the initial response to his initiative was overwhelming.

“We’re going to have an all-star lineup of people doing Humboldt Broncos games, so long as we can put this together and that’s the next thing that has to happen,” he said from Saskatoon.

Lazaruk said he would try to make arrangements with the local radio station, team and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in the near future. Sarah Miller, the program director at 107.5 Bolt FM in Humboldt, tweeted that she sincerely appreciates the idea, adding it’s an amazing way to honour Tyler.

Cuthbert, who got his start in the business with the SJHL’s Yorkton Terriers in 1979-80, has been moved by the many initiatives to support those affected by the tragedy.

“The hockey community is tight and I think we’ve all had that reinforced in the last week,” Cuthbert said from Las Vegas. “You’ve seen the response right across the hockey world.”

The Broncos bus was headed to Nipawin for a playoff game when it collided with a semi-truck at an intersection.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

– CP

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10 Comments on Broadcasters pay tribute to Humboldt crash victim Tyler Bieber

  1. Green&Gold // April 13, 2018 at 7:46 pm //

    What an amazing idea and gesture by Les and his peers!

  2. Rick Cowan // April 13, 2018 at 8:29 pm //

    That is an awesome idea

  3. Riders23 // April 13, 2018 at 8:52 pm //

    Amazing how many folks can trace their roots personally and professionally to Saskatchewan, not to be brash our nations HEARTLAND ! .Equally amazing is the quality of those folks moving forward and wanting to help support our province and nation in this time of grieving. I am positive the boy’s and Dana are smiling down at us with a smile from the great rink above ; knowing that their great sacrifice has brought out the best of not just Saskatchewan and Canada but many world over !!! May this lesson in brotherhood not be lost in the weeks forthcoming !!!

    • Riders23. May I add the First Responders to our list of thoughts and prayers. These people are true professionals, but nothing could prepare them for the scene they arrived upon 1 week ago. I personally can’t imagine how these people and those in urgent care will begin to process this tragic event.

  4. Wonderful way to honour Tyler, and the team and town too. Simply wonderful.

  5. 3rd and 1 // April 14, 2018 at 6:30 am //

    This is an incredible way to show respect and compassion to both Tyler as a human being and who Tyler was as a person as well as how important Tyler was to others in the Broadcast Industry.
    It’s times like this when my hope for humanity actually gets a boost.
    Unlike the thought pattern and especially the comments on the other 99% of the articles.
    Thank you Les Lazaruk for reaching inside your heart and soul and starting something so incredibly awesome in the name of Tyler Bieber.

  6. Scottsask // April 14, 2018 at 9:31 am //

    Absolutely incredible, I have no other words.

  7. Alex Droho // April 15, 2018 at 6:41 pm //

    Les Lasaruk is class all the way. Way to step up with an idea for a wonderful tribute.

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