This is a football site but on a day like today, the game of choice couldn’t be less important.
Fourteen people are dead and another 14 are injured after a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team to a playoff game in northeastern Saskatchewan. The team, the Humboldt Broncos, plays in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League and is made up of players ranging from 16 to 20-years-old – young men with their whole lives in front of them.
I didn’t want to jump the gun, or maybe it didn’t want it to be true, but R.I.P. to Adam Herold. He was 16 years old and from Montmartre. He was going to turn 17 on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/jDx5ySeQBd
— Matthew Gourlie (@MattGourlie) April 7, 2018
I’ve covered a team like this, a Junior B team in small a British Columbia town. I’ve ridden the busses, got to know the players and coaches on interminable rides to far-flung towns. Those kids aren’t shooting for pro stardom – it’s a rung below big-time junior hockey – but maybe a scholarship to a good U.S. school, a chance to play university hockey. Most of them are playing because they love the game, the locker room and the sense of community and place that comes with it.
Derek Grayson and Nick bonding and healing in hospital pic.twitter.com/DzesIoT27B
— R J patter (@rjpatter) April 7, 2018
The players on that bus were from Alberta and Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Over the next few days and weeks, stories of unspeakable horror will emerge: what the players endured, what the families are going through, what the survivors now face. It is just so goddamn awful.
But we can help, at least in some small way. There is already a GoFundMe page established for the families to help ease the financial burden as they cope with every parent’s nightmare come to life. It’s not much but it’s the least we can do.
This is a football site but today is a reminder that the game – hockey, football, whatever – is secondary. People and life are fragile and the wake of unspeakable tragedy, we can all do our part to support a community that needs it.
Everyone in our league is so deeply saddened by the terrible news out of Saskatchewan. Words typed on a screen seem so inadequate when families are in such turmoil. And yet I feel compelled to convey our love and prayers.
— Randy Ambrosie (@RandyAmbrosie) April 7, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Humboldt Broncos organization and its families.
— Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) April 7, 2018
Hearing the news, I can’t imagine what one of those parents are going through right now. #prayforhumboldt
— Brandon Bridge (@Air_Canada_7) April 7, 2018
The saddest day ever for Canadian hockey. #prayforhumboldt
— Chris Cuthbert (@CCtsn) April 7, 2018
I remember taking the bus to tournaments with my hockey team growing up. This is crushing 💔 https://t.co/zTFF5fefNo
— Matt Black (@MattBlack39) April 7, 2018
Prayers to the families and friends of the Humboldt Broncos! #prayforhumboldt
— Derek Dennis (@6BONECRUSHER3) April 7, 2018
Praying for the parents and families of those hurt and lost. So hard to process the loss of 14 lives, and what the community is dealing with. A tragic day #PrayersForHumboldt
— Paul LaPolice (@PaulLaPolice) April 7, 2018