Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Winnipeg Jets executive chairman Mark Chipman delivered game-worn jerseys with Broncos name plates to the Humboldt junior hockey team today, a week after the deadly crash of the bus carrying the players and staff to a playoff game.
The jerseys were worn during the April 7 NHL match between the Blackhawks and the Jets in Winnipeg, the hometown of three-time Stanley Cup winner Toews.
Jets and Blackhawks players formed a circle at centre ice at Winnipeg’s Bell MTS Place before their regular-season game, for a moment of silence to honour those killed in the bus crash.(Shane Gibson/CBC)
“I can’t for one second pretend that I know what it’s like for anyone close to this event, to know what they’re going through what they’re feeling,” Toews said.
“But just to know the entire hockey world is there for them, support and love is there.”
Sixteen people, including 10 players with the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s Broncos, died when the Broncos team bus and a semi-truck collided south of Nipawin a week ago.
Fourteen were killed at the crash scene, and two other people died after being taken to hospital.
“It’s not hard to put yourself in that spot because … you’ve been in that position for so many hours throughout your hockey career,” Toews said.
“It’s just really hard to think that there’s tragic moments like this.”
The Broncos were on a road trip to face the Nipawin Hawks in a playoff game.
The SJHL board voted unanimously Wednesday to proceed with the playoffs. The Hawks will host the Estevan Bruins on Saturday night in the first game of the league final.
Along with the 10 Broncos players, the bus driver, the team’s athletic therapist, the head coach, the assistant coach, a play-by-play broadcaster and a statistician also died. The other 13 occupants of the bus were injured.
“Everybody wants to do something in some way, you know, and so and that’s kind of what brought us here is just a desire to show this community and the parents … just to be able to convey that you know we’re behind them and hopefully that brings some small measure of comfort I guess,” Chipman said.
Three funerals are being held Friday, for:
- Adam Herold in Montmartre, Sask.
- Bus driver Glen Doerksen in Carrot River.
- Jacob Leicht in his hometown of Humboldt.
The first funeral was held Thursday, for 29-year-old Tyler Bieber, who worked for 107.5 The Bolt and was the play-by-play announcer for the Broncos.