Hockey world reacts to Humboldt Broncos tragedy

The Edmonton Oilers and teams across the NHL are mourning the deaths of 15 people in a collision involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus in Saskatchewan Friday.

The crash hit close to home for Oilers head coach Todd McLellan, a Saskatchewan native. His brother played hockey and his father worked in Humboldt.

“I know that Humboldt area very well,” McLellan said. “They are as strong as they come, but they will need our help.”

Long before his coaching career in the NHL, McLellan was the head coach of a Saskatchewan team affected by a similar tragedy. Four members of the Swift Current Broncos were killed in a highway crash in 1986.

“I know in Swift Current, that was tough,” he said.

Connor McDavid has fond memories of hanging out on buses during his junior hockey career.

“You’re always having a good time. Whatever is going on, it’s always nice to be with everyone,” McDavid said. “For something like this to happen, it’s unthinkable. It’s a horrible accident and we’re all thinking about them.”

Support for victims and families

The Oilers Foundation announced the 50/50 from Saturday night’s game against the Vancouver Canucks in Edmonton will support victims and families affected by the tragedy. The Oilers Entertainment Group will donate $25,000.

A GoFundMe page created to help the families involved in the crash has surpassed $2 million by Saturday evening.

NHL teams are coming together in a show of support towards the junior hockey team. The Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks are some of the teams that have announced they will wear the Broncos name on their jerseys or helmets Saturday night.

 

 

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock, who grew up in Saskatoon, was emotional after the morning skate Saturday as he remembered the Broncos victims.

“The hockey world is an unbelievable world, but you can’t make up for loss; you just can’t,” Babcock said. “It’s going to rip the heart out of your chest. We pray for those families and thinking about them. I don’t know what else you say. A horrific, horrific accident. Tough day.”

With files from Nahreman Issa





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