If a hockey fan has a dream, it’s usually about playing in the NHL. But before stepping on the ice in the big league, inhabitants of the city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan wish they could skate for the Broncos. No matter the position, no matter the ice time, wearing the green and gold jersey of the Humboldt Broncos team is a goal.
Among the victims of Friday's tragic accident, there were plenty of young people with a bright future. Those kids are aged from 16 to 21 years old. Certainly, the doors of the NHL do not open easily, but amidst the deceased players, there were surely players destined for great careers.
That’s why the tragedy of Humboldt is so painful.
Going on a bus to face an opponent is the daily life of young hockey players. Whether you are a member of a minor league or a major junior league. These trips form groups and friendships, but most importantly, they form a team.
Progressively, in the media, names started to come out. WHL prospects, natives of the area, volunteers.
I would be lying if I told you that I haven't been looking for new names and information after the news of the accident. It made me feel obsessed. The following night, I couldn’t stop thinking about this bus that was hit by a semi-trailer.
Who are these young people? Why? And most importantly, how many are there?
We are talking about a code orange. Three teammates are holding each other's hands in a photograph taken on their hospital beds. And then, the press point arrives. The words that come out are “A nightmare" and "The worst that could happen.”
I channel surf between CKOM, CTV Saskatoon, and Global TV. I listen, I look, I read, I think. At 8 am, the alarm rings. 14 fatalities are announced. Then 15.
I am not a hockey player. But through the testimony of the RCMP members and doctors, I feel a part of the Broncos. Like the 6,000 inhabitants of this small town. Like any hockey fan. Like all people from Canada.
A vigil was organized Sunday evening. At center ice, the Broncos logo was accompanied by flowers and surrounded by the likes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and media from around the country. It was an opportunity to pay tribute to Logan Boulet, Adam Herold, Parker Tobin, Stephan Wack, Logan Hunter, Joseph Jaxon, Jacob Leicht, Conner Lukan, Logan Schatz, Evan Thomas, Darcy Haugan, Mark Cross, Brody Hinz, Glen Doerksen, Tyler Bieber and all of the survivors.
Indeed, one thought was in my mind, in our mind: We are all Broncos.
Photo Credit : Humboldt Broncos