Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'We Thought We'd Bring Stanley to Them': Cup Taken to Broncos Crash Site

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'We Thought We'd Bring Stanley to Them': Cup Taken to Broncos Crash Site

Article excerpt

Stanley Cup in Humboldt to honour Broncos

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HUMBOLDT, Sask. - A small Saskatchewan city devastated by a fatal bus crash involving its junior hockey team welcomed a trophy Friday that fans no doubt hoped would one day be hoisted by one of their boys.

Chandler Stephenson, a forward with the NHL champion Washington Capitals, brought the Stanley Cup to Humboldt to recognize the community's strength and resilience after the April crash that killed 16 people -- 10 of them players.

But a quiet visit to the rural highway crossing where the Broncos team bus and a transport truck collided may have meant the most.

A tweet from Philip Pritchard, official keeper of the trophy, shows the Cup sitting in the middle of a makeshift memorial composed of hockey sticks, crosses, flowers and flags.

"While their Stanley Cup dreams went unfulfilled, we thought we'd bring Stanley to them," read Pritchard's tweet.

"That means so much to me," said Kaleb Dahlgren, one of the 13 players who survived. "I know those people that lost their lives there would really appreciate that. I appreciate it too.

"It's nice to honour that and it really does mean a lot."

Some of the survivors met privately with Stephenson before the Cup was introduced to the public.

"It's tough ... listening to some of the parents," he said afterwards. "It's tough to talk to them (to) ... give your condolences.

"Nothing can replace a life, so you just try to help out as much as you can and that's what this day is all about."

Stephenson, originally from Saskatoon and wearing a green "Humboldt Strong" T-shirt, was escorted by the RCMP as he carried the Cup into Humboldt's Elgar Petersen Arena.

More than 3,500 people played a selection of different games and activities and there was a giant blowup Broncos jersey on display outside the rink.

Stephenson was joined by more than a dozen current and former professional players for Humboldt Hockey Day.

It was organized by the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players' Association to celebrate the city of 6,000. …

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