NHL Notebook: Remembering the Humboldt Broncos five years later

Photo credit:Twitter.com/HumboldtBroncos
Zach Laing
1 year ago
Five years ago today the hockey world was shattered when news broke of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
It happened when a bus carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League team collided with a semi-truck near Armley, Sask. The Broncos were en route to Nipawin to play a playoff game against the Hawks, before the collision happened at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 335.
Sixteen people died in the crash: Broncos head coach and general manager Darcy Haugan, assistant coach Mark Cross, bus driver Glen Boerksen, announcer Tyler Bieber, statistician Brody Hinz, athletic therapist Dayna Brons, defenceman Logan Boulet, defenceman Adam Herold, defenceman Stephen Wack, forward Logan Hunter, forward Jaxon Joseph, forward Jacob Leicht, forward Conner Lukan, forward Logan Schatz, forward Evan Thomas, and goalie Parker Tobin.
On Thursday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live, Frank Seravalli spoke about the Broncos:
Today is the five-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. I’m holding a ribbon in my hands, this was the ribbon we wore when we went back to Humboldt for their first game back. Jeez, so many emotions come over me today. Can’t believe it’s been five years. I was reflecting last night before going to bed and thinking about how so many families were together for the very last time and had no idea what would be coming their way on a clear blue sky day in Saskatchewan.
Just to think of all the lives that were changed, all the lives that were lost and how our world and their world specifically would never be the same again. I can’t even fathom it, I still can’t wrap my head around it or come to grips with it even today. I spent a week in Humboldt in the days immediately following the accident and it left a profound impact on me and my life, emotional connections that still remain there and I just think of all the people you know that we’re lucky enough to survive the crash and who’s lives have also been changed in big ways.
I was at the Denver Airport a few weeks back when I was coming back from the Jasper Pond hockey tournament and I ran into Tyler Smith, who was on the bus, he was there with a few of his Broncos teammates. I was there eating Chic-Fil-A in the Denver International Aiport and there they were, it was great to see those guys and glad to see they’re all managing and doing well. Just thinking of everyone on Humboldt today, just so many who have been around and affected by this.

Thursday’s stakes

A number of scenarios for teams clinching and other various things are at stake for Thursday. Daily Faceoff’s Matt Larkin details them here: 
– The Tampa Bay Lightning (45-27-6)’s chances at securing home ice over the Toronto Maple Leafs (46-21-10) are next to nil after the Bolts’ loss to the New York Rangers Wednesday night. The magic number for Toronto to clinch home ice is three points. One Toronto point and a Tampa loss would do it; two Toronto points and one Tampa point would also do it. The Bolts visit the New York Islanders on the second leg of a back-to-back tonight, while the Leafs visit the mighty Boston Bruins. Toronto has a game in hand on Tampa.
– The Detroit Red Wings (35-33-9) and Ottawa Senators (37-34-7) could be mathematically eliminated from playoff contention depending on tonight’s results. Both have maximum point totals of 89 if they win out, so anything less than two points coupled with wins by the New York Islanders AND Florida Panthers would eliminate Detroit and Ottawa, as the Isles and Panthers would get to 89 points apiece by winning. Even a single point from the Panthers AND Islanders would eliminate the Red Wings and Senators if they lose in regulation. The Panthers have a chance to directly take out their competition tonight, hosting the Senators in a crucial game.
– A regulation loss will eliminate the Red Wings in any scenario, as they don’t have the ROW tiebreaker over the Panthers or Islanders.
– The Seattle Kraken (43-26-8) can clinch their first playoff berth in franchise history with a win over the Arizona Coyotes tonight. A single point would get the Kraken to 95 and would clinch them a playoff berth IF the Nashville Predators (39-30-8) are held to one point or fewer at home against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight, as the Kraken have the ROW tiebreaker over the Predators and Flames.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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