Saturday, 7 April 2018

An Emotional Night

It was another emotional night as the sports world came together and honoured the legacy of the Humboldt Broncos after their horrifying accident yesterday. From Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers holding a moment of silence to the various tributes shown at every level hockey to the team to the outpouring of support from thousands of people on social media, the tragedy has reached everyone. Tonight, though, it seemed particularly hard to handle for me as I found myself quite emotional watching Hockey Night in Canada.

It started earlier in the day when reporters asked Mike Babcock, who grew up in Saskatchewan and learned the game there, what he thought of the tragedy. To see a hardened guy like Mike Babcock struggle with emotions, that really pulls at the heart strings.

I want to bring attention to the job that Ron MacLean did on tonight's HNiC broadcast because it was phenomenal. I had tears in my eyes listening to Colby Armstrong and Sheldon Kennedy talk about this tragedy and how it hit home for them, but Ron battled through those emotions to keep the show moving. That's not to say there wasn't emotion in Ron's voice, but he was the rock that kept the show moving. That professional approach was impressive, and the compassion he showed for this tragedy and his guests wasn't lost at any point.

I don't want to make this long-winded. Once again, the people of Humboldt are going to struggle this weekend as they hold a vigil tomorrow evening at the arena to pay their respects to the 15 individuals who passed away in this accident. Hockey Night in Canada put together the images of the 29 players, coaches, and staff on the bus, and it's important to remember that there are still 14 men struggling with injuries in the hospital. Here are the 29 men who were riding the bus on Friday night. "Wheat Kings", sung by The Tragically Hip, was added by HNiC.

It was impressive to see teams rallying to help the city of Humboldt, but the Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks may have had the best tribute of the evening as both teams scrapped the usual names on the back of the jersey for the word "Broncos" in honour of the Humboldt Broncos.
A very classy move by the Jets and Blackhawks, and those jerseys will be auctioned off at a future date with all proceeds going to Humboldt.

Today was important as playoff spots were decided, seasons came to an end, careers came to an end as the Sedins, Patrick Sharp, and Radim Vrbata all decided to move on, but it all took a backseat to the struggle in Humboldt. Sometimes, you have to give the sports world a stick-tap because they proved tonight that they understand there are things more important that playoff races and personal accolades. Well done, sports.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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