The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team begins a new season tonight and it’s exactly what that franchise and its fans, its billet families and that city needs.
It’s a fresh start and hopefully one that offers even the slightest nudge toward a new beginning for everyone who was impacted by the tragic bus crash from April 6 that killed 16 players and coaches and injured 13 others.
Over the past several months we have heard emotional stories of loss, of heartbreak, and ones of survival and determination. Now it’s time to write a new chapter to this story.
It was one that was far-reaching. Condolences from around the globe found their way to the small Saskatchewan city. A Go Fund Me campaign soared into the millions of dollars as Saskatchewanians and Canadians demonstrated their compassion for the families that were forever changed.
It’s a story that still to this day tugs on heartstrings. It’s a story that will never be forgotten. But it’s a story that needs a new direction. It already has a new coach and several new players.
Tonight, there will be tears during the pregame and especially during the post-game ceremonies. But soon after the puck drops on a new season, it’ll be about hockey again. That’s the precise remedy the two returning Broncos players need, and it’s what everyone within that organization and in that city needs.
Sports, especially hockey in this country, have a way of distracting us from reality. If only for a couple of hours, we forget about life’s problems and focus on a game that has no significant impact other than to our emotional well-being.
The season will take shape. Goals will be scored and games will be won and lost over the next few months. There is a hope that life will return to a sense of normal again, after the national media and their bright lights pack up and head home.
Though we know nothing will be like it was prior to the crash, we can wish the Broncos a successful season and the people of Humboldt a fresh start, remembering what they lost.