In case you missed it yesterday, the Stanley Cup made a special trip to Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to visit with the injured members of the Humboldt Broncos junior A hockey team as they recover from the awful and tragic bus accident they experienced over a week ago.
Sixteeen members of the Broncos’ team, including 10 players, have died as a result of the crash, while another 13 are currently recovering in hospital. Among those 13 is Broncos defenseman Ryan Straschnitzki, who had a dream come true yesterday when he was presented with the Cup.
Check out this photo courtesy of Ryan’s father Tom:
To quote Tom:
“Look what made a surprise. Lord Stanley. And No. Ryan wouldnt touch it. Gotta win it to touch it. Jett didnt touch it either. Jaden, Momma and Erica. Wellllllllll.”
Haha! That’s awesome. Despite undergoing the fight of his life, Ryan still understands and respects hockey’s code. If you didn’t win it, you don’t touch it. Atta boy, Ryan!
”They know the tradition,” said Tom, noting the other injured players didn’t want to touch the trophy either.
Straschnitzki, you may recall, is the young man who has pledged to make Canada’s Paralympic sledge hockey team after learning that he’ll be paralyzed from the chest down.
His inspiring story from last week is below:
Paralyzed Broncos defenseman Straschnitzki refuses to give up on hockey dream
Just hours after surgery, the 18 year old is planning a career in Olympic sledge hockey.
Humboldt Broncos defenseman Ryan Straschnitzki may never walk again, but he considers himself one of the lucky ones. Straschnitzki was one of the 29 members on board the Broncos’ team bus when it collided with a semi-transport truck on Northern Saskatchewan’s Highway 35 on Friday night, killing 15 individuals and injuring 14 others.
Straschnitzki underwent a successful seven hour surgery on Saturday, but was informed by doctors that he’ll likely be paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life. Straschnitzki will however maintain the use of his arms, neck and head. Upon emerging from surgery, Straschnitzki’s message to his family was clear: he’s not done with hockey just yet.
“He keeps wanting to try and move his legs, of course, because he wants to go back skating,” said Straschnitzki’s father Tom. “He just looked at me and his mother and he goes, ‘well, I’m gonna get onto the Olympic sledge hockey team.’
The teary eyed father added, “He’s an amazing kid, that boy.”
Straschnitzki’s mother Michelle is grateful that her son Ryan is alive “but heartbroken for the families of the lost.”
In an effort to fund Straschnitzki’s future endeavours and fulfill his Olympic dream, his boxing coach Cody Thompson has started a fundraising campaign by selling hats embroidered with the young man’s #10 and the hashtag #StrazStrong after his affectionate nickname “Straz”. The StrazStrong hats sell for $35 and can be purchased by emailing the funds to Strazstrong@gmail.com using the security question ‘Humboldt’ and the answer of ‘Broncos,’ Thompson said.
“We want to do something that ensures that if there’s a chance Ryan’s can ever get to a point where he can play hockey again, that decision isn’t made based on a bank account,” he said.
Please, if you can, let’s make this kid’s dreams a reality. If you have the means to donate, consider purchasing a hat to help support this young man during the most difficult time in his life. Hopefully, out of this terrible tragedy and Olympic hero is born.