The Humbolt Broncos crash is one of the worst tragedies in recent memory to hit the hockey world and families and friends are just starting the painful healing and grieving process ahead of them. Since the tragic death of the Athletic Therapist for the Humboldt Broncos Dayna Brons on Wednesday night, the death toll from this terrible crash to 16 and another family is now being forced to deal with the loss of a loved one far too early in their young lives.
Thankfully the hockey world has rallied around the victims of this tragedy and the incredible generosity of hockey fans has raised an unbelievable amount of money for those impacted by this terrible tragedy. There is also a great movement that has been on trend since Brian Munz of TSN shared this image on social media to show his support as a friend of his placed a hockey stick outside of his door, on his porch, saying: "Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it... wherever they are."
In the past few days, the new trend emerged in which hockey fans and families everywhere decided to leave hockey sticks outside to honour the team and the players who lost their lives has gone viral, and one powerful tribute was shared on Friday by Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson. In an emotional Instragram story, the Sens captain said he "hoped the victims were playing with his boy up there", adding that he was thinking of them in this heart-wrenching tragedy.
Karlsson lost his son at the end of March. Just a day after it was revealed that Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda's son had died, the couple made a public statement... a very moving one. On social media, Karlsson was able to chose the right words to describe the most awful situation a family can go through. Here was his moving statement:
"At this extremely difficult time it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know one day we'll get there. We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received and also for respecting our privacy and the process that we need to go through.
We feel very lucky to be Axel's parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever."
The couple announced they were expecting in November 2017. Karlsson had previously said the baby was due in mid-April, around the start of the NHL playoffs. Axel died a stillborn, and Karlsson now hopes he is surrounded by the caring young men who lost their lives in the terrible bus crash a week ago.
Karlsson is not the only superstar in the NHL to think of the victims and their families. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby launched an initiative with team equipment manager Dana Heinze to have a special Penguins jersey with BRONCOS on the back and the signatures of every Penguins player. Crosby personally signed photos for each of the surviving players with the message, “Stay strong. We’re thinking of you.”
On Friday, Chicago Blackhawks Jonathan Toews also delivered NHL game jerseys with Broncos name plates to Humboldt in sign of support.
Karlsson's message is quite personal seeing what the poor man has gone through in the recent weeks. This is just heartbreaking to see... but let's hope they can help each other to grieve.