There are some things that are bigger than hockey, even for the people whose lives revolve around the sport. The hockey world was dealt a tragedy of massive proportions on Friday evening when the Humboldt Broncos, a SJHL team based in Saskatchewan, had its team bus collide with a transport truck. The crash resulted in 14 fatalities, and 14 more injured, while the hockey world rallies with their thoughts, prayers, and offers of support to the Broncos, their friends, and families.
One man ingrained deep into the game offered a teary-eyed perspective on the tragedy. Mike Babcock, head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, which is only about an hour west of Humboldt. The incident struck Babcock close to home, and while addressing the matter to media, the usual Babcock-scowl was replaced with visual heartbreak.
This is certainly one of those moments where people put aside their playoff battles, their end of season push, and the game of hockey all together. Fans, players, and coaches everywhere reacted with shock and sympathy for everyone impacted by the horrible event.