This is just cathartic for me.  I’m not doing this one for clicks or in hopes the right people see/read it like I normally do.  I’m doing this one because if I don’t write about it right now all I do is refresh twitter hoping/praying for ANY kind of good news on the situation.  And so far I’m asking myself why I put the picture up because when I first saw it tonight was Gord Miller posted it on Twitter and I literally just broke down.  I was having a tough time with it before the picture, but that just sent me over the edge.


So I hope the nephews don’t get sick of me talking about them on here but I have to tell this story.  They got home last night from Whitecourt, and I was on the treadmill, Steph is in Mexico so I’m home alone, headphones on so I can’t hear anything, and all of a sudden they’re walking down my stairs.  I’m glad I don’t have heart problems.  So they stayed for two or three hours just hanging out shooting the shit.  It’s not like I haven’t been talking to them all year, we text usually several times a week.  But in person with a lot of time to talk, we can really get into stuff.  And it was just non stop stories about the team this season.  Not on the ice, off the ice.  And you literally couldn’t wipe the smile off my face thinking back to it today, because I know exactly how great those times are.  I was pumped for the twins, and it brings back some of my favourite memories.  If you don’t play or have never played, you might not get it.  But if you have, you do.  You literally become a family.  There are guys on the team that you probably aren’t going to like.  But you get on the ice or you’re in the room or wherever you are and you don’t give that any thought.  You go to battle alongside these guys night in, night out.  It’s just different.  You might think “well I work with people everyday and don’t feel that way”.  Right.  It’s not the same.  I’m not even sure it’s entirely the same in other sports as it is in hockey.


I look at the friendships I have, and I’m lucky because I feel like I have a lot of close friends.  And just about all those friends are either guys I’ve gone to battle with, or guys who know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.  So the thing I keep coming back to is how close to home this hits, literally and figuratively.


Literally, because it happened just four hours away from me, and I know kids playing in the league, who played in the league in the past, have watched the league in the past, etc.


Figuratively though is what’s rattling me the most in that I can put myself there.  They’re on their way to play the biggest game of the season.  You’re anxious to get there.  You’re likely having a ton of laughs or great conversation with the boys.  You’re thinking about getting in the room, getting the music going, stretching out, and getting your gear on.


There is a reason the mid 80’s documentary done on the Edmonton Oilers was titled “The Boys on the Bus”.  In that video, something that always stuck with me is what Kevin Lowe says, but it’s not Kevin’s words, but rather Paul Coffey who he quotes.  And he says when he gets away from the game it’s not the game itself that he’s going to miss, it’s the 30 minutes or so before taking the ice when everyone is getting ready.  And it’s SO DAMN TRUE.  I think back to when I was a kid, and we didn’t take buses often to our games, mainly just to provincial games that were a fair distance away.  But you loved going on the bus, there was something different about it.  And the times you have hanging out with the boys while on the bus, it’s just different.


I’m terrified of the news, and yet I’m on pins and needles waiting for it.  I guess you’re optimism is literally fighting your pessimism, at least with me it is, maybe not for others, I’m not all that normal.


Anyway, only reason I put this out there is in hopes of it maybe being as cathartic for anyone to read as it’s been for me to write.  Doesn’t make the situation one ounce better, it’s devastating, horrific, I can’t come up with an adjective that feels like it does the situation justice.  I have one slight connection to this team, don’t know anyone either on the team or involved with the team, and yet I feel like I know them all.  That could have been any team, any league, and I don’t think it would feel any different right now.  I got two nephews playing in the neighbouring league, same level of hockey, and that was the first thing their dad said to me tonight is that could have been them, and that’s tough to get out of my head too.


I don’t know how to end this because I want to put a positive spin on it but I just can’t find anyway to do it.  “Multiple deaths” is what the police have thus far confirmed, Darren Dreger said “the loss is believed to be staggering”, which just makes me even more sick to my stomach for everyone involved and not want to see what the end result is.  Glad to see that Parker Tobin of Stoney Plain sounds like he’s going to be ok as he mom posted about it on Twitter a short time ago.  So that’s one of you.  Still the rest of the team, the coaching staff, the trainers, the team bus driver, I’m praying I hear more good news on all  of you as well in the coming hours.  #prayforhumboldt

6 Mitchell Girolami LW * Feb 29, 2000 6′ 175 L Humboldt, SK, Canada
9 Graysen Cameron RW May 3, 1999 6′ 170 R Olds, AB, Canada
11 Jacob Leicht LW * Feb 14, 1999 5’8 155 L Humboldt, SK, Canada
12 Conner Lukan LW Jan 14, 1997 5’10 180 L Slave Lake, AB, Canada
13 Jaxon Joseph C Sep 15, 1997 6’1 201 R Edmonton, AB, Canada
15 Tyler Smith C May 28, 1998 6’1 185 R Leduc, AB, Canada
16 Kaleb Dahlgren RW Jun 10, 1997 5’9 185 R Saskatoon, SK, Canada
17 Evan Thomas RW Sep 6, 1999 5’11 180 L Saskatoon, SK, Canada
18 Logan Hunter RW * Nov 9, 1999 6’3 195 R St. Albert, AB, Canada
19 Matthieu Gomercic LW Jul 21, 1997 6’3 201 L Winnipeg, MB, Canada
20 Logan Schatz C Sep 16, 1997 5’9 170 L Allan, SK, Canada
21 Nick Shumlanski C Jun 12, 1997 5-7 150 L Tisdale , SK, Canada
23 Derek Patter C Aug 12, 1998 5’9 180 R Edmonton, AB, Canada
26 Brayden Camrud C Jul 24, 1998 5’9 180 L Saskatoon, SK, Canada
3 Xavier Labelle D Nov 17, 1999 6’2 190 R Saskatoon, SK, Canada
5 Adam Herold D * Apr 12, 2001 6′ 180 L Montmartre, SK, Canada
7 Stephen Wack D Jan 25, 1997 6’6 220 R St. Albert, AB, Canada
10 Ryan Straschnitzki D Apr 20, 1999 5’11 185 R Aidrie, AB, Canada
14 Bryce Fiske D Nov 6, 1997 5’11 185 R La Ronge, SK, Canada
24 Morgan Gobeil D * Nov 11, 1999 5’11 185 L Humboldt, SK, Canada
27 Logan Boulet D Mar 2, 1997 6’2 192 L Lethbridge, AB, Canada
28 Layne Matechuk D * Feb 7, 2000 5’11 175 R Colonsay, SK, Canada
30 Parker Tobin G Sep 22, 1999 6′ 185 L Stoney Plain, AB, Canada L
31 Jacob Wassermann G * Jan 9, 2000 6’5 195 L Humboldt, SK, Canada L
Darcy Haugan Head Coach/GM
Chris Beaudry Assistant Coach
Mark Cross Assistant Coach

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