Humboldt Broncos will be back in action next season

Published On May 15, 2018 | By scavard | Sports

Flowers lie on the ice as people gather for a vigil at the Elgar Petersen Arena, home of the Humboldt Broncos, to honour the victims of a fatal bus accident in Humboldt, Sask., April 8. (Jonathan Hayward/Pool)

Scott Savard

Humboldt will have a team competing next year in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) after a job posting for the head coach and general manager position went up on May 11.

The Broncos will also hold team try-outs for players looking to join the team next season in a invite-only player camp in Saskatoon from May 25 to May 27.

Bill Chow, president of the SJHL, said he had no doubt there would be a team in Humboldt next season.

“I think It is important, obviously the decision (to play next year) took a while but I thought that would be their decision from the get go,” Chow said.

“I don’t think there was any negative talk about them not coming back,” he said. “They needed some time to work through whatever they were working through and make that decision publicly.”

The decision to move forward and create a new team could upset a few people but Chow feels it’s good for the town to have a team this year.

SJHL president Bill Chow was visibly emotional when addressing the media during a press conference in Humboldt on April 7. (Humboldt Journal)

“Everybody is going to have their opinion, but as a whole from their boards prospective, I shouldn’t be speaking for their board, (but) I think the decision for them to move forward and return will be good for everybody,” Chow said.

Humboldt will look for former players, and anyone who has coaching experience in hockey.

“They (coaches in the SJHL) kind of come from all over, there is a lot from Saskatchewan, and a lot who have played in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, it’s a variety,” Chow said. “What I think they will do, I shouldn’t speak for them but I would think they would find the best person possible and can do the best job for the Humboldt Broncos.”

Chris Van Os-Shaw, former forward for the Humboldt Broncos, said he expects lots of support for the team in the upcoming season.

“Honestly I think it’s going to be unbelievable, the community is going to stand behind them,” Van Os-Shaw said. “Whatever team they put on that ice, they should be proud to put on that jersey and go out there and play for the guys who aren’t able to play anymore.”

He was part of the 2016-2017 team and he knew 10 players who were on the roster at the time of the April 6 crash.

Chris Van Os-Shaw has been recognized for his torrid start with the Broncos since being acquired from the Weyburn Red Wings for Jarrett Fontaine. (Discover Humboldt)

“You get pretty close with those guys and for something like that to happen, it doesn’t even seem real, it’s just crazy that things happen so quick and you really can’t take a day for granted,” Van Os-Shaw said.

While he played for Humboldt he never felt fearful of riding the team bus. It was a place for the players to relax and build memories.

“When you are on the bus you feel more safe than anything, because it’s where you get all your memories with your buddies, it’s always the place where you are excited to go on there and share memories with the boys and never think about anything bad happening,” Van Os-Shaw said. “Something like that is just awful.”

The forward, who moved on to the Spruce Grove Saints in the Alberta Junior Hockey League, said he’s going to make sure to visit Humboldt and cheer on the team this year during their major transition.

“Yeah 100 per cent, once a Bronco, always a Bronco. I’m going to go and catch as many games as I can whenever I am back and I’ll be cheering them on for sure,” Van Os-Shaw said.

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