It was an accident that sent ripples far beyond the hockey rink. Since the tragic accident that ended 16 lives on a dark Saskatchewan highway, people from all over the world, both from within the hockey community and outside of it, have expressed their grief for the victims. More than $11 million has been raised on the online fundraising campaign.
Athletes especially are touched by the accident. Most of one’s junior career is spent on long overnight bus rides. For those who have played junior hockey in Canada, they know what those roads can be like. Matt Puempel played in Peterborough, Ontario. Dylan McIlrath played in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Evgeny Svechnikov played in Cape Breton, Halifax.
The accident hit a little too close to home for hockey teams and that’s why all over the world teams are doing their part. The Griffins joined in on the weekend as they auctioned off a couple of game-worn jerseys after their 6-4 victory against the Cleveland Monsters in their final game of the regular season.
Dylan McIlrath and Turner Elson auction off their game worn jerseys after an April 14th game.
Dylan McIlrath and Turner Elson both came back out onto the ice to auction off their jerseys. The jerseys were literally taken off their backs after the game to be auctioned off.
The final member of the team to be present for the auctioning of his jersey was head coach Todd Nelson. Nelson played for one season with the Griffins in 1999-00 when they were part of the IHL. He returned for a seven game stint in 2001-02. He dug up his jersey from the 2000 IHL Turner Cup Finals to auction off.
All three of them had ties back to Humboldt. McIlrath is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, a seven hour drive from Humboldt, and played four seasons for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL. Nelson is also from Western Canada. As a native of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, a mere 89 miles from Humboldt, this surely touched closer to home for him than most. Wings Nation captured footage of the enthusiastic bidding on Nelson’s jersey.
Collectively, the auction raised $4,200, which was then donated to the victims of the tragic bus accident.