Late Humboldt Broncos coach Darcy Haugan was honored with the inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award on Wednesday night Sammy Baugh Jersey , and 10 of the surviving players were reunited for the first time since the bus crash that killed 16 people.
The players donned gold Broncos sweaters at the NHL Awards, 2 1/2 months after the junior team’s bus collided with a semitrailer at an intersection in rural Saskatchewan. Three of the survivors were unable to attend the awards show.
Haugan was remembered for telling his players ”it’s a great day to be a Bronco” before each game. The O’Ree award, named for the NHL’s first black player, is presented to an individual who, through hockey, has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society.
”We can cry together, we can laugh together, we can do everything together and just kind of heal in our own way,” said Tyler Smith, who suffered nerve damage and significant injuries to his left side, including a broken collarbone and shoulder blade. ”It’s a blessing to be able to be here together. We’re all going to be Broncos forever, and no matter what day it is, it’s a great day to be a Bronco.”
Members of the hockey team at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Youth Le'Veon Bell Jersey , which won a state championship 11 days after 14 students and three staff members were fatally shot in February, also were recognized, as were survivors and first responders of the Route 91 Harvest festival mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.
”The hockey family across the whole world, I’m very thankful for it. It’s something you don’t really expect,” said Broncos alternate captain Kaleb Dahlgren, who suffered skull and spinal fractures. ”You grow up with these people in your life and you consider them family. You’re with them every day and so hockey is a family community. The support we’ve received from everybody has been very, very, very generous and we’re all thankful for that. It makes the healing process easier.”
The NHL and NHLPA hope to continue the healing on Aug. 24, when Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson, a Saskatoon native, will bring the Stanley Cup to Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt, as part of an on-ice event that will include an on-ice skills competition between NHL players.
”I got the opportunity to meet the Broncos yesterday and their fighting spirit rubs off on you,” said Tampa Bay Lightning Victor Hedman, who was awarded with the Norris Trophy as the top defenseman. ”After those tragedies, the hockey community shows that everyone is together. This is more than just a game Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jersey , we are family.
”It’s such a special place, too, in Vegas. What they went through in October and the way this community rallied together with the hockey team, and the way the performed I think it’s important for me to acknowledge that.”
Golden Knights William Karlsson and Deryk Engelland, coach Gerard Gallant and the team’s general manager George McPhee — all four of whom won awards – joined the first responders and survivors honored on stage midway through the show.
Engelland, who took home the Mark Messier Leadership Award, said the touching and now infamous ”We Are Vegas Strong” speech he delivered before the Golden Knights’ home opener will always be one of the biggest moments of his hockey career.
”Once I knew I was doing it, that’s pretty much all that was going through my head for about four or five days, so I didn’t want to screw that up,” Engelland said. ”It got us embedded in the community and the community embedded in us. Guys really took it upon themselves to keep winning for the people that were affected and the city. The excitement after every goal during every game really lifted every guy in our locker room.”
New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall, who was awarded the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP, said he was touched by all three ceremonies that recognized the tragedies that took place during the season.
”Three terrible tragedies, three things that should never happen, we should never have to go through as a society,” Hall said. ”As a community Davante Adams Jersey , as a hockey community, you try and help everyone around you, you try and rally and just be a kind person to one another and hopefully that makes someone feel better.”
Jack Mewhort kept trying to play through knee pain.
Eventually, the 26-year-old offensive linemen simply couldn’t any more.
After the Indianapolis Colts gave the oft-injured offensive lineman a second chance last spring, Mewhort abruptly announced he was retiring Wednesday.
”I would like to thank the Irsay family and the entire Colts organization for giving me the opportunity to live a childhood dream,” Mewhort said, referring to the team owner in a statement released by the team after its morning practice. ”The fans and the city of Indianapolis have treated me like one of their own, and I am forever grateful. Wearing the horseshoe was one of the biggest honors I have ever known, and I will always bleed blue.”
Mewhort came to Indianapolis as a second-round draft pick in 2014, billed as part of the long-term solution to protecting quarterback Andrew Luck. His promising career started well.
Mewhort made 14 starts as a rookie, 13 at left guard, one at right tackle, and played well enough in both spots that the Colts moved him to right tackle in 2015.
Three games into the experiment, it was over. Mewhort’s struggles on the leaky line prompted the Colts to move him back to his old spot, where he finished the season by starting the last 13 games.
The devastating knee injuries began in 2016.
He missed six of the last 10 games that season and all but five games in 2017 Authentic Erik Karlsson Jersey Kids , finishing both seasons on injured reserve. Even when he did play, he was rarely at full strength.
Mewhort’s health issues scared most teams away when he became a free agent during the offseason.
But even after drafting Quenton Nelson with the No. 6 overall pick in April and immediately plugging Nelson into Mewhort’s spot at left guard, the Colts thought highly enough of Mewhort and his potential to take a low-risk gamble. They re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $1.5 million, with an additional $1.5 million available in incentives.
When Mewhort reported to training camp last week, he sounded confident that with some extra rest he could stay healthy enough to at least win a spot on another revamped offensive line. The Colts were hoping he could provide depth and versatility to the line, even if he didn’t completely regain his old form.
His comeback attempt officially ended on the same day longtime left tackle Anthony Castonzo was activated from the non-football injury list.
”Jack Mewhort gave this organization everything he had in his four seasons with the team,” general manager Chris Ballard said. ”He fought through injuries and played through pain. Jack is a selfless player who always carried a team-first mentality. He is revered among his coaches, teammates and staff, and his leadership will be missed in the locker room. We’re appreciative of Jack’s dedication to the Colts, and we wish him the best moving forward.”
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