The Stanley Cup has arrived in Humboldt, Sask. thanks to Saskatoon-born Washington Capitals player Chandler Stephenson.
The Capitals won the NHL championship in June, prompting the forward to promise a trip to Humboldt with the trophy in tow.
On Friday, Stephenson said it was a “No brainer.” He said the success of the GoFundMe for the Broncos shows how much the incident rocked the entire hockey community and others around the world.
“It’s like losing a family member when something like that happens, like a brother,” Stephenson said. “It’s a terrible thing. You can’t replace a life.”
Stephenson once skated alongside two Broncos players, Kaleb Dahlgren and Brayden Camrud, who survived the team’s bus crash with a semi-trailer on April 6 that killed 16 and seriously injured 13.
Stopped in hometown first
Friday’s trip is about bringing smiles to people’s faces, Stephenson told CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning earlier this week.
“It’s just not supposed to be like that. Junior hockey is supposed to the funnest years of your life. For me it was,” the 24-year-old said.
“To lose all those close teammates and your brothers like that, it definitely hits a hard spot.
“I’m just gonna try to bring the Cup down to Humboldt and hopefully put some smiles on people’s faces and get them to enjoy it with me,” said Stephenson, who was in Saskatoon on Thursday to sign autographs and show off the trophy at the Vimy memorial in Kiwanis Park.
Today in Humboldt, it will be on display to the public from noon to 1:30 p.m. CST.
And locals seem to be caught up in Stanley Cup fever.
“We saw some pictures of the Cup in Saskatoon yesterday,” said Humboldt Mayor Rob Muensch. “Oh my goodness. Big crowds, lots of excitement and expecting nothing less in Humboldt.”
Muensch said he hopes the Cup’s visit brings some cheer to a community that has been through a lot.
“When Chandler mentioned after he won the Cup that he was bringing it to Humboldt, I think everyone here was so appreciative of that. This will truly be a nice day for everybody.”
Ultimately, the mayor hopes the events, along with the beginning of Broncos training camp, will help the community move on.
“We are looking forward to seeing the players back on the ice and seeing who will make up the team for the season coming forward,” he said. “We are taking all these events that are coming into our community and try to spread the happiness.”
The Stanley Cup will be on display at Humboldt’s Elgar Petersen Arena from noon to 1:30 p.m. CST.