Humboldt Broncos will return to ice next season

Driver in crash that killed youth hockey players pleads guilty
CBC News, Canadian Press, TWITTER via CNN
Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team photo

The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team will be in the rink once again when the puck drops in September to start the 2018-19 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.

Sixteen people — including 10 Broncos players, two coaches and a trainer — were killed when the team bus collided with a tractor-trailer on April 6.

The team was on its way to a playoff game in Nipawin, in Saskatchewan Province, when the accident occurred.

The Broncos announced its rebuilding plans in a statement on Friday.

The first step will be to find a new head coach and general manager to replace Darcy Haugan, who died in the accident.

“Darcy Haugan was selfless, inspirational and motivating, building up his players to be great ambassadors and role models both on the ice and in the community.” said Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger. “He was the coach every player wanted, and that other coaches wanted to emulate.”

The team is inviting 80 prospective players to a camp this month in Saskatoon to try out for the team.

The team was also celebrating the news that forward Kaleb Dahlgren has signed to play with the York University Lions.

Dahlgren hopes to play next season, but the team says they will keep the offer open for as long as he needs to recover from the injuries he suffered in the crash.

The crash was felt across Canada, where youth hockey has a strong following.

Canadians from all corners of the country showed support for the team by leaving their hockey sticks by their front doors and a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $15 million for the team.

The team is expecting high demand when Broncos tickets go on sale, but Garinger said that they would do everything they can to give current season ticket holders the first chance to buy seats.