Professional broadcasters Canada-wide have offered to provide play-by-play services for the Humboldt Broncos following the team’s fatal bus crash.
The wave of support comes after Saskatoon Blades broadcaster Les Lazaruk posted to Twitter, offering to call a game on 107.5 Bolt FM “For free! No talent fee! No gas money! No meal money!”
He tweeted the idea after attending the funeral for Tyler Bieber, 29, the Broncos’ play-by-play announcer who died when the team bus collided with a semi-truck on April 6.
“It hits so close to home because I’ve done enough bus rides, enough kilometres to know that it could have been just as easily me,” said Lazaruk, sports director of the Saskatoon Media Group.
Within a day, Lazaruk said he’d received hundreds of responses from across Canada and at least one announcer from the United States, offering to call one of the team’s 58 games next season.
There are now enough volunteers to staff more than two people per game.
“I want people to volunteer. I don’t want them to come out and want to do it and then expect to be paid a talent fee,” he said.
WATCH BELOW: Friend of Humboldt Broncos’ announcer Tyler Bieber says he was a ‘great person to be around’
Officials from 107.5 Bolt FM said it was too early to comment Friday. The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL) and the Humboldt Broncos didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Kelly Moore, sports director of 680 CJOB in Winnipeg also offered his services, but only with the blessing of the SJHL and Broncos.
“We all want to help in some form or fashion and this is something that guys like myself think we can at least do a pretty decent job of,” Moore said.
Moore and Lazaruk hope if the plan goes ahead, the next voice of the Broncos will receive mentorship from the volunteer professionals.
“They’re guys who certainly have done an amazing job at their craft and yet, they too want to be a part of this and I think that speaks volumes for what we all thought of Tyler Bieber,” Moore said.
Humboldt Broncos president Kevin Garinger has stated the Broncos will participate in the 2018-19 season.