Ten surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos junior ‘A’ hockey team were in Las Vegas, Nev., for the announcement ahead of the NHL Awards.
A tragic collision between the Broncos’ bus and a semi-trailer on April 6 claimed the lives of 16 players and staff on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask. Thirteen others were injured.
And on Tuesday, most of the survivors were there to help Saskatoon’s Chandler Stephenson, a Washington Capitals forward, fulfill his Stanley Cup promise.
WATCH: NHL announces the Stanley Cup will be brought to Humboldt, Sask., on Aug. 24
“Lo and behold, he won and Chandler’s going to have a day in Humboldt with the cup on Aug. 24,” NHL social engagement director Andrew Ference said.
At the same time, the NHL is pledging to bring other NHLers to Humboldt and include an on-ice component to kick-off the upcoming Broncos season.
It’s a season crash survivor Derek Patter will be part of, as he says he’s returning to the roster as a Bronco.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity just to help the community and help the whole hockey community get better through this whole tragedy,” Patter said.
WATCH: Humboldt Broncos player announces he’s returning to play for team
Jacob Wassermann, who was recently released from hospital, said he’s hoping to play sledge hockey and recalls meeting Rick Hansen, the man in motion and disability advocate.
“He just told me to live my life the same way I was before. There’s no limitations in the world as long as I don’t put them on myself,” Wassermann said.
WATCH: Andrew Ference, Chris Campoli say they’ll be speaking to players at NHL Humboldt event
The survivors are in Las Vegas for one other reason. The Broncos’ late head coach, Darcy Haugan, is nominated for the NHL’s inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award. The recipient will be named on Wednesday.