Humboldt Broncos survivors attended NHL awards show in Las Vegas

Survivors of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in April gathered at the NHL awards on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, and helped receive the inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award on behalf of their fallen coach. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Standing on the stage in Las Vegas, Christina Haugan recalled her late husband, Darcy — one of the 16 victims of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan in April.

Darcy had just been awarded the NHL’s inaugural Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award, which was presented at the NHL awards show on Wednesday night, and was joined by 10 of the 13 players who survived the bus crash.

“His legacy is far more than what is recorded on the stats sheets,” Christina said while accepting the award. “It is measured by the lives and communities that are better off for having Darcy in them. It is now up to those individuals to pay forward his legacy onto others. For that reason, what’s happening here tonight in Vegas, must not stay in Vegas. The torch has been passed.”

The group of players arrived in Las Vegas on Monday night, and were able to catch up — many for the first time since the crash. They had all been recovering separately at home, and many had only recently left the hospital.

“It’s the best thing ever. We all wish that we lived in the same neighborhood,” Tyler Smith, who was recovering at home in Alberta since he was released from the hospital, told SportsNet. “It’s pretty important to try and get together as much as we can just to heal. I think just being together and sharing stories and kind of just being a team [as much] as we can again is important.

“A lot of guys we can cry together, we can laugh together, we can do everything together and just kind of heal in our own way. It’s a blessing to be able to be here together.”

Stanley Cup headed to Humboldt

Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson is set to bring the Stanley Cup back both to his hometown of Saskatoon and Humboldt — which sits about an hour away — in August. Though he won’t be doing it alone.

The league announced on Tuesday that it would send players for a skills event on August 24 to skills event in Humboldt with Stephenson, something Broncos forward Kaleb Dahlgren said will be a huge help for the community.

“The community of Humboldt needs that, honestly. They need that to come to them,” Dahlgren told SportsNet.

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