Capitals player taking Stanley Cup to Humboldt to help town heal

Chandler Stephenson was mid-celebration on the ice after winning the Stanley Cup when someone yelled his name.

Stephenson looked up into the stands and saw Brayden Camrud, a friend from back home who played for the Humboldt Broncos junior team. Camrud and Kaleb Dahlgren, another friend of Stephenson’s, survived the April bus crash on the prairie of Saskatchewan that killed 16 people, including 11 of their teammates.

Stephenson knew at the beginning of the playoffs he wanted to take the Cup to Humboldt if he and the Washington Capitals won it. When the Capitals led the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 in the final, the 24-year-old said it was his intent to share his day with the Cup with the people of Humboldt. He is from nearby Saskatoon.

He will make good on that commitment Friday, hoping his small gesture will help somehow.

“The community deserves to have a good day,” Stephenson said. “We’re not trying to be saviors by any means because nothing can replace a life. We’re just trying to make it as positive a day as we can and hopefully put some smiles and some laughs on some people’s faces.”

Stephenson will be joined by more than a dozen current and former players for Humboldt Hockey Day, organized by the NHL and NHLPA to celebrate the strength and resilience of the town of 6,000. Broncos spokeswoman Tammy Robert called it a baby step in a complicated healing process for victims, their loved ones and everyone affected.

“This day is designed to bring some of the joy back to the game of hockey for the community of Humboldt,” Robert said. “It’s about clearing the way for the new 2018-19 season for the Humboldt Broncos team and just giving them the opportunity to have fun.”

Those opportunities have been in short supply since the April 6 crash, when the team bus on its way to a playoff game was hit by a truck. The hockey world that so often functions like a small town grieved together as NHL teams paid tribute with stickers and moments of silence and an online fundraising effort raised more than $15 million for the victims.

In an attempt to figure out what might best help those in Humboldt, former NHL defenseman Andrew Ference reached out to Colorado Avalanche general manager and Hockey Hall of Famer Joe Sakic, who survived the 1986 Swift Current Broncos crash that killed four people.

“His big message was that you can only do so much, first of all, but also that every person is going to arrive at their grief, or they’re going to deal with it, in different ways and it’s going to be at different times,” said Ference, who is now the NHL’s director of social impact, growth and fan development. “There’s not one blanket kind of reaction to a whole group.”

Stephenson knows that. He was thrilled to see Camrud in Las Vegas when the Capitals won the Cup and is glad to be skating with Dahlgren again this summer. He understands many others weren’t so lucky, which is why he thought of Humboldt before planning any other activity he’d do in his short period with the Cup.

“Your time with the Cup isn’t exactly forever, so I think it’s just really special that he’s willing to do that,” said Humboldt Broncos alum and retired defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, who won it with Chicago in 2013. “I think the Cup being there is going to just bring a little bit of joy back to the community. There’s something about that Stanley Cup, every time you see it or are in the same room as it, it just brings that certain awe factor.”

Members of the Broncos organization will be around Stephenson and the Cup for a private function before he takes the famous trophy to a public event in the afternoon that will feature street hockey with the likes of Ference, Adam Graves, Calgary’s Travis Hamonic and St. Louis’ Brayden Schenn. Ference said players who have never won the Cup often steer clear of someone’s day with it, but this is an exception.

“When this opportunity presented itself to do something around Chandler’s day and to go in and be with the community and do something fun like street hockey and just hanging out around the local rink, guys stepped up and they wanted to be a part of it,” Ference said. “There definitely wasn’t any arm-twisting involved.”

Robert said the NHL and NHLPA have been “a rock behind the scenes” for the Broncos, calling this event an extension of that support. Brookbank, who spent time this summer visiting injured players at Saskatoon City Hospital, understands the role hockey plays in the community. He figures the Cup being there will make a difference.

“It’s small-town Saskatchewan,” Brookbank said. “It’s a really special thing, and the Stanley Cup doesn’t get out there that often. For Chandler to do that, I just think that’s amazing on him.”

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury on wig
Marc-Andre Fleury puts on a blond wig at the end of practice to get some laughs.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Predators
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 30, 2018
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz answer your burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Marchessault Hits Penalty Shot in OT
The Golden Knights defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant says team's tenacity led to OT win over the Senators
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the Golden Knights win over the Ottawa Senators in overtime and how Ryan Reaves and Alex Tuch's contributions helped.
Golden Knights talk OT win, ready for road games
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about winning in overtime against the Ottawa Senators and how they will carry over that momentum on their upcoming road games.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Tampa, Pacioretty Exits Game
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Golden Knights locker room post following loss to Lightning
The Vegas Golden Knights agreed following their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that they need to play more aggressive and be more consistent throughout the game to come out victorious.
Gallant says Golden Knights need to play hungrier
Following the Vegas Golden Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to play hungrier and be more consistent to get wins.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall Short to Canucks in Shootout
The Golden Knights lose 3-2 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks, but announce after the game that they have signed Nate Schmidt to a 6 year contract extension. Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Knights coach Gallant on team's loss to Vancouver, Schmidt's new deal
Following the Golden Knights 3-2 loss to the Canucks, head coach Gerard Gallant addressed the missed opportunities and also spoke about Nate Schmidt's new contract with the team.
Golden Knights discuss shootout loss to Canucks
The Vegas Golden Knights discuss their loss to the Vancouver Canucks at the T-Mobile Arena.
Golden Edge: Knights party, practice before facing Canucks
Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz reports from City National Arena after the Golden Knights practice. The team is in high spirits after a costume party and on a 3 game win streak.
Golden Edge Mailbag 10-23-2018
Ben Gotz and Adam Hill read Golden Knights viewer mail and discuss players costumes for Halloween.
Golden Knights credit chemistry, strong fourth line for win over Ducks
Following their 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks, the Vegas Golden Knights players credited team chemistry and solid play from the fourth line as keys to their victory.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like