A bench made out of hockey sticks in a Langley ice arena serves as a permanent memorial to the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
The bench is the brainchild of Wendy Craighead, a hockey wife and mom who wanted to do something to remember the players killed and injured in the Broncos bus crash.
Married to John Craighead, a former NHL player, Wendy noted that she spent plenty of time on hockey buses with first her husband, and later with her sons Darien and Tristan, both of whom currently play. She went on the bus with John a few times back when he was playing Junior B and they were first dating.
The Humboldt crash hit the Craigheads and their friends and family close to home.
“Many tears were shed as everything unfolded,” Wendy said.
Wendy’s boss at her workplace, Royal Ocean Events, knew how much the family was involved in hockey and asked if there was anything to do.
Wendy suggested the bench, and Langley Sportsplex manager Bud Pope was happy to host the new memorial.
The bench was put in place last week.
Retired NHLer Cliff Ronning donated the hockey sticks, and John Craighead did most of the work of actually building the bench, with friends doing finishing work. Royal Ocean Events paid the costs.
Even the plaque on the bench was free, as when Dogwood Awards learned the reason for it they offered to donate their work as well.
Wendy said she would love to see similar projects to place benches like this across Canada in memory of the Humboldt players, coaches, and staff.