The hockey world continues to grieve following the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy.
Sixteen people so far have died after a semi collided with the bus carrying the team. Other remain in hospital, some in critical condition.
The Regina Pats returned to the Brandt Centre with heavy hearts following a break as they prepare to host the Memorial Cup in May.
Head Coach John Paddock said players on the Pats all have different connections to people on the bus, some more than others.
“We’re going to have work done for our whole group, that’s just what we’re proceeding with,” Paddock said.
One of the players on the bus was goaltender Jacob Wasserman, who suited up for the Pats twice this past season. He remains in hospital.
The SJHL has recently voted to continue with the playoffs after the tragedy, a decision Paddock agrees with but knows some people might not agree with it.
“The teams, the hockey community in general, the league will get some healing from games being played, from being somewhere when Nipawin practices today, or whatever, to get your mind off it.”
Many across the world have been showing support for the Broncos by leaving sticks outside their home. Stars for other sports, such as Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, have also done what they can to show support.
“It’s affected us all.”
While people on the team are going through many emotions, the Pats did come together to begin to practice to get prepared for the upcoming junior hockey tournament.
“They’re with their brotherhood like that Humboldt team was and they have each other and they talk and they work together and they worked really hard today.”
Paddock said himself and the Pats organization don’t decide if a Humboldt patch will be worn by teams in the Memorial Cup tournament.
“Personally, I think that there will be something, but that’s just my opinion.”