Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Remembering a Tragedy

Earlier in January, Bathurst, N.B. had to come to grips with a painful experience. A van carrying a load full of high-school basketball players crashed into a tractor-trailer, killing seven players as well as the coaches wife.

The tragedy of that incident prompted Ray MacGregor to remember a similar tragedy from 2 decades ago. This one involved a WHL hockey team, the Swift Current Broncos, and the Avalanche's current captain, Joe Sakic.

I grew up not far from Swift Current which opportuned me the pleasure of watching Joe Sakic during his junior years. Always the quiet, consumate leader, it wasn't until much later that I truly grasped the impact that accident had on shaping who he was as a player, as a person and as a leader.

I don't have many memories of when I heard of the accident as I was still fairly young at the time but I do still remember the memorial set up at the Civic Centre. Once I was old enough to understand the concept of death, passing by that memorial drew a brief chill and a moment of reflection on those players.

Mr. MacGregor's article brought that feeling back and then some.

Click here for the whole article.