• 2018-04-10

take a moment to reflect on The 29

Reminding a nation...

Watching Ron MacLean and Don Cherry on Saturday night reminded a nation that there are no words to describe an unthinkable tragedy.  And yet, Canadians are finding a way through tears and heartache to share words, emotions, feelings and photos as best they can manage, following Friday's carnage on a lonely stretch of Saskatchewan highway.  As a country, we have been jarred from the busyness, routine and the mundane of everyday life to stop and think again about how precious life really is as we express the deepest of sympathies for 29 people who were just looking forward to a playoff game last Friday in Nipawin.  

When news broke about the Humboldt Broncos horrific accident, every Canadian felt as though they were back at the rink; bonded by a sorrow known only to a country filled with endless arenas. This week, we take a moment to reflect on things that truly matter as we honor the memory of 'The 29' on this edition of The Reinvention Chronicles.

Hockey rinks are filled with hope. There are no classes in an arena. It's the one place in Canada where we shed our titles, shed our money and shed everything else and we do it for one another. It is the very essence of why we love the game.  - Ron MacLean

p.s… The full impact of the Humboldt tragedy didn't fully register until early Monday morning. After flying out of London, ON to Calgary on Sunday, woke up in Canmore, Alberta at 5:15 a.m. and for whatever reason that was the moment when memories of countless minor and pro hockey bus rides kicked in. It all came rushing back; sitting with a reflective Claude Julien in the early 90's after the AHL Moncton Hawks playoff defeat in New Haven Conn; the Riverview Senators novice team heading to the Buctouche Forum with Tilly Hebert at the wheel to face off against the Camille Theriault-coached Buctouche Whalers; the hundreds of trips with Brian Foster, Mark Fenety, Jai' Beau LeBlanc, Sheldon Currie, 

Ricky Gaudet,  Doug McGrath, Mac Davis, Hopey, Forddy and the rest of the Maritime All-Stars who raised over one million dollars for worthy causes. And then I thought about the boys closest to me; Ryan, Cayden and Josh who also got to ride on those buses and experience the bonding that can only come from being that visiting team on the road sharing the stories and the good times.   Anyone who has been riding those buses for any length of time will tell you that the wins and losses eventually fade into the distance, but the stories, the laughter and the memories live on forever.And that's why we still watch and appreciate what Ron and Don do on "Coaches Corner" every Saturday night to help the hockey community come together when we need it most. 

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