VIDEO: Broncos tribute concert attracts thousands including star NHL players

NHL players Sean Monahan of Calgary Flames, Brendan Gallagher of Montreal Canadiens attended

Canadian country singer Gord Bamford reached over after performing the song “Little Guy” and grabbed the hand of Carson Haugan, the son of late Humboldt Broncos coach Darcy Haugan.

Carson, wearing a white Broncos jersey, was given a standing ovation by the crowd of over 10,000 that packed SaskTel Centre Friday night for a tribute concert to remember those killed in the April 6 bus crash.

“That was a tough one for me,” Bamford said after finishing the song he wrote for his own son, Nash, who was also on stage.

The Broncos were on their way to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game when their team bus and a tractor-trailer collided at an intersection.

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 people were injured.

READ MORE: Humboldt arena memorial ring to be removed

READ MORE: RCMP say cause of fatal Humboldt Broncos bus crash still unknown

Chants of “Go Broncos Go” rang through the crowd as Broncos family members and current and former NHL players joined country star Dallas Smith on stage to end the night.

Current NHL players such as Sean Monahan of the Calgary Flames and Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens were in attendance. Four-time Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser along with Paralympian Greg Westlake were also there.

The group of hockey players laid sticks in front of a Broncos jersey prior to the concert and the display remained throughout the evening.

“We’ve been through a storm in this province of Saskatchewan these last few weeks,” Premier Scott Moe said. ”We were plunged into the darkness when this terrible incident took place.

“And though there is still darkness, there is daylight on the horizon.”

The Hunter Brothers from Saskatchewan sang the national anthem and later encouraged the crowd to sing along to “Amazing Grace.”

Chad Brownlee played a rendition of Tom Cochrane’s “Big League.”

A video message from surviving Broncos player Brayden Camrud was played before the performances began along with a message from Chris Joseph, whose son Jaxon died in the crash.

The crowd, dressed in cowboy hats and boots along with hockey jerseys, also gave first responders in attendance a standing ovation.

Kissel, as well as fellow Juno winner Jess Moskaluke, played some of their biggest hits.

On Thursday night, close to 50 current and former NHL players gave a standing ovation to families of the Broncos at a local hotel.

Scott Thomas, whose son Evan died in the crash, didn’t expect to see such a big crowd.

“You could see the pain in their faces, you could see the respect that they have for what we’re going through as parents, as hockey people,” Thomas said.

“There’s just a lot of emotion in the room.”

Just over a week ago, Thomas held a memorial service at SaskTel Centre for his son in his hometown.

Thomas said his emotions hadn’t changed much since the memorial service.

“It’s still raw, absolutely raw,” he said. ”There’s still a void there that will probably be there for the rest of my life. But I know once everybody gets in there, the feeling of love is going to be the same.”

Longtime Dallas Stars forward and Hall of Famer Mike Modano said that being with the families of the Broncos on Thursday night was really hard.

“I think that was the first time a lot of those families had been together since the accident,” he said. ”It was really heart wrenching to just kind of be there and put some names to the faces finally that we’ve heard about.”

Humboldt resident Yvette Crane travelled to the concert and said that the Broncos helped the community a lot.

“I used to go to their hockey games all the time and I just love ‘em,” she said.

Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

Four Rivers Co-op collecting donations for wildfire relief

The co-op is matching all donations they receive for the Red Cross

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Northern B.C. residents face more evacuation orders as some smoke clears up

Regional District of BulkleyNechako issued new, expanded evacuation orders for remote areas Saturday

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Most Read