Ottawa residents join hockey stick movement in honor of Broncos
Look around down your street and you're likely to see hockey sticks on porches all across your neighbourhood. Maybe there's one outside your door. It’s a movement that is gaining momentum across this country and beyond.
It's a simple concept and the beauty is in that simplicity.
Many people have a hockey stick around their house and a player or two in their home and this issue hits close to their hearts.
Ottawa resident Luigi Buffone is joining a solemn and silent salute as he joins a league of players placing hockey sticks on their front porches.
“I think it's important that anyone involved in hockey should participate in some kind of acknowledgement as to these hockey players and the community itself,” says Buffone, “It's absolutely insane for something like this to happen.”
All over Barrhaven, Kanata, east end Ottawa and in the south end, residents are embracing this idea, grieving as a nation.
They are outside fire halls in Ottawa, popping up at the Paramedic Headquarters in the city's south end and leaning against the sign at the Elgin police station.
And for those who don’t have hockey sticks, the Ottawa sports store Play It Again Sports is selling them at a discount with proceeds to go to the Humboldt Broncos Go Fund Me Page.
“The hockey community is tight knit,” says Rob Lavoie at Play It Again Sports on Bank Street, “90% of the staff that work for us are hockey players. They ride these buses and play on teams like that. It really hits home to all of us here so anything we can do to help is great.”
It's a simple gesture that is spreading like a prairie wildfire. Outside Toronto's Sports Hall of Fame, hockey sticks keep company with the Stanley Cup.
They adorn the steps of the Regina legislature.
Even across the ocean, outside the Canadian High Commission in London and at the Canadian base in Iraq.
But hockey sticks are only one symbol drawing people together. Jersey days are being planned in schools throughout Ottawa. At John McCrae Highschool, 17-year-old baseball player Justin Dineen says the crash has hit home to many of them.
“I play sports, all my friends do,” says Dineen, as he pulls a jersey over his head, “We're always on the bus, we have lots of great memories on there and it's a tragedy that it happened. They are there all together and it's kids our age. It could have happened to anyone. It's just so surreal.”
And there is one more hockey stick to add to the ever growing pile at Ottawa City Hall tomorrow near the Sens Rink of Dreams.
There will also be a moment of silence for both the Broncos players and Jonathan Pitre.