LISTEN: Heavy Hearts Expected As Hockey Returns To Humboldt

There are going to be heavy hearts tonight in Humboldt.

The Broncos junior hockey team play its home opener against the Nipawin Hawks.

That's the same team the Saskatchewan hockey team was on its way to play on April 6th when the team bus was involved in a crash with a tractor-trailer, killing 16 people, including 10 players.

TSN will be broadcasting the game and AM800 will also be airing the home opener LIVE this beginning at 7:30pm.

That's when an hour-long pre-game show gets underway followed by a post-game ceremony to honour all those affected by the crash.

TSN hockey host James Duthie will be part of tonight's broadcast.

He told AM800's "The Morning Drive" that this is a tough one because it's not a typical "hockey broadcast."

"We want to do it right for the community and the parents involved," says Duthie.  "We've been working with the parents for months. You mention healing, which is true, I think it's an important step forward for the community and the country."

But Duthie says that probably rings hollow for the parents involved.

"So you see a game like this and you say 'Ok, maybe now everybody can move on' but the reality is that we're five months removed from these people losing their sons, a daughter, or husbands and fathers. It's not going to be healing for them. It's a night I think they've dreaded," says Duthie.

He says it's hard to describe what the mood is in Humboldt ahead of the game.

"Mixed emotions is a cliche we use a lot in sportscasting, but I think you're going to see it tonight, where there's joy that these guys are playing hockey again, but there's going to be, still, an awful lot of pain. It's going to be hard," says Duthie.

Brayden Camrud and Derek Patter are the only two survivors from the crash playing with the Broncos this season.