Xavier Labelle of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team attends a news conference in Las Vegas on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, John Locher

Humboldt Broncos player joins his hometown Saskatoon Blades as coaching assistant

One of the Humboldt Broncos hockey players injured in a bus crash that killed 16 people has joined his hometown Western Hockey League team as an assistant to the coaches.

One of the Humboldt Broncos hockey players injured in a bus crash that killed 16 people has joined his hometown Western Hockey League team as an assistant to the coaches.

The Saskatoon Blades say in a news release that Xavier Labelle, who is 18, has joined the major junior team as a hockey operations assistant.

Labelle suffered a fractured skill, a concussion, internal bleeding and 20 broken bones on April 6 when a transport truck collided with the junior hockey team’s bus in Saskatchewan.

Ten of his teammates died, and he was one of the 13 who were injured.

The team says Labelle, who spent the past two seasons with the Broncos, had attended Blades training camp in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

He graduated from high school at the end of June and joined the Blades hockey operations staff prior to this year’s training camp in August.

It was initially thought that Labelle had died in the crash, but it turned out he had been mixed up with another player.

His family has said they hold no ill will about the error.

In the Blades news release, Labelle said he was approached by the team when he was still in hospital recovering from the crash.

“Of course, I jumped at the opportunity,” he said. “I thought it would be great to remain involved in the game. I never really thought about coaching but being here around the staff and seeing what goes into this side of a team, it’s definitely piqued my interest.”

The team says Labelle will start by helping coaches with reviewing game footage, but he’s expected to take on more responsibilities going forward.

“I just started thinking about the boy and what we could do for him, and how we could help him,” said Blades general manager Colin Priestner. “We discussed the different opportunities, where his comfort level was, and it became quite clear he wanted to remain involved in the hockey operations.”

The team says Labelle will also have a role in the Blades’ pre-game tribute to the Broncos in their home opener on Sept. 22.

Related: Humboldt Broncos emerge from tragedy

Related: Humboldt Broncos player released from hospital

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Kelowna connection to dead cryptocurrency exchange CEO

Gerald Cotten, holding the keys to money tied up in his virtual currency exchange, died in December.

Okanagan home to 2 of the best North American lake towns

TripAdvisor gives a nod to Kelowna and Osoyoos

‘There is no market for it,’ Kelowna apartment recycling takes a hit

Waste Connection of Canada’s is no longer picking up certain materials in the Central Okanagan

Summerland connection in early hockey game

Two local property owners played in Montreal in 1875

Crime Stoppers’ latest Kelowna-based unsolved crimes

RCMP and Crime Stoppers search info for incidents from West Kelowna through to Lake Country

Music Rundown: Who you should be watching play live this week

Fill your calendar this week with these great shows

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Thieves steal bottles, mattress from recycle depot

Chase RCMP still investigating theft of tires, generator from commercial garage

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Cold War Cabaret offers song, slam poetry and sock puppets

Devon More returns to Shuswap with Berlin Waltz, March 16

Most Read