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

Federal fisheries minister calls for precautionary approach to fish farming

Government still reviewing Federal Court’s decision on PRV – Wilkinson

Risk of ‘deadly avalanches’ leads to warning for B.C.’s south coast

Weak layer of snow on Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland could trigger an avalanche

Healthier snacks coming to City of Campbell River facilities

City in the process of replacing high-sugar and high-fat snacks and beverages in vending machines

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

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

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.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read