Humboldt Broncos honoured with another NHL award

Prior to the start of the draft, NHL commissioner presented the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos with the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence.

SJHL team presented with E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence on NHL draft night

Survivors of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team reunited for the first time at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (John Locher/The Associated Pres)

Prior to the start of the NHL draft on Friday night, the NHL commissioner presented the 2017-18 Humboldt Broncos with the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence.

The Broncos were on their way to Nipawin, Sask., for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game on April 6 when their bus collided with a truck, resulting in the deaths of 16 people, including 10 players.

"The Humboldt Broncos have always been committed to showing leadership and excellence in all things on and off the ice. Since the unthinkable tragedy that devastated our organization, those efforts have been amplified," said Broncos president Kevin Garinger, who accepted the award on the team's behalf. 

"However, as we rebuild, we could not be where we are today without the people and organizations from all over the world which have supported us, including the NHL. To them we say, we hear you, we feel your love, and we are truly humbled and grateful."

Created in 2015, the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence is given annually by the league to the draft candidate who exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism.

"From this tragedy, the hockey world has come to learn more about the Humboldt Broncos organization and players, their role in the fabric of their community, and their commitment to the pursuit of excellence both on and off the ice," Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting, said in a statement.

"The stories we have heard about those who were lost and those who continue to heal have been truly inspirational and serve as great examples of all the characteristics this award was meant to recognize."

2nd NHL award this week

Earlier this week, surviving members of the Humboldt Broncos were honoured at the NHL's awards night in Las Vegas, accepting the inaugural Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award on behalf of their late head coach, Darcy Haugan.

The O'Ree award, named for the NHL's first black player, is presented to an individual who, through hockey, has positively impacted his or her community, culture or society.

On Aug. 24, Washington Capitals forward Chandler Stephenson, a Saskatoon native, will bring the Stanley Cup to Elgar Petersen Arena in Humboldt.