Broncos say money from SJHL fundraising not being directed to team following crash

The Humboldt Broncos hockey team says it has not received a dime from fundraising efforts of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League as the two fight for trademark of the #HumboldtStrong slogan

#HumboldtStrong trademark battle still ongoing between team and league

The Humboldt Broncos organization says it hasn't endorsed fundraising efforts by the SJHL. (Susan Ormiston/CBC)

The Humboldt Broncos hockey team says it has not received a dime from fundraising efforts of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League amid a trademark battle between the two over the #HumboldtStrong slogan and others related to the fatal bus crash last month.

The phrase #HumboldtStrong popped up on social media soon after the April 6 crash, which killed 16 people and injured 13 others when the team bus and a semi-truck collided at a rural Saskatchewan intersection

A few days after the collision, the junior hockey league partnered with 22 Fresh, a Regina-based clothing company, to sell #HumboldtStrong T-shirts. They said the proceeds would go to an assistance program created after the crash to provide support to its players.

The Broncos organization said it hasn't endorsed those fundraising efforts.

"Any suggestion that the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's fundraising efforts are supporting or endorsed by the Humboldt Broncos is misinformed," Broncos president Kevin Garinger said in a statement Monday. "To date, the SJHL has not directed any funds they have raised, whether through direct solicitation or merchandise sales, to the Humboldt Broncos organization."
Bill Chow, president of the league, said they applied for the trademarks to make sure the brands were protected. (SJHL)

Garinger said, the board of directors of the Humboldt Broncos said it will continue to work with the board of governors of the SJHL to resolve this issue, "with all teams moving forward into the 2018-19 hockey season in solidarity, to play for those who now cannot."

Face off over #HumboldtStrong trademark continues

The revelation comes during a tumultuous trademark battle between the league and the team over the #HumboldtStrong and #sticksontheporch slogans. 

The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League applied to trademark eight phrases April 20, but the team said those who have suffered most from the tragedy should benefit from the phrases associated with it.
A spokesperson for the Broncos said the team was aware of the applications for some time, and had hoped to collaborate with the SJHL to resolve the issue quietly. However, after being approached by the Broncos, the SJHL refused to revoke its trademark applications.
The junior hockey league partnered with 22 Fresh to sell #HumboldtStrong T-shirts shortly after the crash. (22Fresh)

According to a registered trademark agent in Regina, it takes almost a year to review an application and make a decision.

In the meantime, the trademark application doesn't have much legal power.

With files from The Canadian Press, Colette Derworiz