Injured Humboldt players get visit from Stanley Cup

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan -- Injured Humboldt Broncos players got a visit from the Stanley Cup.

Tom Straschnitzki, whose 19-year-old son, Ryan, was badly injured in the junior hockey team's bus crash, was in a waiting area at Royal University Hospital on Friday night when a large box was wheeled in.

Recognizing the box from Stanley Cup presentations, he immediately suspected what was inside, and his suspicions were confirmed when someone wearing white gloves lifted the trophy from the case.

Tom Straschnitzki said Ryan's bed was the first stop, and he said his son's eyes grew wide as it was carried in. Ryan asked to see the name of Jonathan Toews, the Chicago Blackhawks forward who visited the hospital earlier in the day to deliver jerseys with Broncos nameplates on them that the Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets wore last weekend.

Tom Straschnitzki said Ryan was asked if he wanted to touch the cup, but he wanted to wait until he wins it someday.

"They know the tradition," Tom Straschnitzki said, noting that the other injured players didn't want to touch the trophy, either.

The Straschnitzkis are from Airdrie, Alberta. The family said 19-year-old Ryan couldn't feel his legs after the crash, in which 16 people died and another 13 were injured when the Broncos' bus collided with a semi-truck on April 6.

Later Saturday, a moment of silence was held before Game 1 of the SJHL final between the Nipawin Hawks and Estevan Bruins.

Hawks players wore green helmets to honor the Broncos in the warm-ups, and both teams wore Humboldt Broncos ribbons on their jerseys.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.