Elgar Petersen is shown in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Imagin Photography)

Elgar Petersen, namesake for the Humboldt Broncos’ home rink, dies at 82

Elgar Petersen Arena is home ice for the Broncos: it’s where mourners for the 16 people who died in the crash left flowers and a prayer vigil was held in the days that followed.

Elgar Petersen was famous in Humboldt, Sask., for his love and support of the Broncos hockey team, but it was in the wake of the tragic bus crash in April that his name suddenly became known across the country.

Elgar Petersen Arena is home ice for the Broncos: it’s where mourners for the 16 people who died in the crash left flowers, where reporters stood for live updates about the crash and where a prayer vigil was held in the days that followed.

It was also where Petersen’s death at the age of 82 was announced at a Broncos game Saturday night, just after the singing of the national anthem.

“It was a surprise to everybody. You could hear the gasps in the crowd,” said Humboldt mayor Rob Muench, who was at the game.

Petersen, who had an intellectual disability, was the local volunteer who carried water to players and tied kids’ skates.

Humboldt inducted him into its sports hall of fame in 1998 and named its arena after him in 2000. The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame honoured him as an inductee in its Grassroots category in 2015.

Related: Humboldt Broncos will advocate for seatbelt use on team buses

Related: In Humboldt, a former B.C. hockey player helps a community heal

The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame says on its website that Petersen was a major contributor to all levels of hockey in Humboldt since the late 1960s. It says that during his time as a volunteer with Humboldt Minor Hockey, he was a coach, a mentor and a player. Petersen was seen at the rink almost every day, sometimes for over 12 hours a day, it says.

“The members of the hockey community in Humboldt say his greatest legacy is three generations of minor hockey participants and hundreds of junior hockey players from throughout Canada and beyond that would call him their friend,” the website’s biography of Petersen says.

Petersen had been living in a care facility in nearby Cudworth, Sask., in the past few years, according to Muench. He was last in Humboldt for the prayer vigil, held in the arena that bore is name, two days after the Broncos’ bus collided with a transport truck at a rural intersection, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.

Muench said Petersen still listened to Broncos games on the radio and would pass along advice from the team through visitors from Humboldt.

In a tweet, the Broncos called him “a legend.”

“We wish to express our condolences to the Petersen family. Elgar was a part of so many lives and will never be forgotten,” the team said on Twitter.

The Broncos played the Nipawin Hawks on Saturday — the same team they were on the way to face in a playoff game when the crash happened.

Muench suggested Petersen may have had a hand in the Broncos’ 6-5 come-from-behind win against the Hawks.

“I told somebody I think Elgar must have made his way down to the rink and helped them out because they were down a couple of goals and came back and won it in an overtime shootout against the first-place team in the league. So that was sort of a fitting win for Elgar,” Muench said.

I’m pretty sure Elgar found his way down to the Rink tonight to help the boys in their shootout win over the Hawks. With the win, the Broncos are alone in first place in the league.
RIP Elgar.

Posted by Rob Muench Mayor of Humboldt Saskatchewan on Saturday, November 3, 2018

— by Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

Taser takedown in Chilliwack complex after incident gets violent

Male suspect became agitated under questioning and repeatedly punched an officer

Harrison looks to test viability of solar power

Harrison has applied for a grant to see whether solar power is an option for its village buildings

Agassiz man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Funding uncertain, but Agassiz’s Storytime in the Park will go on, organizer says

The literacy program takes place each summer in Agassiz, Harrison and Seabird Island

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Most Read