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

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

WCPS looks to its schools and communities for new mission, vision, values and beliefs

WCPS’s Board looks to students, and staff in advance of larger community engagement

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vehicle theft from dealership

Police were able to disable the SUV with assistance from the built-in vehicle assistance system

Red Deer College transforms into Athletes’ Village

Red Deer College’s campus will be home for the athletes during the 2019 Canada Winter Games

Alberta minor hockey team, slammed for Indigenous dance video, forfeits season

Parents say season was too dangerous to finish because the team has been threatened

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Alix resident captures beams of light near Lacombe

Lacombe, Blackfalds, Red Deer photos have since gone viral around the world

Father to be charged with first-degree murder in Amber Alert case

11-year-old Riya Rajkumar was found dead in her father’s home in Brampton, Ontario

January home sales were weakest since 2015, average national price falls: CREA

CREA says the national average price for all types of residential properties sold in January was $455,000

Most Read