The Surrey Eagles will retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 jersey at the beginning of next season, the team announced. (Surrey Eagles photo)

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

A few days after Jaxon Joseph’s death – one of 16 in the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crash April 6 – Blaine Neufeld, former coach with the Surrey Eagles, said what he wanted, more than anything, was for the 20-year-old hockey player to be remembered.

Now, the Eagles have found a way to do just that – by retiring Joseph’s No. 10 jersey.

Team president Chuck Westgard confirmed to Black Press this week that the number will go up into the rafters, but said official plans to honour Joseph – who played for the Eagles during the 2015/16 season – were still being worked out.

After his time in South Surrey, Joseph moved on to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, first with the Melfort Mustangs and then with Humboldt. The Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin when their team bus collided with a semi truck.

Westgard hopes the gesture will serve as a way not only to honour Joseph, but his Humboldt teammates, as well.

“It’s a tragedy that hit everyone hard, especially those of us in the hockey community,” Westgard said Tuesday. “Number one, this is a way to honour Jaxon, but number two, it’s a way to acknowledge what happened and make sure people don’t ever forget.

“We need to remember those kids, and those people.”

Speaking with Black Press a few days after the bus crash, Neufeld said the tragedy hit home with everyone involved in the sport, calling it “heartbreaking, horrific – it’s about as bad as it gets.”

Though Joseph only played part of one season in Surrey, he was one of the team’s most well-respected players, Neufeld said.

“Beyond the game of hockey, he was a young man who was built to succeed in life, and it’s just a shame he isn’t going to get that chance,” he said at the time.

Joseph’s number will be the second retired by the club. Former forward Jeff Nabseth’s No. 8 jersey was retired after he was killed in a bike accident on Vancouver Island in 1999.

Caige Sterzer wore No. 10 last season with the Eagles, and while the team brass hasn’t spoke with him yet about making a switch, Westgard said “he won’t have any problem with it.”

Just Posted

New school bus ready to go at Chief Matthews Elementary

Students at Chief Matthews Elementary cheered today as a woven cedar rope… Continue reading

Shakeout drill set to test Haida Gwaii earthquake plans

Several schools and public organizations set to join 10:18 a.m. earthquake drill today

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Gudangaay Tlaats’gaa Naay powers up with solar panels and Tesla battery packs

Solar power got another big boost on Haida Gwaii last week, with… Continue reading

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read