Tributes from around and outside the sports world have poured in for the victims of the bus crash on Friday night in northeastern Saskatchewan involving the Humboldt Broncos that claimed the lives of 15 and injured several others.
"Janet and I have struggled all day with the horrific accident in Saskatchewan. We are so sad for the @HumboldtBroncos families and are praying for them," Wayne Gretzky tweeted.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets will honour the Broncos Saturday night by wearing "Broncos" on the back of their jerseys in place of name plates.
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman wrote "Humboldt Broncos" on his hat as he took the mound against the Texas Rangers in Arlington Saturday night. Canadian Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto also paid tribute to the Broncos, writing their name on his cleats as he played against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"Our thoughts are with the players, families, coaches, team management and all those throughout the community that have been affected by the tragedy involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Saturday. "The NHL mourns the passing of those who perished and offers strength and comfort to those injured while traveling to play and be part of a game they all love."
"Heartbroken by the tragic loss of life in Humbolt. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in hockey is with the families of those who were lost. May God bless them all," Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk tweeted.
"I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.
"Just spoke to Justin Trudeau to pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the terrible Humboldt team tragedy," tweeted U.S. President Donald Trump. "May God be with them all!"
"So tragic," wrote American vice president Mike Pence. "Our hearts go out to our Canadian neighbours. Condolences and prayers for the victims, families and fans of the Humboldt Broncos."
"Words can not describe the loss that we feel tonight," wrote Saskatchewan premier Scott Moe. "From a grieving province, thank you to first responders and medical professionals for courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable. Tonight, we all must pray for these families."
A makeshift memorial has been created at the Broncos' home, the Elgar Petersen Arena, where fans have left flowers and other mementos.
A fan of the team posted a photo from the hospital of two players involved in the crash sharing a handshake as the pair lie in hospital beds aside one another.
"My heart breaks this morning for the entire Humboldt Broncos community," tweeted talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. "I am sending so much love to everyone affected."
"On behalf of the Canadian Hockey League, our teams, staff, players, families, and fans, we extend our deepest sympathies to the Humboldt Broncos Junior A Hockey Club and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League," the CHL said in a statement. "Hockey is all about community and last evening, the Canadian hockey community suffered an unimaginable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends, teammates and fans of the Broncos and the entire Humboldt community during this most difficult time."
Canadian hockey legend Hayley Wickenheiser, a native of Shaunavon, Sask., said the tragedy resonated with her and tweeted out a link to a GoFundMe for the team.
"Didn't sleep," Wickenheiser wrote. "Waves of grief. Played against several of these boys on the national team. This is my province, these are our boys. What can we do? Well not much now, but no reason we can't raise a million. The families will all need it. Join me in donating."
Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Duron Carter echoed the sentiment.
"Life is precious," he tweeted. "Every touchdown I get this season will be donated to the Humboldt Broncos families! Hope I help this healing process."
An emotional Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill spoke about the tragedy during his media availability early on Saturday afternoon.
The Winnipeg Jets announced on Saturday afternoon that they, along with their opponents the Chicago Blackhawks, will be honouring the victims ahead of Saturday night's game at the MTS Centre.
"There will be a coordinated moment of silence prior to the game tonight, and both the Jets and Blackhawks will also wear the word 'Broncos' on the back of their jerseys during the game," the team said in a statement. "In place of individual names, 'Broncos' is meant to symbolize the unity and support of our hockey communities coming together as one for the Humboldt Broncos' family."
"Saddened by the tragic news surrounding the Humboldt Broncos hockey team," wrote Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore. "Sending my deepest condolences to you and the entire global hockey community."
"Thoughts and prayers to the families and everyone affected by this tragedy," New York Islanders forward Anthony Beauvillier tweeted along with a graphic.
"Thoughts are back in Saskatchewan tonight with the Humboldt Broncos and their families," wrote Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly, who played his junior hockey in the province. "Terrible tragedy."
On Saturday morning, the Leafs placed the Broncos logo along the wall of their dressing room.
"I road the bus all the time playing in the WHL," wrote San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane. "Very unfortunate to hear about this tragic accident. Thoughts and prayers to everyone affected involving the Humboldt Broncos."
"Thoughts and prayers to all the players and families of the Humboldt Broncos," wrote Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn.
"Thinking of the Humboldt Broncos and our friends in the hockey community at this terrible time," the Toronto Raptors tweeted. "From Toronto to the Prairies, our thoughts and prayers are with you."
"Could have been any of us, can't put it into words," wrote Syracuse Crunch goaltender and Saskatoon native Connor Ingram. "So many buddies on that bus. Love you all."
"Devastating news about the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team," wrote Will and Grace star Debra Messing. "Unthinkable tragedy. Praying for the families."
"Terrible news! Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the Humboldt Broncos accident," wrote curler Brad Gushue.
"My thought, sympathies and sincerest condolences go out to the community of Humboldt, SK and everyone affected by this heartbreaking news," wrote Corner Gas creator and Tisdale, Sask. native Brent Butt.
"Our hearts are heavy today," the Nashville Predators said in a statement. "Sending our thoughts, prayers and condolences out to the friends and family of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team."
Globe and Mail reporter and Saskatchewan native Les Perreaux wrote about the significance of the bus trip for the Prairies.
"The bus isn't just a hockey thing," he wrote. "Reaching the point where your team, your song-and-dance troupe, your school or youth group, can rent a bus to make the 500km trip to Saskatoon for an event is a big rite of passage. A marker of success."
The tragedy resonated with the community of Swift Current. On December 30, 1986, four member of the Swift Current Broncos were killed in a bus accident heading to Regina. Among those killed was Brent Ruff, younger brother of New York Rangers assistant coach Lindy Ruff.
"Sending all my thoughts and prayers to those impacted with the Humboldt Broncos bus crash," wrote former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy, who was a member of that 1986 Swift Current team. "Please don't share any unconfirmed information. These kids' families and friends are searching for the correct info."