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

Ladysmith Chamber president speaks up for local business at meeting with provincial ministers

Tammy Leslie, Ladysmith Chamber president presented three policy proposals to the government

Play revolves around teenagers in thought-provoking dialect

Chemainus Theatre’s I & You focuses on the development of an unlikely friendship

Stouffer in a class of her own without Proteau in the field

Fairwinds golfer captures Mount Brenton ladies’ golf tournament by 15 strokes

Tour de Rock cyclists gear up on training ride

Stops in Ladysmith and Chemainus part of the fanfare and preparations

Sculpture relocation plan works perfectly in Chemainus

Heavy lifting required to place Cline’s work into Heritage Square

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read