COMMUNITY - Laurie Boschman, retired NHL player who now works with Hockey Ministries International, poses with Mayor Jim Wood of Red Deer County and City of Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at this year’s Central Alberta Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Tuesday. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Retired NHL player Laurie Boschman shares at annual mayor’s prayer breakfast

Boschman shared words of encouragement following last Friday’s Humboldt tragedy

  • Apr. 10, 2018 10:30 a.m.

Retired NHL hockey player Laurie Boschman shared words of encouragement and inspiration following last Friday’s Humboldt tragedy during the annual Central Alberta Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast Tuesday.

Boschman told the crowd gathered in the Parkland Pavilion that he had decided in light of the tragedy, which claimed 15 lives, to change the direction of his talk.

“In light of what has transpired in the last few days, I’ve changed the trajectory of the direction I had wanted to go in this morning.

“I also feel it’s appropriate here in Red Deer that we have this place where we can come together and call upon the Lord for the community, but also in light of what has just happened in Humboldt.”

Boschman played in the NHL for 14 seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators.

Boschman, who is the father of three sons, hails from Saskatchewan. He is now part of Hockey Ministries International, which provides spiritual support for those in the world of hockey.

“I cried because I thought about how frightened and disoriented those kids would have been. I cried because I thought of the families whose hearts were being torn apart hearing the news that their sons had died in that crash.”

Tears also came at the thought of the loss of head coach Darcy Haugan, who Boschman had come to know as well.

“Of course, at a time like this, you go back and you think about those situations.”

Boschman spoke of his own younger years of chasing his dreams of one day playing in the NHL, and how with all teams, long trips on the bus are just part of the experience.

“We’d be gone for two weeks at a time – we’d be doing our homework on the bus, play cards and talk about life,” he recalled, adding that he’s also been thinking about his own three sons and how they many times boarded buses and headed off to games.

“I’m certain many here today have kids in hockey, soccer, ringette, baseball – and you have some of those same thoughts and feelings upon hearing the news this past weekend,” he said. “Thoughts of utter despair and disbelief.”

Boschman pointed to the outpouring of support that Canadians have shown in the wake of the tragedy as well.

“We are a nation in mourning.

“I have been in fervent prayer for these families and the community as they try and make sense of something that is so hard to understand.”

His Christian faith is what has helped to carry him through these horrendous seasons of loss, whether directly personal or when witnessing tragedies such as what happened April 6th.

He shared how even with his early success, he felt a sense of emptiness and sought a deeper purpose to his life.

“I remember thinking is this all life has to offer?” Through a friend, who told him he tried to use the Bible as a guide for his life, Boschman discovered a new life through Christianity, he said.

Finding faith empowered him and gave him that purpose – and it’s provided the strength and comfort he has needed through the years as he has experienced his own devastating losses, including the deaths of his sister and wife.

“Many times we are looking for answers – sometimes we look to the scriptures for some comfort.

“Sometimes, we just want to walk with those people. I just wanted (today) to point people to the hope that we can find in the pages of scripture.”

Just Posted

Wolf Creek Schools raises Treaty 6 flag for first time

Chiefs, school officials took part in a ceremony that is aimed at acknowledging Treaty 6 land

Federal and provincial governments partner in investing in Valley View Manor

Government officials take part in grand opening of Valley View Manor

Valley View Manor hosts grand opening

Rimbey’s beautiful new facility celebrated

The characters between the lines

Remembering newspaper greats!

UPDATE: 18-year-old Rimbey teen dies in collision

A portion of Highway 53 west of Rimbey is down to one lane while crews investigate

U.S. congressman issues dire warning to Canada’s NAFTA team: time is running out

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is expected to resume talks with the U.S.

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

Tilray Inc sees $10-billion in market cap go up in smoke

Tilray’s share price closed at $123 US on Friday, a decline from its intraday peak of nearly $300 US earlier in the week

Canada to boost support for riskier forms of renewable energy: minister

A $30-million contribution to a $117-million tidal project hopes to harness the immense power of the Bay of Fundy

WATCH: Grey Cup was in Red Deer to support military families

Money raised will go towards the Military Family Resource Centre

Browns beat streak, win first NFL game in 635 days

Baker Mayfield erased any doubts about why the Browns selected him with the No. 1 overall pick

New silver collector coin features Indigenous dancer

New silver collectors coin captures fast-paced energy of an Indigenous powwow

Off Nova Scotia, a bid to ‘unravel the mystery’ of great white sharks

The question: Is Nova Scotia the second mating site for Atlantic white sharks, something scientists say could be key to protecting the endangered species.

Most Read