Elgar Petersen is shown in an undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Imagin Photography)

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second death reported in Kelowna General Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

A total of seven cases have been identified at the hospital: six patients and one staff

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
36 new cases of COVID-19, one death in Interior Health

The number of active cases in the region is at 366

The KLO Community Policing Office is located within the Regional District of Central Okanagan building on KLO Road. (File)
Kelowna council to consider closure of KLO Community Policing Office

Since May 2020, the office has been effectively closed, with duties absorbed into the Kelowna Police Services Building

A Kelowna Chamber of Commerce event in 2017. (Contributed)
Kelowna Chamber announces new board of directors

Directors will be ratified at the annual general meeting on March 23

Mussel inspection sit set up at B.C.-Alberta border. (Contributed)
Okanagan Basin Water Board calls for stronger invasive mussel protection

Letter sets out six recommendations for environment minister George Heyman to consider

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Riverside Centre includes a theatre hosting local plays, visiting musicians and dance troupes. It is also used for community events such as public meetings and fundraisers. Photo Town of Princeton
COVID-19 numbers provided by Interior Health show Salmon Arm and Revelstoke in the 200-plus range from January 2020 to February 2021 while Vernon, with a larger population, tallied more than 600 over the 14 months. (BC Centre for Disease Control map)
14 months of COVID-19 data show Kamloops cases doubling Vernon’s

Jan. 1, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021: 605 cases reported for Vernon, 243 for Salmon Arm, 1,246 for Kamloops

Penticton Fire Department pulled a kayaker from Okanagan Lake on Wednesday after he had fallen out of his boat and called 911. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. (Western News - File)
Kayaker rescued from Okanagan Lake after falling in and calling 911

The Penticton Fire Department’s Marine Rescue pulled him out suffering from severe cold

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s general manager Dan Proulx, left, hosted a virtual Official Opposition town hall meeting with Shadow Cabinet Minister Small Business Pat Kelly, right, and North Okanagan-Shuswap MP Mel Arnold March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Tourism key to business recovery in North Okanagan-Shuswap: MP

Easing travel restrictions, limiting taxation and debt management critical to COVID-19 economic recovery

Thomas Kruger-Allen is expected to be sentenced Friday, March 5, 2021.
Sentencing expected Friday for 2019 Penticton beach attack

Defense wants 12 to 18 months for beach assaults that left one of his victims with brain injury

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Most Read