Signed 'Humboldt Jersey' makes stop in Regina for Memorial Cup

Signed 'Humboldt Jersey' makes stop in Regina for Memorial Cup

Amanda Mumm says the Humboldt Jersey showed her just how far-reaching the effects of April's tragic bus crash have been.

"So many hockey players have been touched. So many families have been touched. It's unbelievable. It really is," said the Regina woman.

The jersey was created in Florida. It has a Tampa Bay Lightning logo on the front. On the back is the number 16, in honour of those lost in April when a bus carrying the carrying the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League's Humboldt Broncos collided with a semi at a rural Sask. intersection.

Mumm first saw the jersey on social media. There were pictures of it in the stands at NHL playoff games. Others show it being held and autographed by hockey greats.

She decided it should come to Regina for the Memorial Cup. She reached out to Dan Gitzler, the Florida man behind the jersey.

"He was super excited we were willing to bring it into the Memorial Cup. I think getting it here was harder than convincing him to let it come here," Mumm said.

'Kids chasing their dreams'

Gitzler was born in St. John's. His family moved to the U.S. when he was six years old. Now living in Parrish, Florida, Gitzler is a die-hard Tampa Bay Lightning fan.

He said that he was crushed when he heard about the Humboldt crash.

"They were all kids chasing their dreams," he said.

The jersey started out as a small gesture. He got the number 16 affixed to the back and wore it to the opening game of the Lightning's 2018 playoff run. When the team went on the road, he found someone who could wear the jersey for the away game.

It started picking up steam on social media. Gitzler was getting encouragement from across oceans.

Eventually people started contacting him about taking the jersey to other events. It has been to the American Hockey League playoffs and the SJHL finals.

Over time the jersey has collected autographs. Gitzler said he has tried to get signatures from people who have some connection to those who died. Some are famous hockey players. Others fill smaller roles. One autograph came from the statistician for an NHL team, in honour of Brody Hinz, who kept stats for Humboldt.

Gitzler said his goal with the project is to show everyone affected by the crash that people all over the globe have their backs.

"If one person feels just a little bit better about any of it because of this jersey, then the jersey has accomplished its mission," he said.

Tampa Bay has been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, but Gitzler is working on having volunteers take the jersey to finals games in Las Vegas and Washington. Eventually, the jersey's journey will end in Humboldt, which was always Gitzler`s plan.

"It's their jersey. They can do what they want with it," he said.

'Trying to move forward'

Mumm arranged to have the jersey shipped to Regina for Wednesday night's Memorial Cup matchup between the Regina Pats and the Swift Current Broncos. She was scheduled to volunteer at the event so couldn't wear the jersey herself. She decided to speak with Jennifer Selinger.

"Amanda pulled me aside at the game the other night and asked if my husband would wear it and I said, 'No, I'll wear it,'" Selinger said.

Sellinger has lived in Humboldt previously and currently billets a Pats player.

On Wednesday, she was able to collect signatures from many of the Pats. She and Mumm also showed the jersey off the Kaleb Dahlgren, one of the survivors of the crash.

Now that more than a month has passed since the crash, Sellinger has started to focus on silver linings.

"You see so many positive things coming out of it, like reading about some of the boys and how they're using some positive out of it rather than dwelling on it, and trying to move forward," she said.

For her, the Humboldt Jersey is one of those positive things.

"The jersey, although it's not a huge thing, it's still something for them so that they know other people are thinking about them."