St. John's display in support of Humboldt crash goes further than most
In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos' tragedy, many people have put a hockey stick or two in front of their homes to show their respect for the 16 people killed in the crash in Saskatchewan.
But St. John's resident Hubert Noftall has taken his display a bit further than most.
Stabbed into Noftall's front lawn are sixteen hockey sticks.
"I have a little saying on every one," says Noftall. "Broken hearts, God's with the Humboldts; NHL is for the Humboldt Broncos; We love the Humboldt Broncos; We pray every night for the Humboldt Broncos."
Like others, Noftall was moved by a need to do something to mark the tragedy.
"My girlfriend has two kids who live in Alberta. They play hockey. They've been playing since they were six years old," he says.
"They're 13, 14 now, and I just did it because of the tragedy. I thought it would be a good gesture to do this for the kids from the Humboldt Broncos."
There's actually 17 sticks on Noftall's lawn.
He decided his display needed a mascot. So, he placed a large hockey jersey-wearing teddy bear, decked out in skates and hockey gloves sitting in a chair, holding a stick that says, "ALL Kids Love HOCKEY."
"I played hockey all my life, I travelled all over Canada, played the nationals; and I thought it would be a good gesture for everybody to see this."
Noftall says when he travelled across the country, he flew, but travelled by bus many times on the island of Newfoundland.
He says what happened in Humboldt could have happened to him and his teammates.
"You never know. This could happen to anybody, anytime. It's just careless driving. Everybody has to pay attention, especially when they are driving big, big vehicles."
The accident is under investigation. As of this writing, the RCMP haven't said what caused the collision between the bus carrying the team, and the transport truck that hit it.
Speaking in his Newfoundland dialect, Noftall has this message for the families who lost loved ones in the crash.
"My heart goes out to ye all. I really feel sad. I hope ye all gets through it. God be with ye."