Today should have been a where the attention of the hockey was on Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs to be played on Saturday night.
Instead, it the hockey world turned its attention to a horrific tragedy, as Canucks defenceman Luc Bourdon was killed outside his home town in New Brunswick in a motorcycle crash.
Today, when our focus was supposed to be on a series just heating up in a business and that has started to gain interest again down in the U.S., we were reminded that hockey is, after all, just a game.
Hearing the news that Luc had passed away was a shock. My dad phoned me while I was out of my office, leaving me a voicemail that told me the tragic news. I didn’t believe him at first, but within five minutes of listening to that message, text messages and phone calls began to pour in and, in all honesty, I had to read about it four or five times on four or five different websites because I was in total disbelief.
From all accounts, Luc was a great kid. Shy, perhaps even lost in a world that barely sleeps and moves so fast just like the game to which this lifestyle belongs to.
Through all the criticism he faced because of a slow development -keep in mind, he was only 21- the former two-time Team Canada World Junior Hockey Champion pressed on. He re-developed his game and was poised to make a run at a starting position with the Canucks when training camp starts up again in September.
I remember his first NHL goal. That booming slapshot we had all heard so much about. That enthusiasm and raw emotion he displayed that only players with a true passion for hockey show when they score, especially on a beauty like that.
I think that goal demonstrated the passion he had for hockey and for life. Enthusiastic and passionate.
Today’s news shook up the hockey world. It was a tragic and unnecessary shake up. Why did a kid, who loved life from all we’ve heard today, and who had such great potential as hockey player and a young man growing up in a city and a country that embraced him have to go like this?
Luc is my age. When you’re young, you have a feeling of invincibility, and not to say that Luc thought that way and because I never even met him and it would unfair to say he thought that way, but things like this you never think can happen.
This tragedy puts things into perspective that hockey is just a game. We rag on players, sometimes drive them to go crazy, and yet when something like this happens, we are reminded that hockey players are human too. They have moms, dads, sisters, brothers.
It is with great sadness that we will never see Luc progress to his full potential as a hockey player, but more importantly, to a young man.
The thoughts of The Sports Corner are with Luc’s family during this time.