The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has yet to decide if it will finish out its season, league president Bill Chow said on Monday.
A conference call with The SJHL’s Board of Governors will be held on Wednesday. At time, the immediate future of the league will be discussed.
The Nipawin Hawks had a 3-1 lead on the Humboldt Broncos in a best of seven semi-final which was interrupted when the Broncos bus was hit by a semi-trailer en route to Game 5 killing 15. The winner of the series is scheduled to meet the Estevan Bruins with the winner of that series to play in the ANAVET Cup against the winner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League to determine the Western rep to the national Junior “A” championship known as the RBC Cup.
Chow also announced Monday the league is establishing an assistance fund to help the Broncos as well as the other 11 teams in the league. The fund will provide mental health assistance and counseling for all players. Co-Op has already committed $150,000, and will match retail donations for up to $500,000.
Chow also said the SJHL has looked into the Go Fund Me page, which has raised more than $5 million. Chow said, to his knowledge, that money will only go to the families and players affected by the bus tragedy and that cannot be deviated from.
The news came out hours after the Ministry of Justice said the Chief Coroner made a mistake and misidentified two players--one who died and one who survived. Spokesperson Drew Wilby said the mix-up partially happened because the hockey players all had blond dyed hair and similar builds.
Wilby says the coroner's office mistook the body of 18-year-old goalie Parker Tobin for that of Xavier Labelle. Labelle is injured but alive, and Tobin is among the 15 people who died when the bus carrying the junior hockey team collided with a semi truck in northeastern Saskatchewan on Friday.
Family members were told about the mix-up Sunday night and have been understanding under the circumstances, he said.