It started when a resident of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, left a hockey stick standing on the porch. "The boys might need it … wherever they are," the person wrote in a text to TSN hockey analyst Brian Munz, referring to the 15 people killed Friday when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-truck. Shared by Munz, the True North memorial has now spread across Canada and the world, with thousands of photos of hockey sticks on doorsteps shared on social media under #PutYourSticksOut, which was trending Tuesday on Twitter.
"Play on, the rinks in heaven await," David Backes of the Boston Bruins wrote in one tweet, per the BBC. "Still grieving with the rest of the entire hockey community," added former CHL goaltender Coleman Vollrath, who shared a photo of 15 goalie sticks outside his front door. Other shared photos showing sticks next to backyard rinks, per CNN. The support from hockey fans isn't just symbolic, though. A GoFundMe campaign for the Humboldt Broncos has become "one of our top five largest campaigns globally," a GoFundMe rep tells the Daily Hive. It has raised $7.1 million as of this writing. (Read more Canada stories.)