That’s usually a recipe for success.”. Andy Oleksy figured Steve would be better off playing baseball, not hockey. … Luckily everything worked out and I ended up going out to Idaho and having a good end of the year there.”. "I can't even imagine being a parent or the wife or the kids at home and going through something like this. “When he first got here, I asked him how nervous he was to play the first game,” Holtby said. “He keeps it simple,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. ", US President Donald Trump said he called Trudeau "to pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy.". Stapleton recalled Andy and Sue bringing a deep fryer on the road and making chicken for his team in Traverse City, and while they couldn’t do that at Verizon Center, “it meant the world” to Steve Oleksy that his family was there. “We both took a liking to him, and he was a sponge. No one should ever have to see their child leave to play the sport they love and never come back.". Yet Oleksy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon; Oates likes balance on defense and a guy who doesn’t make many noticeable mistakes. The accident left its mark across the entire North American hockey community. Along the way, he had countless opportunities to give up hockey.

The package arrived on time and my mother let us know as soon as it arrived. “It took a while to recover from,” Sue Oleksy said. ", Former Detroit Red Wing player Sheldon Kennedy, who survived another junior hockey team bus crash in Saskatchewan in 1986, said: "You are losing your teammates and your friend. Oleksy beams with pride about camp alumni such as defenseman Danny DeKeyser, a highly sought-after college free agent out of Western Michigan who recently signed with the Detroit Red Wings, and Mark Katic, who just won a league championship in Germany. “When I first heard about this, I just kind of looked back and said, ‘Man, it’s been wild.’ But I think it’s just beginning.”. He had all the time in the world to talk about his six weeks in the NHL and years in the minors trying to get there. She immediately checked her email to make sure it wasn’t something we had done wrong, even went back to the website to make sure the drop down didn’t have his name misspelled, of course it’s not. A shocked Canada was in mourning Saturday after a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team collided with a semi-trailer truck in Saskatchewan province, killing 15 people. No one can question Oleksy’s toughness on the ice, nor his smarts in hockey or the real world.

“Where do you want to start?” he said. “I did pretty good. He’s simply got a last name that some folks don’t always put enough effort into getting correct. He’s simply got a last name that some folks don’t always put enough effort into getting correct. Quiz: How much do you know about U.S. presidents? Twitter user Richard B. “Every day it gets a little more real.”. Why? - Oleksy was watching “Jack the Giant Slayer” with Hershey roommate Mike Carman when just about everyone was trying to deliver the message he made it to the NHL. “I just had a great feeling and decided I was going to take a year and try to do something with the sport of hockey.”. “I remember talking to him on the phone saying, ‘Now your next goal is to play in the NHL.’”. “He said, ‘I’m not nervous at all because I never thought I’d actually be here, so I just want to enjoy it.’”. Quiz: How much do you know about the U.S. Congress? “It’s been a crazy route,” Steve Oleksy said. It includes playing for eight minor league teams in four different leagues before finally getting his chance because Caps coach Adam Oates needed a right-handed defenseman. Poor Steve Oleksy. Trump calls into radio shows before polls close here for reprint permission, Washington keeps Dwayne Haskins, Ryan Kerrigan in dull NFL trade deadline, Soto, overlooked in this year’s MVP race, is a future favorite, On Election Day, athletes and teams encourage strong voter turnout, Cowboys place Andy Dalton on COVID-19 list, Favre, Orr join roster of sports stars backing Trump, WATCH: John Wall, James Harden square off in pickup basketball, Trump crowd at Pennsylvania rally chants: ‘LeBron James Sucks’, Buyers or sellers? “I was going to own a couple of pizza stores and get into that side of business,” he said. Coach Derek Laxdal of the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads convinced Oleksy to venture out west to continue his career. “And it takes bounces to go your way, and that’s one of them.”. And that’s part of the reason why he’s here is because he has a very level head on himself, but he’s very confident at the same time. Oleksy’s story is far from a glamorous one. The Chesterfield, Mich., native played two sports his whole life and played a season of baseball at Macomb Community College before earning a scholarship to do so at Oakland University near Detroit. Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock fought back tears as he expressed his feelings for the victims and their families in his home province of Saskatchewan. Oleksy leaned on his family, Stapleton and Gardiner along the way, but support didn’t pay the bills while he was toiling in the minors. “And then I called his ma and then she didn’t believe me. The team was heading north for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game against the Nipawin Hawks. “He got better and better in the minors and … he got rewarded with Hershey,” Stapleton said. After conferring with his manager he was able to refund the cost of the jersey, $184.95. “I was pretty proud of that.”. and View Comments, Terms of Use / Privacy Policy / Manage Newsletters. here for reprint permission. You are losing your son and I think those have long lasting impacts.". Well, the store, to be exact. The winding road of minor league hockey took him to the Port Huron Icehawks of the International Hockey League, but another league and adventure caused Oleksy to question his direction. The Washington Times Oleksy spends his summers running the organization, which includes a league, training and tournaments for local pro, college and junior players. Does Joe Biden take advice from ‘the smartest guy he knows’? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which said determining the cause of the accident would require some time, did not say how many of the victims were players or coaches of the Humboldt Broncos team, which hails from a town of 6,000 people. “@Capsfan12_90: #Jerseyfoul ordered a @StevenOleksy jersey 4my son 4 Christmas from @washcaps” that's a 1st, — Steven Oleksy (@StevenOleksy) December 24, 2013. “It was an incredible feeling. Andy, Sue and their other son, Daniel, were not going to miss Steve’s first Caps game, and they made the 10-plus-hour drive along with Daniel’s girlfriend, Nikki, beginning at 12:30 a.m. Oleksy was making his debut against the Boston Bruins, but goaltender Braden Holtby knew all about the defenseman from their time in Hershey. Steven Oleksy vs. Vincent Lecavalier, November 01, 2013 - Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers Exit poll: Biden voters twice as likely to cast ballot in opposition to rival candidate. But Oleksy parlayed parts of three seasons in Idaho into a promotion to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the American Hockey League. So now we wait and see if the NHL will give me a Christmas present two days from now. Also reported dead by CBC were team captain Logan Schatz and 16-year-old Adam Herold, who was one of the youngest players on the team.

“I don’t know if I still quite realize it,” his father, Andy Oleksy, said. “I knew I had to do something to stick out amongst the 16 defensemen, so I fought a guy 6-7, 245,” recalled the 6-foot, 190-pound Oleksy. It's been a year since the Washington Capitals handed out what is... Tom Wilson signed autographs at Sport Chevrolet on Saturday. “I made the decision just for the love of the game,” Oleksy said.

"An entire country is in shock and mourning today," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Steve Oleksy took his equipment off and sat back down in the Washington Capitals’ locker room after practice. “It’s nice to see someone who doesn’t rely totally on hockey for their life,” Holtby said. A GoFundMe campaign for affected players and their families had raised more than $1.1 million, fast approaching its $2 million goal by Saturday afternoon. This is every parent's worst nightmare.

Broncos coach Darcy Haugan was killed in the accident, his sister later told CBC television, though the identity of other victims has not yet been revealed. She called customer support and spoke to a very nice, apologetic gentleman. Police said that there had been 29 people on board the team bus, including the driver, and 14 were injured, including some in critical condition. He’s just a smart player.”. After an impressive season in Traverse City, Oleksy got a hockey scholarship to Lake Superior State University, but only after the first place he committed to, Wayne State in Detroit, failed to mail his papers on time.

He asked if this was a Christmas present but then gave her the bad news that because it was considered a customized item, he would not be able to overnight us a corrected jersey. The crash happened around 5:00 pm (2300 GMT) Friday on Highway 335 about 28 kilometers (17 miles) north of the town of Tisdale, a trading center in an overwhelmingly agricultural region of the western province. Well, the store, to be exact. In a country where love of the sport is almost a religion, the crash sparked an outpouring of grief among players and fans, while national political leaders and the head of the National Hockey League expressed their sympathies. To get here and see that was incredible.”. Kymber Rae with Ian Timberlake in Washington, An emergency vehicle is seen near the crash site after a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team collided with a semi-trailer truck in rural Saskatchewan province, killing 15 people, From Cinema Online Exclusively for Yahoo Newsroom, Broadcasting rule changes proposed to get streamers to fund Canadian storytelling, Trudeau's message for U.S. election: Canada must 'keep an eye on' how America changes, defending national interests, Canadian province of Ontario plans to allow indoor dining, gyms to reopen in Toronto, Canada reacts to U.S. election: 'Trump makes the world...dangerous and I hope to see him lose,' NDP leader Jagmeet Singh proclaims, Agro-100 marks its expansion in the prairies with the addition of a sales manager for Alberta and Saskatchewan, 172 sexual misconduct cases involving IHL students, staff from 2015-19: Sun Xueling, LIVE: Latest US Election updates as Trump, Biden go head-to-head, Cross Island Line MRT (phase 1): 10 Lucky Condos to Benefit, 'Disappointed' Tsitsipas knocked out of Paris Masters, Hong Kong boy, four, ‘stayed by dead mother’s side for 30 hours’ after stepfather suspected to have stabbed her and killed himself, These CIA Records Prove Julia Child Was A War Hero, Maradona to undergo brain surgery on blood clot. "I grew up right there in Saskatoon," Babcock said. In the store at the Caps’ practice facility now hang jersey T-shirts with his name and number: “Oleksy 61.” When his father came to town last week, he needed something to wear to the game; Steve Oleksy had the T-shirt waiting as a surprise. Twitter user Richard B. Steve Oleksy took his equipment off and sat back down in the Washington Capitals’ locker room after practice. Kayleigh McEnany bucks election litigation talk, predicts landslide for Trump We are spending Christmas in northern Pennsylvania with my parents and being so close to the holiday we decided to have the jersey shipped to my parents house. Oleksy has only three fights with the Caps after 11 in the AHL, but his stable play helped him pass Tomas Kundratek on the depth chart and hold onto his spot in the lineup. Tom Straschnitzki told CBC News that his son Ryan was among the injured.

Oleksy himself retweeted this jersey foul, responding, “That’s a 1st.”.

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