A Special Addition to the Flyers Alumni Team

 

 

Along with dozens of Flyers Alumni participating in the 2018 CDW Flyers Alumni Golf Invitational, there was a very special addition to the roster: Humboldt Broncos defenseman Ryan Straschnitzki. The 19-year-old native of Airdrie, Alberta, is in Philadelphia undergoing rehab at Shriner's Hospital for Children.

 

The Flyers Alumni arranged for Ryan, who was paralyzed in the horrific bus crash that took the lives of many of his teammates (including Jaxon Joseph, the son of Flyers Alumni defenseman Chris Joseph), to travel to the Alumni Golf reception with his family via limousine. At reception, Ryan sat at the VIP table along with Bob Clarke and Paul Holmgren.

 

Ryan spoke with emcee Bill Clement about his recovery and the outpouring of support the victims and their families have received from across North America and around the world. Ryan, who was texting his girlfriend while riding on the team bus, only recalls the bus driver yelling "whoa!" as the truck with which the bus collided careened into its path. The impact was so severe that Ryan was hurtled out of the bus, unconscious, before the first responders arrived at the scene. 

 

Ryan, who requires a wheelchair, has undergone an arduous physical recovery process. He still has a long way to go but has made substantial progress. He said that every little bit of support he's received has helped him in his recovery and helped the victims along with coping with the unspeakable losses from the tragedy. 

 

Ryan was named an honorary member of the Flyers Alumni Team, receiving a customized jersey with his name and number on the back. He received a standing ovation from the attending Flyers Alumni and then posed for photos with his new teammates. 

 

"Bringing Ryan to the Alumni Golf event was just a small gesture on our part, but we wanted him and his family to know that we are in their corner, because the hockey world is a family. Ryan's courage is inspirational to everyone. 'Humboldt Strong' isn't just a buzzword after the tragedy.  Ryan, the other players who survived and all of the victims families have exemplified inner strength," said Brad Marsh, the president of the Flyers Alumni Association. 

 

On Friday, Ryan and the Straschnitzi family attended the Flyers Development Camp in Voorhees, NJ.