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Humboldt Broncos name ex-Wolves defenseman Nathan Oystrick coach after bus crash

Former NHL hockey player Nathan Oystrick speaks at a press conference in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Tuesday, July 3, 2018. Oystrick was named the new head coach of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team. | Kayle Neis/The Canadian Press via AP

HUMBOLDT, Saskatchewan — The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team has named a former NHL player from Saskatchewan its new coach.

Nathan Oystrick says he’s looking forward to leading the team while never forgetting the tragic circumstances that brought him to the role.

The Broncos’ team bus collided with a semi-truck at a rural Saskatchewan intersection in April, killing 16 people and injuring 13. Head coach Darcy Haugan died in the crash.

Oystrick played professional hockey for 10 seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers, Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues. And he appeared in 338 AHL games with the Chicago Wolves, Peoria Rivermen, Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons, registering 206 points and 553 penalty minutes. During his stint in Chicago, Oystrick was named to the AHL All-Rookie Team and the AHL Second All-Star Team in 2006-07. He also helped the Wolves win a Calder Cup championship with Chicago in 2007-08.

“I understand how much the Broncos have always meant to the community of Humboldt, but I also understand what the team has come to mean to so many people across North America and beyond,” Oystrick said Tuesday.

“I’m thrilled to be here and can’t wait to get started.”