Many players show their support via a sticker on their helmets, and in other ways. – Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

If you follow hockey and haven’t heard about hockey writer Ian McLaren’s pledge drive to raise money for the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey bus disaster, you’ve really been missing out. Ian has managed to take an unbelievable tragedy and get the nation’s hockey community involved in a very fun way. Pledges range from $1 for each Bruins rookie goal (Ian’s own), to $1 for every overtime period of the tournament. Every team’s fans are getting involved, even some fans without a horse in the race (one Carolina Hurricanes fan pledged $5 for every point earned by P.K. Subban).

Ian was nice enough to answer a few questions about his pledge drive so read below to find out how you, too, can get involved in such a great cause in such a fun way.

Everyone in the hockey community was broken hearted by the news out of Saskatchewan. We all all follow hockey or know players or simply love the game. What about the tragedy touched you the most?

Ian: The Humboldt Broncos tragedy hit home in a few ways. My wife and I lived in Manitoba for a couple winters and know the hazards of winter driving out there. I even flipped our car into a ditch and thankfully walked away without a scratch, but it was scary nonetheless. Now that our boys are playing hockey, we feel more connected to the community, and even though they’re unlikely to reach that level, they’ll have friends and neighbors who do, and altogether it reminded me of the fragility of life and the importance of being there for others in times of need.

You chose a very interesting way of raising money for the victims and the families and the community. Tell me a bit about how you decided on the pledge system.

Ian: This isn’t an original idea, and I credit the likes of BonksMullet and 3rdPeriodSuits for giving me a model to follow with their work done for Sens and Leafs charities. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting up, it seemed like a good way to get fans from all teams involved, to spur people to give, to remember the Broncos, and to be OK with continuing to find joy in this game we love so much in light of the unthinkable.

What has been your favorite pledge so far? What has been the most interesting?

Ian: My favorite pledges have been the ones backing NHL players born in Saskatchewan, just for the local connection. One of the more interesting ones is based on who sings the anthem in Nashville.

Have any players or former players made pledges?

Ian: Not yet, I don’t believe.

Is there a pledge you would hope someone would make but hasn’t yet?

Ian: I have no expectations for pledges, just that as many are made as possible.

What do you think it is about hockey that brings people together in this way? It is certainly not seen in this fashion in other sports.

Ian: The hockey community is relatively small in relation to the other major sports, and also extremely loyal. It’s hard to say other sports communities would not rally around such a tragedy, but it’s been amazing to see the outpouring for Humboldt.

Who is your pick to win the Cup?

Ian: BRUINS (Editor’s note: Ian is as wise as he is handsome. – CH)

Finally, how do new people pledge and where can they find you and your amazing work?

Ian: Pledge form:

Twitter: @iancmclaren


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