April 26th, 2018

City pays tribute to a hockey hero


By Woodard, Dale on April 15, 2018.

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald

sports@lethbridgeherald.com

Logan Boulet is a hero. On Saturday afternoon, a jam-packed Nicholas Sheran Arena gathered to celebrate the life of the 21-year-old hero who touched countless lives with his infectious smile, quick wit, intense work ethic and an ability to make everyone around him feel welcome.

Boulet was one of 16 members of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team who died in a horrific bus crash April 6 as the team travelled to Nipawin to face the Hawks in a playoff game.

In a moving two-hour service, family and friends filled the floor of the arena and packed the seats to standing room only to honour the defenceman who, even in his final hours, ultimately helped others in need as an organ donor – he had signed his card one month prior to the crash after his 21st birthday.

After the crash last Friday, Boulet survived long enough to donate his organs to six patients before being taken off life support.

On Saturday, seven speakers took the stage to share “The Story of Logan Boulet” as Jared Heidinger, Norm McDougall, Doug Paisley, Noah Postman, Greg Thompson, Neil Langevin and Kevin Higo reflected on the multi-sport athlete.

And as Heidinger, a teacher, noted, sometimes a hero doesn’t realize he or she is a hero.

“They just live their life and they have a character about themselves and they’re just a person going through life doing their thing and then a situation comes along where they make a choice and this choice of action has repercussions that affect many people,” he said. “Even the very future changes because of these heroes. In this way, Logan’s organ and tissue donation decision was made because it was his desire to bring positivity into people in the event he passed. He wasn’t trying to be a hero. He was just making a choice and growing with the character he always demonstrated. Through his character, Logan always was inspring to me in life and will continue to inspire me in his passing.”

Boulet was born March 2, 1997, the son of Bernadine and Toby and the brother of Mariko.

He attended Dr. Gerald B. Probe Elementary School, G.S. Lakie Middle School and Winston Churchill High School.

In addition to hockey, he also played rugby, soccer, badminton and curling.

He spent his last three hockey seasons playing in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, first with the Kindersley Klippers before spending the majority of his time in Humboldt.

He also had a creative side, drawn to music and art, which allowed him to create with his talents.

McDougall, Logan’s uncle, recalled Boulet’s energy as a child

“It was a whole lot of fun watching him play. I recall his mother, Bernie, scolding him for rolling around on the floor and he pointed an accusing finger at me and announced ‘He’s winding me up,'” said McDougall, drawing a chuckle from the crowd.

Paisley, Boulet’s coach during his time in Lethbridge, recalled a rock-solid defenceman with a solid 200-foot game.

He also played with an edge.

“I actually talked to him about toning his own game down against teammates in practice. We were a little concerned we’d have to break up fights because of how mad guys would get at him for forcing them to compete that hard,” said Paisley.

Postman remembered many of Boulet’s antics ranging from trips, camping weekends, board games and rugby games.

“Logan was always out for fun and had the best sense of humour,” said Postman. “We’ll always remember that infectious laugh and constant smile. He lived life squeezing out all the goodness.”

Thompson fondly remembered Boulet’s sharp sense of humour.

“Once I got past Logan and the handshake and him calling me ‘Mr. Thompson,’ I soon realized Logan had an amazing sense of humour,” he said. “First and foremost, he always laughed at my jokes. Even when my own kids would roll their eyes I would either get that infectious laugh of his or, guaranteed, I’d get some sort of quick retort back that was right there on the spot. It was amazing.”

Langevin, Boulet’s god father, recalled an instance in which Boulet got in a confrontation at school, landing a punch on his aggressor.

Langevin said he talked to that same person two years later, who said he admired Boulet for standing up for himself.

“Even people who got punched by Logan loved him,” said Langevin, drawing more hearty laughter from the jammed arena.

In addition to a duet of “Circle of Life” by Cathie Martin-Weersink and Colleen Martin as well as “Heaven Needs A Hero” by Jo Dee Messina, students at Winston Churchill – led by teacher John Dick – took centre stage, hoisted two fingers high in the V-formation and led the crowd in “The Churchill Victory Song.”

Langevin also got involved in the crowd participation, dividing them in half and having one half yell “Logan!” before the other side chimed in with “Boulet!” several times before the arena stood for a minute-long standing ovation.

At the entrance of the arena, lines of hockey sticks greeted those arriving, while in the lobby a display of Boulet’s art and family pictures as well as an impressive hockey card collection was set up.

After the service, Langevin read a statement.

“On behalf of the Boulet family, we would like to thank our family, friends, community and all others for their incredible support they’ve provided to our family in our darkest hours. We are humbled strong with other families affected by this terrible tragedy. Logan was the light of our life and continues to be a beacon that will guide many others. The selfless and empathetic self will live on in the thoughts and actions of so many he has influenced. In the coming days we will continue to mourn and grieve, but know that Logan is still in your hearts and thoughts. We know the sun will come up tomorrow and wish all others our love and support.”

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