George Alexander sports column

GA col Holtby Bulls WBYL July616

Ryder boys with Braden Holtby at the White Buffalo Youth Lodge. Photo credit: George Alexander.

George A Portrait thumbnail Washington Capitals star goaltender Braden Holtby recently paid a visit to the White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon. Holtby is no average puckstopper and the White Buffalo Youth Lodge is certainly no run-of-the-mill youth centre.

Holtby was the premier goalie in the entire National Hockey League last season. He tied Martin Brodeur’s single season win record at 48 and reeled in the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender. The White Buffalo Youth Lodge on the other hand, is an inner city drop-in centre in Saskatoon’s west side. Most of the kids attending the centre’s program are Aboriginal and maybe somewhat marginalized.

Unlike many other rich and elite athletes and celebrities, Holtby is giving back to the community, especially for those most in need. In partnership with his old junior club the WHL’s Saskatoon Blades, he formed “Holtby’s Heroes”. The heroes are those inner city kids who are given free tickets and tee shirts to attend Blades games in Saskatoon. Holtby even made his way to the White Buffalo Lodge this week to meet, play floor hockey and sign autographs for the children.

Braden Holtby is a positive and refreshing role model in an ever-changing and sometimes harsh and negative world. He’s a star but still just a man giving back to the community. The kids soaked up the positive vibe and will dream and achieve success in their lives too.




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