Recently, the Calgary Flames returned home from a road trip for a quick two-game home stand.

Those two games would go on Thursday and Saturday with a couple of special guests joining the team. Those guests were Carson and Jackson Haugan.

While you might not recognize their names, you might recognize their last name. Their father, Darcy, was one of 16 people that lost their lives in the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash seven months ago.

Like many in the hockey community, the Flames organization has been there for the Haugan family to help support them, along with the other survivors and families of the crash while honouring the memory of the victims.

Not only did the players take time out of their busy schedule for the boys, who are now 13 and 10, following practice, they also had them join in the morning skate. During Friday’s morning skate Carson and Jackson led the stretch and took part in many of the team drills.

The boys, along with their mother Christina, were in attendance for Thursday’s come from behind victory over the Colorado Avalanche and stuck around for Saturday’s win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Bill Peters, Calgary’s bench boss, said of having the Haugans around, “Those kids are awesome, an awesome family. If we can put a smile on their face, that’s our obligation to do that. But I’ll tell you what, they gave us more laughs and smiles than we game them. They’re great kids and a great family.”

Carson and Jackson were also runners for the Flames at the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas.

It is just one of many ways the hockey community has stepped up and rallied behind those that needed them following the tragic crash and they will continue to do whatever they can for as long as they need to.

Think about it though. We live in an age and time where pretty much everything finds its way to social media, for better or for worse. The Flames and the media that surround the team did an awesome job keeping this on the down low so that both the boys and their mom could escape for a while and enjoy the game of hockey once again.

There is no doubt that Darcy is looking down and smiling at all the experiences that his boys are getting because he knew how close the hockey community truly is when tragedy strikes one of its own.

It is just another reason why we love hockey, and sports in general, so much.