Skip to main content

Canadian teams honor slain military personnel

NHL.com @NHL

The Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs held pregame tributes Saturday to honor two members of the Canadian military who were killed in separate incidents this week, as well as the first responders to those incidents.

The three teams staged a coordinated pregame tribute to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was part of a ceremonial guard at the National War Memorial in Ottawa and was shot and killed on Wednesday; warrant officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed Monday in what authorities have called a targeted hit-and-run incident in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec; and the first responders.

The gunman who killed Cirillo then stormed Parliament Hill, a short distance away, where he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with security forces.

Fans attending the games faced enhanced security measures.

The ceremony prior to the game between the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre was shared with fans at Bell Centre in Montreal and Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Devils and Senators lined up around the center-ice circle for a moment of silence before the national anthems of the United States and Canada were sung. Lyndon Slewidge, who performed "O Canada," sang the first line before holding his microphone out to pick up the singing of the emotional crowd, many of whom were waving small Canadian flags. The anthem was shown on the video boards in Montreal and Toronto.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer spent part of Saturday visiting the National War Memorial.

"It was sad. The young man who got killed was from Hamilton. I grew up right around Hamilton. To see where it happened, it's tragic," he said prior to the game. "It's a sad day. I'm glad that we're here and a part of this. The healing process starts. Hopefully get people around here to take their mind off it for a few hours tonight."

The Devils-Senators game was the first in Ottawa since the shooting Wednesday. The Senators and Maple Leafs were scheduled to play that night, but the game was postponed and will be played Nov. 9.

View More