Detroit Red Wings on Oxford shooting: ‘It is insane that this is somewhat normal’

Detroit Free Press

BOSTON — The Detroit Red Wings spoke with emotion of the “unspeakable tragedy” they learned of Tuesday afternoon while preparing for a hockey game, and coach Jeff Blashill blasted that school shootings have become a regular occurrence in America.

The Wings’ 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden was pushed aside as team leaders addressed the school shooting in Oxford that left three dead and eight injured.

“I’d like to, on behalf of our whole organization and the guys in our room, send my heartfelt condolences to the community of Oxford, Michigan, and metro Detroit and the state of Michigan,” captain Dylan Larkin said. “It was an unspeakable tragedy what happened today.”

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News of the event broke a little after 2 p.m., and players found out as they woke from their pre-game naps. Larkin — who is from Waterford, about a dozen miles from Oxford — described the atmosphere in the locker room as the afternoon wore on.

“It hit us hard, it hit guys in the room hard,” he said. “We’re thinking about the victims and the entire community. We feel awful about the tragedy that happened. Our thoughts are with Oxford, Michigan.”

Blashill, who has three children and whose father worked as a police officer in Detroit, was near tears.

“I just want to send out my prayers to the families that were affected today in Oxford,” he said. “It’s a terrible, terrible thing. It just shouldn’t happen. Nothing I say certainly can do anything to help those that suffered the tragedy, that lost their lives.

“I think it is insane that this is somewhat normal. It just shouldn’t happen. My heart goes out to everybody involved, everybody at the school, the community. It’s got to stop.”

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail. 

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