From the struggle comes … philanthropy?
The battle of Alberta got ugly on Saturday as Oilers forward Zack Kassian and Flame forward Matthew Tkachuk swapped barbs during Calgary’s 4-3 victory over Edmonton.
Oilers’ Zack Kassian will meet on Monday after the alteration with Tkachuk
The game’s fallout, which featured some questionable shots from Tkachuk before Kassian’s retaliatory attack, included a two-game suspension for the latter and nothing for the former.
An unhappy Kassian later said he had “a long memory” and “that gave me some clarity on what you can and can’t do now”, in reference to the lack of extra discipline against Tkachuk.
Flames fans disagreed and started a fundraising campaign to place billboards with Tkachuk’s face plastered on them through Edmonton.
When the campaign hit $ 3,053 in less than 24 hours, surpassing the $ 2,500 target, a local radio station stepped in to say it would handle the billboards and the fundraising money would now be directed to SLA research. That GoFundMe page now says it raised $ 3,738.
Like Kassian, Oilers fans have felt the need to respond. On Tuesday, Twitter user @SamInYEG sent a donation receipt to the Brown Bagging For Calgary’s Kids charity organization “so that children can get a proper meal and grow stronger than Tkachuk.”
Hey #Oilers twitter, I have a challenge for you:
In response to Flames fans who bought a billboard, I decided to donate to one of their local charities in honor of @ zkassian9! I chose @BrownBaggingIt so that children can get an adequate meal and grow to be more difficult than Tkachuk. pic.twitter.com/q83tmNeNND
On Wednesday, @SamInYEG released an update that Brown Bagging had received 169 donations totaling $ 6520.88 and over 3,000 lunches – in less than 24 hours.
His latest Twitter update revealed that over $ 10,000 had gone to charity. Dragon’s Den W. Brett Wilson’s character also pledged to match donations up to that number, plus $ 5,000 more to @ SamInYeg’s Edmonton refuge.
In combination with Calgary’s efforts, it’s almost $ 20,000 in donations following a relatively minor skirmish in the Battle of Alberta.
The Flames and Oilers will meet on January 29, when Kassian returns from suspension.