Cheeky billboard in Edmonton fans Battle Of Alberta flames
EDMONTON -- The “Matthew Tkachuk Friendship Tour” billboard arrived in Edmonton Wednesday, after a heated Battle of Alberta sparked fundraising battles between hockey fans in the rival cities.
The giant electronic billboard popped up on Stony Plain Road Wednesday afternoon.
During the Jan. 11 match-up between the Oilers and Flames, Edmonton's Zack Kassian unleashed a one-sided beat down on the Flames left-winger after taking a couple hits from Tkachuk that he found "dirty."
Kassian received a double-roughing minor, a 10-minute misconduct and a two-game suspension.
The next day, Flames fan Mohammad Elsaghir decided Oilers fans could use a little more Tkachuk in their lives, and started a GoFundMe to raise money for a Tkachuk billboard in Edmonton.
Elsaghir was surprised when donations started pouring in and decided to turn it into a fundraiser for ALS.
The hosts of CJAY 92, a Calgary radio station, jumped on board and arranged for Bell Media – the company which owns the radio station, as well as several billboards in Edmonton and CTV News – to bring the Tkachuk billboards to life.
The billboard campaign raised over $25,000 for ALS.
But Edmontonians were not going to be shown up by a Flames fan, and an Oilers fan started a campaign to honour Kassian.
Samantha Costa challenged Oilers fans to donate to a Brown Bagging It, a Calgary charity that provides meals to kids, so “kids can get a proper meal and grow up to be tougher than Tkachuk”.
More than 560 people donated over $37,000 to the charity in three days.