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Oilers fan uses Kassian-Tkachuk beef to raise $20K for a good cause
EDMONTON -- It started with a big hit, then there was a fight, a long penalty, more hits, a suspension — and now, lots of money for a Calgary charity.
Those have been the twists and turns of the Zack Kassian and Matthew Tkachuk saga.
On Saturday night against the Calgary Flames, Kassian took objection to a hit from Tkachuk in the second period and unleashed a one-sided beat down on him.
The Oilers forward received a double-roughing minor, a 10-minute misconduct and a two-game suspension.
Tkachuk has taken plenty of shots for his hits and refusal to drop the gloves with Kassian, especially in Edmonton.
One tweet in particular with a clever insult has raised more than $20,000 for Brown Bagging It, a Calgary charity that feeds hungry children.
It started after a Flames fan put up a billboard of Tkachuk in Edmonton to irritate Oilers fans.
"Instead of buying a billboard there, we'll make sure our money is better spent," Samantha Costa told CTV News Edmonton, whose tweet has been viewed more than 85,000 times.
Hundreds of people have donated to Brown Bagging It and sent Costa screenshots of their receipts. What started as a shot at Tkachuk because of a billboard will feed now more than 15,000 children.
Calgary's efforts have also become charitable. A radio station covered the costs of the billboards and the funds were donated to ALS research.
Costa says the off-the-ice Battle of Alberta has been a "win-win."
"We love to hate them," she said. "They're kind like the annoying sibling over there, but when we come together, it's a huge impact and this is just proof of it, really."
The attention will return to the ice when Kassian makes his return on Jan. 29. The Oilers' opponent then? The Calgary Flames.
"He messed with the wrong guy," Kassian said.
To contribute to Costa's Brown Bagging It campaign, click here.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Darcy Seaton