Calgarian hatches plan to place Tkachuk billboards around Edmonton
CALGARY -- A diehard Calgary Flames fan's plot to get under Edmontonians' skin might come actually to fruition with the help of a Calgary radio station.
After Saturday night’s Battle of Alberta and the now-infamous altercation between Tkachuk and Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian — which led to a two-game suspension for Kassian — Mohammed Elsaghir wanted to have some fun with Oilers fans and get under their skin a little bit.
He concocted a plan and shared it on social media.
"I started a GoFundMe page to raise money for billboards to put up his face all around the city of Edmonton," he said.
Elsaghir had no idea it would blow up the way it did, but the money started pouring in.
He said he really didn’t think logistically it would be possible to do the billboards so he came up with another idea — he wanted to put the money raised toward charity.
"We originally had it set up for $20,000 but that was an unrealistic goal to reach at the time," he said. "So I brought it down when the money started coming in. I brought it down to $2,500.
"I’m like, you know what, maybe would could raise this money for a good cause like A.L.S."
The GoFundMe page has now raised over $3,000, and his billboard plan might actually become a reality.
JD Lewis from CJAY 92 said there are ways to make this happen.
"This is a brilliant idea and we probably know people who do billboards. And lo and behold we do," Lewis said,
Lewis’s co-host Jesse Modz noted CJAY’s parent company, Bell Media, owns several billboards in Edmonton.
"We asked our boss if we could put up billboards of Matt Tkachuk in Edmonton and donate all of the money raised on the GoFundMe to the A.L.S. foundation that the guys had started and he said yes," he said.
During the game on Saturday, Zack Kassian took offence to a hit from Matthew Tkachuk in the second period, tossed off his gloves and punched the winger while tossing him to the ice. (File)
Modz said they will hopefully see some digital billboards will Tkachuk’s face all over Edmonton "very soon."
Elsaghir said he loves the fact the Battle of Alberta is back because it’s been missing for so many years. He said he wants Flames and Oilers fans to have fun and not take things too seriously.
"It’s fun and it’s hockey. It’s the Battle of Alberta. It sucked for so long and now it’s back," he said. "Let’s just have some fun with it."
An Edmonton Oilers fan posted a challenge in response to Elsaghir's plan, asking fellow fans to donate money to a local charity in honour of Zack Kassian. Several people have heeded her call and donated money to charities like Brown Bagging it for Kids.
The next Battle of Alberta is Jan. 29 in Edmonton. The teams will face each other in Calgary on Feb. 1.