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'He just squealed in delight': Flames legends send birthday greeting to 10-year-old Calgary boy
CALGARY -- A pair of Calgary Flames legends made a local boy's 10th birthday one he'll always remember, despite the fact celebrations had to be cancelled because of COVID-19.
Lucas Fursier was looking forward to going to the Calgary Flames game this week against the Anaheim Ducks with dad, Mike, who had arranged for the youngster's name to appear on the Scotiabank Saddledome scoreboard as part of the fan birthday and anniversary recognitions during the second period intermission.
Mom, Amanda, and 13-year-old sister, Charlotte, were supposed to see Chicago at the Jubilee Theatre the same night, but those plans were all thwarted — along with a birthday party with 12 of his friends later in the week — due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seeing how disappointed her son was at missing the game, Amanda reached out to producers of CTV Morning Live Calgary, hoping to have him included in the birthdays and anniversaries portion of the show.
The request was noticed by Lane Mitschke, a director at CTV Calgary who also works for the Flames organization. He forwarded it to FlamesTV host Brendan Parker, control room manager Peter Stewart and videographer Mitch Nybo, who Mitschke says did all the heavy lifting.
Later that day, the family received an email from the Calgary Flames Alumni, with a link to a video made by Lanny McDonald and Mike Vernon wishing Lucas a happy birthday.
"He just squealed in delight," said Amanda.
"We were watching a movie when I got the email to say there was a rather special message for Lucas. It was such a special moment for him."
Lucas then spent the evening watching Youtube highlights of McDonald and Vernon, who were part of the 1989 Stanley Cup-winning squad.
"In a time when things are a bit unsettling for kids, it's hard for parents to kind of go that extra mile during these circumstance and we really appreciated the time and trouble that others took on our behalf," said Amanda.
"It turned his birthday into one he'll actually never forget."
Lucas says he counts Mark Giordano and David Rittich as his favourite players, as he also played defence with his club team and wore Number 5. Lucas likes netminder Rittich, he said, because "he saves everything."
"I was just totally surprised," he said. "I will honestly remember it for the rest of my life."
After spending a few hours watching highlight videos on Youtube of McDonald and Vernon's exploits, Amanda said Lucas sat down and penned a thank you letter to the two legends.