CALGARY - It's the little things that make sports great.
The drama. The unpredictability.
The ability to give back.
Take Monday, for example, when the Calgary Flames proudly announced the signing of Fionn Daly to a one-day contract.
Through Make-A-Wish Southern Alberta, the Flames inked the nine-year-old, complete with a press conference in the Ed Whalen Media Lounge with general manager Brad Treliving and a meeting with his new teammates.
And, naturally, a skate on Scotiabank Saddledome ice.
"All he wanted to do for his Make-A-Wish day was to hang out with the Flames," father Kelvin told George Johnson of CalgaryFlames.com. "Initially, you know, my wife and I thought that maybe the Disneyland option would've been a good idea.
"But Fionn wouldn't hear of that. He just loves hockey so much."
Fionn plays defence for the Calgary Venom of the Calgary Sledge Hockey Association.
He has a serious heart condition and enlarged organs.
But a beaming smile.
"Just before the press conference I had a tear in my eye,'' said his mom, Tina. "I had to really stop and take a breath.
"It was special to see.
"We come to a lot of games. We're very lucky. He gets tickets through Kids Up Front. We live in a great community and our neighbours give him tickets.
"It means so much to him."
Fionn isn't the only one.
The other side is touched, too.
"It's nice for us to get a little bit of an eye-opener in life sometimes,'' said captain Mark Giordano, Fionn's favourite Flame. "As you get older, you appreciate your kids more and more.
"It was great to have him out. I really look forward to these days.
"The whole contract for a day thing is pretty cool."
For all involved.
And now a look at the week that was.
SHORT SHIFTS: Continuing Calgary's big week on the community front was the 36th meeting between the Flames and Townsend Tigers. Not only did the mighty Tigers tame the Flames for a 36th consecutive game, but they also shut them out for the first time in history by winning 15-0. "We've had a tough run there," forward Matt Stajan told Kristin Hallett of Flames TV. "I don't know if we're worse there or in Anaheim. We come in and give everything we got. We've struggled in that arena there." …The Crowchild Classic delivered as expected Thursday. On the women's side, Mount Royal University topped the University of Calgary 3-1 in front of 3,384 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Danny Gayle ended the marathon between the men's groups by scoring three-on-three in double overtime to help Calgary to a 5-4, come-from-behind win in front of 11,902 fans. …Congrats to New York Islanders forward Andrew Ladd, who will become the second Calgary Hitmen alumnus to be honoured in a 'Forever a Hitmen' ceremony on March 8. …What a run for Sean Monahan, who entered action against the New York Rangers on Sunday scored nine goals in his past 10 games to push his career total to 99. He can become the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100. "It would obviously be cool to be with those names at the top of the list but to me it doesn't matter," Monahan said, according to Mike Morreale of NHL.com. "This is a team game and when you play with good players and get an opportunity like I have, if you're not producing, you're not going to get those chances."
OVERTIME: A little fun never hurt anybody. The Flames took things outside in the heart of The Big Apple, as coach Glen Gulutzan and crew suited up at the team's hotel and bussed to Lasker Rink in Central Park's north end for practice Saturday. "I thought it was great," Gulutzan told CalgaryFlames.com's Ty Pilson. "Obviously the rink isn't regulation size but we did play some 3-on-3 and we did get a little skate at the end like you saw. I think that's good. It sets us up - we're 24 hours away from playing in Madison Square Garden and we'll have a good rest." It was a balance of business and pleasure for the Calgary club, who ran their winning streak to three games a day before with a 4-3 overtime win at the New Jersey Devils. "It's Central Park … you don't get many opportunities to get here in your lifetime, let alone with your hockey team to skate in the middle of it in front of fans," Stajan said. "I think we should all really take in this experience and be thankful we had it as it probably won't happen again."