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Players deliver tickets to fans

by Peter Zuurbier / Calgary Flames
A select group of lucky Flames season ticket holders received a special delivery Wednesday, as they were hand delivered their ticket packages at their homes by members of their favourite team.
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Dustin Boyd, Cory Sarich, Curtis McElhinney, and Jamie Lundmark all took part in the promotion, not only delivering the tickets, but giving the lucky winners autographed Flames jerseys, brand-new 30th Anniversary hats, and a whole bag full of fun swag they can show off over the course of the season.

"I'm going to kill him," laughed a shocked Gladys Verhelst, referring to her husband who didn't inform her of the surprise visit. Verhelst was completely unaware when she opened the door to a smiling Dustin Boyd.

"All I knew was I was supposed to be home between 1:00 and 3:00 so someone could drop off the season tickets, I had no idea."

Boyd, who took a few minutes to talk with Verhelst about his summer and the upcoming season while signing a couple of autographs, was as happy to meet his fans as they were to meet him.

"This is fun, going to see people's homes, putting a smile on their face. They may be a little surprised, but all in all it's fun," said Boyd.

"I'm sure it's fun for the fans to get to see what we look like without our equipment on, without helmets. It's a thrill for everyone."

Now back in town and preparing for the upcoming season, Boyd is ready to get down to business after a couple of months to himself.

"It was a rainy summer in Winnipeg, but pretty much going to the lake, golfing and training are the only things I did this summer... It's good to be back in Calgary, skating with all the guys. I can't wait for it to get rolling."

After receiving the best wishes of the Verhelst family for the upcoming season (Gladys managed to get her husband Mark on the phone), it was off to the next lucky season ticket holder. Ladde Tanner has been a season ticketholder for four years; he was elated to be visited by Boyd, even if his nine-year-old son Jaxon was a bit shy.

"We get pretty spoiled here as Flames fans," said Tanner, to whom Boyd promised "At least 50 goals."

"I think Boyd is doing really well," said Tanner. "All the young guys it's just great. It's a young man's game now so I think they're all going to make a difference. They're all maturing, and with Brent Sutter coming in it's going to be a great year.

Having played under Brent Sutter before at the World Junior Championships, Boyd couldn't help but agree with that assessment.

"We'll be a lot tighter defensively. I've had the experience with Brent before, he brings a lot of great things and he'll make sure we're all on the same page. We have a new philosophy under Brent, and Bouwmeester is one of the best D-men in the league. Dawes and Sjostrom, all the new guys will definitely help us out," said Boyd.

"Every season we have high expectations and this year is no different. We have a very solid team and I'm thinking good things."

Winners were chosen at random out of all those who purchase season tickets, with the only requisite being that they were home for the visit. Players also stopped by a couple of season ticket holding businesses as well.

No matter the season, the Flames players are always active in the community. Keep your eyes peeled as you never know when you’ll run into one of them.

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