Hockey is a business, but it can still hurt when one of your favourite players is traded to a rival team.
For four year-old Oliver Plewright, the heartbreak of losing Calgary Flames goalie David Rittich to Toronto Maple Leafs has been one heard around the country.
When his father, and Calgary Flames employee Brady Plewright, broke the news to his son the morning after the trade – he captured his son’s heartbreaking reaction on his phone. He then shared it on Twitter.
“I thought I might capture a funny moment, as we often do with our kids,” said Brady.
“It ended up being just this pure reaction that I was not expecting.”
Since then, Oliver’s devastation has been reshared and viewed more than 100,000 times on a number of social media platforms.
“The attention it has garnered is really surprising, but all of the reactions have been really positive,” said Brady.
The surprise call from Rittich
The video even caught the attention of Rittich himself. He messaged Brady to ask if he could surprise Oliver with a video call to try and cheer him up.
“Oliver was really excited when we told him that Rittich was going to be calling him,” said Brady.
“He had to go and get his jersey on and find his hockey cards to show David.”
Brady said Oliver was pretty shy initially.
“He hid behind his hockey cards that he shoved in front of the camera without a word of explanation,” he said.
“(Rittich) was so genuine and patient leading to Oliver being more talkative. Oliver shared about his plans to play hockey when he’s five, about his uncle who’s also a goalie, about his favourite team and they seemed to bond over their mutual dislike of the Oilers.”
Rittich was dealt the Maple Leafs on Sunday, before the trade deadline in exchange for a 2022 third-round pick.
The Czech goalie played 130 games with the Calgary Flames and recorded four shutouts over the over four seasons he played in Calgary.
Rittich previously captured the hearts of many when a video of him introducing his brother Tomas – who is on the autism spectrum – to Harvey the Hound went viral in 2019.
Brady said Oliver became a fan of Rittich last season. That’s when the Flames number one goalie was nicknamed “Big Save Dave.”
Although Brady said Oliver has been indoctrinated to be a Flames fan since birth, one generous fan offered to purchase Oliver a new Leafs jersey with Rittich’s name and number on it.
But when it comes to watching Flames games, Oliver will still be sporting his Flames gear. And cheering for his other favourite player, Johnny Gaudreau.