Days after a fan tossed a McDonald’s hamburger onto the ice in celebration of a win by Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond, the man lovingly referred to as the ‘Hamburglar’ has scored free McDonald’s for life.
The Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan reported Monday night that John Bergeron, the owner of several McDonald’s restaurants in the Ottawa Valley area, made the move to call the vice president of marketing for McDonald’s to suggest the fast food chain provide burgers at the Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa’s home rink. The Toronto head office didn’t stop at a burger promotion, though. Instead, they extended a lifetime deal to Hammond.
It’s fitting Bergeron was the McDonald’s owner to step in and make this happen for Hammond, too. Bergeron’s son, Chris, coached Hammond for three seasons while he was at the NCAA’s Bowling Green.
"In college, having a McDonald's card for life is a huge deal. Maybe Hammy can afford to eat at some of the nicer establishment in Ottawa now," Mike Bergeron, Chris' brother and a long-time friend of Hammond, told Brennan. "It's a great story. Hammy hasn't changed his 'tude at all, and he's just riding the wave. He's just enjoying it.”
And now “it” includes McDonald’s for life. Staying in game shape likely means he won’t be heading through the golden arches for every single meal, but it must be nice to have that option. And unlike his namesake, the pesky Hamburglar that terrorizes McDonaldland by stealing burgers, he’ll have them handed to him for free.
Hammond told Brennan that he sees his newfound identity as a lighthearted gag by Senators’ fans. Even the game operations staff at Canadian Tire Centre have gotten on board, putting a Hamburglar mask on Hammond's photo when he skated out, according to teammateBobby Ryan.
"You don't expect this kind of persona to develop while you're here playing, but it's all in good fun so I'm all for it," he said. "I'm taking it as a sign of respect, so it's obviously pretty cool to get that out of the fans."
But, most importantly, Hammond knows that now he’s got a backup plan if he finds himself on the move next season.
"I guess at the end of the day at least I know I'll never end up starving,” Hammond said. “If hockey doesn't work out, I have a meal plan."