It has been no secret over the years that the Kitchener Rangers defenceman has idolized the cyclist and his successful battle with cancer.
In fact, Fanelli modelled his Headstrong campaign, which raises money and awareness for brain injuries, after Armstrong's Livestrong, which does similar things for cancer.
Earlier this month, Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
But Fanelli still stands by his hero.
"My feelings haven't changed," he said recently. "Everyone is on me and chirping me about it. For me, it wasn't the medals and races that I idolized about him. It was his mindset and positivity in everything he did.
"I'll always be his biggest fan no matter what."
Fanelli met Armstong on one of his four local Ride With Lance tours, where locals could cycle next to the rider. The Rangers' blueliner remembers the day fondly and had about five minutes to chat with Armstrong.
"It was an unbelievable experience, something I'll never forget," he said. "I feel like we talked about everything. I tried to get everything in that I could. I was trying to keep up with him and huffing and puffing and he was talking like he was sitting on a couch.
"That was probably one of the coolest experiences of my life."