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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Rider Transactions

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following roster moves:

SIGNED:

·       International wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood
·       International defensive back Warren Gatewood
·       International defensive back Cedric Hill
·       International defensive lineman Ja’Boree Poole

ADD TERRITORIAL JUNIORS:

·       National offensive lineman Logan Ferland (Regina Thunder)
·       National running back Logan Fischer (Saskatoon Hilltops)

MOVE TO SUSPENDED LIST:

·       International offensive lineman Derek Dennis
·       International wide receiver Bakari Grant

##Both are tending to personal matters in Calgary. The Riders say they will miss one or two days of camp.

RETIRED:

·       National safety Marc-Olivier Brouillette
·       National running back Aaron Milton

Riders Trade Armanti Edwards To Toronto




The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired national offensive lineman Peter Dyakowski from the Toronto Argonauts in exchange for international wide receiver Armanti Edwards.

 Dyakowski (6’5 – 320) is entering his 11th season after originally being selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the second round (11th overall) of the 2006 CFL Draft. Through ten seasons with the Tiger-Cats, the 33-year-old Vancouver native played in 148 regular season games, with 131 starts. He also added ten playoff games and two Grey Cup appearances.

Dyakowski had signed with the Toronto Argonauts as a free agent in February, 2017.

He was named a 2012 East Division All-Star and received nomination as the Tiger-Cats Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman in 2011.

Pats F Sam Steel Takes Home CHL Award

Photo: Keith Hershmiller

Windsor – The Canadian Hockey League today announced the 10 national award winners for the 2016-17 season including Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who earned Sportsnet CHL Player of the Year honours.

A trio of Western Hockey League representatives brought home hardware from the national awards, including Nolan Patrick (Brandon Wheat Kings/Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award), Sam Steel (Regina Pats/Chrysler Top Scorer Award) and Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes/Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award).

The awards were presented as part of the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup festivities in Windsor.

2016-17 CHL Award Winners:

Sherwin-Williams Top Prospect Award: Nolan Patrick, Brandon Wheat Kings
Brandon Wheat Kings captain Nolan Patrick is listed number one in NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.  The 18-year-old forward from Winnipeg, MB, wrapped up his third WHL season with 20 goals and 26 assists for 46 points limited to just 33 games played due to injury.  He is the first WHL player to earn this award since Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks in 2013, and could be the first western Canadian to be chosen first overall since Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels in 2011.  Finalists for the award include Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads who was listed second by NHL Central Scouting, and Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires ranked fourth.

Chrysler Top Scorer Award: Sam Steel, Regina Pats
Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel led the CHL with 131 points in 66 games played scoring 50 goals and 81 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-49 helping the Regina Pats to a first place finish atop the WHL’s regular season standings.  The 19-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, delivered the CHL’s highest point total since Brendan Shinnimin of the Tri-City Americans recorded 134 points in 69 games played during the 2011-12 campaign.  Finalists for the award were Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters with 127 points in 63 games, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques who scored 104 points in 66 games this season.

BRP Sportsman of the Year Award: Nick Suzuki, Owen Sound Attack
2017 NHL Draft prospect Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack finished fifth in OHL scoring with 96 points including 45 goals and 51 assists in 65 games played with a plus-minus rating of plus-51 while recording just 10 penalty minutes.  The 17-year-old from London, ON, is listed tenth by NHL Central Scouting and helped the Attack secure franchise best marks of 49 wins and 102 points this season.  Finalists for the award were Tyler Steenbergen of the Swift Current Broncos and Hugo Roy of the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

Mastercard Humanitarian of the Year Award: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
Lethbridge Hurricanes captain Tyler Wong is the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year after being named a finalist for the award last season, establishing himself as an exceptional ambassador for his team and the league both on and off the ice.  The 21-year-old from Cochrane, AB, carried forward the ‘Canes KidSport program he introduced a year ago which donates $5 to KidSport Lethbridge & Taber for each goal he scores.  Powered by 51 goals of his own and with the help from teammates, alumni, and the community, the initiative surpassed all expectations and raised over $13,000 this season.  Finalists for the award were Garrett McFadden of the Guelph Storm and two-time nominee Samuel Laberge of the Rimouski Oceanic.

CIBC Scholastic Player of the Year Award: Sasha Chmelevski, Ottawa 67’s
2017 NHL Draft prospect Sasha Chmelevski of the Ottawa 67’s achieved a 98% average across his six Grade 12 courses through Michigan’s Virtual Charter Academy.  The 17-year-old from Northville, Michigan, also scored 21 goals and 22 assists for 43 points in 58 games appearing 43rd among North American players listed by NHL Central Scouting.  Finalists for the award were Brian King of the Everett Silvertips and Antoine Samuel of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar.

Sofina Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year Award: Ryan McGill, Owen Sound Attack
Ryan McGill led the Owen Sound Attack to an all-time franchise best record of 49-15-2-2 for 102 points surpassing the club’s previous highs of 46 wins and 97 points set during the 2010-11 season.  The 48-year-old from Sherwood Park, AB, helped the Attack become the league’s most improved team in just his second season behind the bench increasing their win total by 17 and point total by 27 while establishing a franchise record 15-game winning-streak and surrendering an OHL-low 177 goals against.  McGill was previously nominated for this award in 2013 during his tenure with the Kootenay Ice.  Finalists for the award were John Paddock of the Regina Pats and Danny Flynn of the Saint John Sea Dogs.

CCM Rookie of the Year Award: Nico Hischier, Halifax Mooseheads
2017 NHL Draft prospect Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads led all rookies in scoring with 86 points in 57 games including 38 goals and 48 assists.  The 18-year-old from Naters, Switzerland, was chosen sixth overall in the 2016 CHL Import Draft and is listed second in NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings.  He becomes the second Moosehead to win the award following current Winnipeg Jet Nikolaj Ehlers in 2014, and will challenge for the NHL’s top pick in June where he would follow 2013 first overall pick and Moosehead grad Nathan MacKinnon who currently stars with the Colorado Avalanche.  Finalists for the award were Aleksi Heponiemi of the Swift Current Broncos and Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm.

Vaughn Goaltender of the Year Award: Michael McNiven, Owen Sound Attack
Montreal Canadiens prospect Michael McNiven of the Owen Sound Attack carried a record of 41-9-2-2 including six shutout victories that tied for an OHL-high, while also posting a league-low goals-against-average of 2.30 and save percentage of .915 that ranked sixth overall in the OHL.  The 41 wins by the 19-year-old from Georgetown, ON, led the OHL this season and established a new Attack single season record while his shutout tally brings his three-year career total to 11 which is also a new team mark.  Finalists for the award were Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart who was the 2015-16 recipient, and Francis Leclerc of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada.

Superstore Defenceman of the Year Award: Thomas Chabot, Saint John Sea Dogs
Ottawa Senators prospect Thomas Chabot of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the CHL’s Defenceman of the Year after scoring 10 goals and 35 assists for 45 points in just 34 games played.  The 20-year-old from Ste-Marie-de-Beauce, QC, was also a member of Canada’s National Junior Team earning a silver medal and Tournament MVP honours at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.  The 18th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft helped the Sea Dogs to a first place finish in the QMJHL this season.  Finalists for the award were Edmonton Oilers prospect Ethan Bear of the Seattle Thunderbirds and Darren Raddysh of the Erie Otters.

Sportsnet Player of the Year Award: Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters
Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters led the OHL with 127 points in 63 games scoring 65 goals and 62 assists along with a plus-minus rating of plus-60.  The 19-year-old from Farmington Hills, Michigan, helped the Otters capture a second straight regular season title and set a CHL record with their fourth straight 50-win season.  The former CHL Rookie of the Year set a team record for goals in a season while eclipsing the 50-goal and 100-point plateau for the third straight season.  He is the second Otter to win the award in three seasons following current Edmonton Oilers star and NHL Top Scorer Connor McDavid who received the honour in 2015.  Finalists for the award were Anaheim Ducks prospect Sam Steel of the Regina Pats, and Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques.

Questions Abound as Rider Training Camp Hits



The wait is over! Rider training camp begins as another season gets underway.  As the excitement for another year gets started, there are questions that need to be asked that will hopefully get answered over the next few weeks as the team gets ready for its season opener against Darian Durant and the Alouettes on June 22.  Here are some of the questions I have going in

1. WHERE DOES VINCE YOUNG END UP ON THE DEPTH CHART?

  All eyes will be on the former NFL quarterback who hasn't played a competitive football game in many years. Will he be able to understand the Canadian game to continue on as a member of the team moving forward or will the grind of a CFL camp and the nuances of the Canadian game be too much for the former University of Texas standout.  Young looked good at the Florida mini-camp, but we know those camps don't see a lot of 12 on 12 action if any. There is still a lot for Young to learn. I would have to think Kevin Glenn comes in as the starter, but if Young makes the team will he be the backup or the clipboard holder. I would think Brandon Bridge would like Young to hold the clipboard. It will be up to Young to show Chris Jones and Rider Nation what he can do.

2.  STRENGTHENING THE O-LINE 

  I don't think it is any secret the Rider weakness last year was the offensive line.  They allowed 57 sacks while using 10 bodies. Getting Derek Dennis in free agency should fix that. Having a healthy Brendon Labatte also helps.  How much progress does Josiah St. John take from year 1 to year 2 and is the number one pick overall in the 2016 draft ready to establish himself? I don't think its any secret to think Dennis, Labatte and Dan Clark can be pencilled in as starters, but after that I'm not sure and I don't know if Chris Jones and company know at this time either.

3. WHO IS THE STARTING RB?

   At the end of the season this wasn't a question, but the tragic shooting of Joe McKnight meant the team had a hole to fill seeing Curtis Steele left via free agency.  Former NFL running back Daniel Thomas and former Bomber Cameron Marshall will vie for that job as will Kienan Lafrance who was brought in via free agency from Ottawa. Lafrance had a break-out game in the Eastern final, and obviously the Riders are hoping that performance was the tip of the iceberg.  Marshall may be the odds-on favourite to start the season.

4. WHO IS THE STARTING SAFETY?

   This question may have gotten a lot easier with word Saturday afternoon that Marc-Olivier Brouilette has decided to retire. It may answer why the team went out and traded for Mike Edem late in the off-season.. I would have to think Edem is the favourite to take the job now.

5. CAMERON JUDGE 

    As of the time of this posting, the Riders first round draft pick Cameron Judge is not signed, sealed and delivered. The UCLA linebacker needs to get into camp ASAP much like St. John last year. Losing reps at the start of the camp and not being there with the guys can mean that hill gets steeper and steeper for the rookie. Just ask St. John

6. WHAT ROOKIES WILL SHINE? 

    Every year in every camp there are rookies that turn head during camp, and there are rookies that have expectations on them coming in.  I want to see what DB Zavian Bingham can do after having a great Florida rookie camp, and I have heard nothing but great things about receiver Mitchell Baines who will try to fit in to what is an already stacked group of pass-catchers. Obviously, you want to see how Rams receiver and 2017 draft pick Mitch Picton will do with DB's Alfonso Dennard and Erick Dargan being guys that I think have a future with this team moving forward.

7. WHAT VETS ARE ON THE BUBBLE? 

  Can that question be answered before camp gets started? I think we need to see a few days of two-a-days and perhaps a game before that can be answered.

8. IS THIS A PLAYOFF TEAM?

   I would think it has to be considering what has happened the last two years. The pressure is on Chris Jones and company. Some believe this team can compete for a playoff spot, but I think the best they can do as it stands today is 3rd place behind BC and Calgary. Are they better right now than Edmonton or Winnipeg? That might be the biggest question of all!

Let the long road to the Grey Cup begin!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Regina Red Sox Season Ready To Go


Related image

The  Regina Red Sox are announcing 2017 Training Camp will begin on Saturday, May 27. The team will be on the field from 3 pm to 6 pm.

From Sunday May 28 to Tuesday May 30, Manager Mitch MacDonald will have his team of the field from 6 pm to 8 pm.

The final day of Red Sox training camp will be Wednesday, May 31 from 4 pm to 6 pm. All practices will be held at Currie Field. Fans are welcome.

The Red Sox home opener is set for Sunday, June 4 when the Yorkton Cardinals visit Currie Field.
First pitch is set for 2:00 pm.

All Regina Red Sox information can be found at reginaredsox.com 

Riders Sign Some Draft Picks; Getzlaf Going Back To Edmonton


The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed six of their selections from the 2017 CFL Draft.

Offensive lineman Dariusz Bladek, Eddie Meredith and Marc Glaude, wide receiver Mitchell Picton, linebacker Alexandre Chevrier and defensive lineman Emmanuel Adusei have all signed with the team and are schedule to attend training camp on Sunday, May 28th.

The Roughriders have yet to sign linebacker Cameron Judge (1st round – 2nd overall), receiver Antony Auclair (4th round – 46th overall) and offensive lineman Danny Sprukulis (6th round – 46th overall) from the 2017 draft class.

Auclair is currently with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing an NFL rookie contract in April, while Sprukulis is currently tending to a program requirement at the University of Toronto to complete his degree.  

The Riders also announced additional roster moves:

SIGNED:

·       National defensive lineman Albert Awachie
·       National defensive lineman Emile Charron-Ligez
·       International defensive lineman Davis Tull
·       International defensive back Sammy Williams

ADDED TERRITORIAL JUNIORS:

·       National offensive lineman Brendon Philogene (Regina Thunder)
·       National running back Johnathon Thebaud (Regina Thunder)

(Ryan Pollock/Riders PR)

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The Edmonton Eskimos have signed free agent, national slotback Chris Getzlaf.
Getzlaf originally joined the Green and Gold in February 2016. Last season, he recorded 41 receptions for 455 yards and two touchdowns in 18 games.
Originally selected by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the 2007 CFL Draft, he was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders where he would play for eight seasons.
The two-time West All-Star (2012, 2013) has amassed 6,149 receiving yards on 409 receptions with 40 touchdowns.
A member of two Grey Cup championship teams, Getzlaf was on the practice roster for the 2007 Rider win and named the Most Valuable Canadian in the 2013 Grey Cup victory.

(Edmonton Eskimos)



Monday, May 22, 2017

On Holidays!


Anyone needing me over the next few days could likely find me here.  Enjoy the week!