Studio S


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hopson's Replacement Is.........

The Saskatchewan Roughriders Board of Directors announced today that Craig Reynolds will be the Club’s next President and Chief Executive Officer. 

Craig had been with the Riders for the previous six seasons after originally joining the Club as the Chief Financial Officer in June, 2009. After three years, Craig was promoted to Senior Vice-President & CFO where he has remained to date.

As an organizational leader Craig has been accountable for the Club’s strategic planning, budgeting, financial reporting, treasury, human resource and stadium operations functions. He has also worked closely with Football Operations providing forecasting, modeling and analytics assistance to the team in managing the league-wide salary cap and maximizing value for money. 

Recently, Craig was a member of the 2013 Grey Cup Executive Committee and chaired the Operations Committee. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of ticketing, sponsorship, marketing, retail, and stadium operations, delivering record revenue for the Club. Craig also played a lead role in the Grey Cup Legacy Project resulting in the expansion of the current Mosaic Stadium. Under Craig’s guidance the Club’s stabilization reserves have grown from $1 million to over $12 million in five years.  

Most notably, Craig has led all aspects of the Club’s involvement in the development of the new Mosaic Stadium, Saskatchewan’s iconic new sports and entertainment venue. It is his vision that the new Mosaic Stadium will create an opportunity to grow revenue, enhance the ability to recruit and retain players, coaches, and staff, and deliver a world class fan experience for the organization’s passionate fan base. Additionally, Craig, while working alongside the Club’s senior leadership team, has developed the Club’s capital campaign designed to acquire the organization’s financial commitment to the stadium build.

The 39-year-old grew up in Foam Lake, SK before attending the University of Saskatchewan where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce, with Distinction, and a Masters in Professional Accounting. He then obtained his Chartered Accountant Designation in 2001 from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Craig began working with KPMG in 1998 in Saskatoon before transferring to the company’s Luxembourg location. From there he moved to London, England in 2003 to work for Thomson Scientific in a Financial Accounting role. Just prior to relocating back to Saskatchewan to join the Riders, Craig worked for Suncor Energy in Alberta for four years where he departed as Senior Manager of the Oil Sands Cost Management Program.        
Craig will become the franchises second President and CEO, with predecessor Jim Hopson set to retire in March after ten years at the helm. 

Craig and his wife, Lisa, have two children; 7-year-old daughter, Neeve and 5-year-old son, Noel.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Are Rams Close To Hiring McCrystal's Replacement

On Monday's Sportscage, U of R Dean of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Dr. Harold Riemer joined me to talk about the search for Frank McCrystal's replacement with the U of R Rams. This is what came out of the conversation.

--They are right in the middle of the interview stage with more coming this week.  The hiring committee will meet Friday morning to see if they are at a consensus as to who will lead the team forward.

--Asking candidates where they see program going in next five years and what they would bring to that. What are their plans short term and long term. What type of culture would they be bringing in which is tied to their coaching philosophies, how do they interact with other organizations inside the University and provincial community and what type of recruiting style do they have.

--A lot of resumes have crossed his desk which is no surprise because the Rams relationship with the University is a positive one and is considered one of the more attractive positions in Canadian University Football

--Those they have spoken to are interested about the relationship between the two sides and the unique partnership. You want to understand how the relationship works if you want to come.

--The University wants someone to wants to come to Regina and not using this as an Option B. He wants someone who can take advantage of the opportunities that exist in what is an unique environment and that he can make the Rams what the University of Calgary are now.

--The goal is to have a person in mind by the end of the week and that the potential head coach is spoken to over the weekend and early next week with the new person being announced before January 1.

Oilers Give The Pink Slip To Eakins

The Edmonton Oilers on Monday fired coach Dallas Eakins.

General manager Craig MacTavish will replace Eakins on an interim basis, according to a TSN report, and Todd Nelson, the coach of the Oilers' American Hockey League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons, will join the NHL staff as an assistant or associate coach.

The Oilers lost 2-0 to the New York Rangers on Sunday. They entered the week 30th in the League standings with 19 points; their seven wins are the fewest in the League. They're 29th in the League in scoring at 2.10 goals per game, and 29th in goals-against at 3.32 goals allowed per game.

Edmonton plays the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz.

Since winning back-to-back games in early November, the Oilers are 1-11-4, including an 11-game losing streak.

In his second season with the Oilers, Eakins is 36-63-14.

Eakins arrived in Edmonton after four seasons as coach of the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. In 2012 he guided the Marlies to the Calder Cup Final. He also coached in two AHL all-star games.

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Buffalo Sabres center Tyler Ennis, Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Dec. 14.


Ennis shared second in the NHL with five points (1-4—5) in three outings, helping the Sabres (12-16-2, 26 points) post their third three-game winning streak of the season. He opened the week by recording the lone marker, his third career game-winning goal and first since Dec. 3, 2011, in a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 9. He then matched career highs for assists and points in one game with three helpers in a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames Dec. 11. Ennis capped the week with his 13th assist of the season in a 4-3 overtime triumph against the Florida Panthers Dec. 13. The 25-year-old Edmonton, Alta., native leads the Sabres with 21 points in 30 games this season. The 26th overall selection by Buffalo in the 2008 NHL Draft, Ennis has 77-110—187 in 297 career games, all with the Sabres.


Suter led all defensemen and tied for second in the League with five points (0-5—5) in three starts as the Wild (16-11-1, 33 points) gained four of a possible six standings points. He matched career highs for assists and points in one game with three helpers in a 5-4 comeback victory over the New York Islanders Dec. 9. After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Dec. 11, Suter capped the week with two assists – his third multi-point performance of the season – in a 4-3 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 13. The 29-year-old Madison, Wis., native ranks third on the Wild with 1-17—18 in 26 games this season. The seventh overall selection by Nashville in the 2003 NHL Draft, Suter also leads the NHL in average time on ice per game (29:27).


Lundqvist went 3-0-0 with a 1.30 goals-against average, .951 save percentage and one shutout to propel the Rangers (14-10-4, 32 points) into the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. He began the week with 32 saves in a 4-3 overtime victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins Dec. 8. Lundqvist then posted back-to-back wins over the weekend, making 29 saves in a 5-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 13 and stopping all 16 shots he faced in a 2 0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 14. With his performance, the 32-year-old Are, Sweden, native tied Pittsburgh's Marc-Andre Fluery for the most shutouts in the NHL this season (5). He also recorded his 55th career shutout to move past Bernie Parent and Ed Giacomin for sole possession of 20th place in NHL history.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Something To "Mitch" About

The year is just about over! Where did 2014 go? Seriously!

The arduous task of Christmas shopping is basically done as the only thing left is a stocking stuffer or two for the kids and that can be purchased anywhere.  I am one of those that just hates shopping on the last couple of Saturdays before Christmas so I was glad to get everything accomplished.  Thank god for online shopping too. I still shop local, but if I can't find what I want at places where I normally go, I find it online.

One person who was out and about if my Facebook feed means anything on Saturday was Weston Dressler. He had his picture taken with many Rider fans while doing his thing at Costco. The question I have is why is Weston Dressler shopping at Costco when he knows his trip out to buy presents for friends and families will be interrupted by fans wanting to interact with him. It says a lot about number 7 and it shows why he's the most popular player around here. I would think Rider fans might get an early Christmas present or a late one as I think he will be signing a new deal here very soon. He loves it here and there is no doubt the football team wants him back. Perhaps part of his new deal can be to find someone to go to Costco for him. I think I'd rather run some crossing patterns over the middle than have to deal with Costco at Christmas! Is it  just me or does Regina really need a 2nd Costco in Harbour Landing or the northwest to clear the continuous clog in the east end one right now.

While I think Dressler will be re-signing, we know Tearrius George has re-signed and that's outstanding. There is no doubt that with Ricky Foley and John Chick, George helped make up the best defensive line in the game and all three will be back along with a more experienced Derek Walker and Trevor Guyton which should mean more nightmarish days and nights for CFL quarterbacks.

Dressler's departure for KC and his return was certainly one of the CFL stories of the year, but what was THE story of the year for the league. Was it Ottawa's return? Was it bad on-field product? That might be something I may have to ask you on Monday's Cage. Yes, I will be hosting all week seeing Rod is starting holidays. The shows during the holiday season can be a little tough, but hey its not the first time. Of course its not as tough as trying to do a two hour show by yourself at the same time the Stanley Cup finals are on.

What the heck is with the mumps outbreak in the NHL? I couldn't believe the Pittsburgh Penguins tried to shuffle off whether or not Sidney Crosby had the mumps and then allowed reporters into the dressing room to speak to him and possibly get infected. At what point do doctors step in and say Sid is unavailable today.

Is there any truth to the rumour the Harlem Globetrotters have approached the NHL asking if they can trade the Washington Generals for the Edmonton Oilers?

Has the cartoon version of "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" been on yet? If it was on, I missed it. I love that show!

Wait a minute, John Cena is going to get another shot at Brock Lesnar and the WWE championship after their latest PPV last night? Shocking!

The Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier fight UFC bout scheduled for January 3 can't possibly live up to the expectations can it?

I wonder what lessons Johnny Manziel learned Sunday?

Aaron Rodgers picked a bad time to have one of his worst ever games. That loss in Buffalo likely cost the Packers the number 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

Is Mark Giordano the best defenceman in the NHL today? He has to be considered top 5.

Tough break for Morgan Klimchuk as he did not survive the first wave of cuts for the national junior team. Its been a while since a member of the Pats was on that team---I'm guessing Jordan Eberle in 2010 was the last. I can't think of anyone else although Jordan Weal probably deserved a spot.

That's all I've got. Have a good week!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Tearrius George Staying In Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that international defensive tackle Tearrius George has signed an extension to remain with the team. As per club policy financial details of the contract were not released.

George (6’4 – 277) will enter his fifth season with the Riders after originally signing with the team as a free agent in February, 2011. The 32-year-old was named a West Division All-Star for the second consecutive season after recording career highs with 37 defensive tackles and 12 quarterback sacks while starting all 18 games during the 2014 regular season. Through four seasons, George sits 11th on the Riders All-Time quarterback sacks list with 31.

George would have been eligible to enter CFL free agency on February 10th.

This And That

The weekly collection of thoughts running through my muddled mind in no particular order

--Its the story that made national headlines and I'm guessing some places in the U-S picked up on it too. Two women get into a fight at an elementary school Christmas concert. Oy vay!! Its just terrible this happened, but I gotta feel for the kid who for ever will be scarred with the fact his mom got into a fight at the Christmas concert. It couldn't have been easy for that little guy or gal to go back to school the next day. That's the person I feel sorry for the most in this whole episode. That one will leave a mark.

--Like it or not, Corey Chamblin is leaving his mark and firmly stamping it on the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Chamblin put it the best when talking to reporters this week when he said I'm not in this game to go 10-8 and not win a championship. I am here to win championship after championship after championship and I will make the changes necessary so we are in position to win year after year after year. That is going to mean some unpopular moves, but Chamblin cares about one thing and one thing only and that is winning. Is he to be faulted for that?  Corey isn't going to make all the right moves and I'm sure he would be the first to admit that, but he is going to do what he thinks is the right move and so far, I have seen more good ones than bad ones.

--Sportscage insider Arash Madani is reporting former Riders quarterback Jeff Tedford is ready to return to Canada after a solid NCAA and NFL career and become the coach of the BC Lions. If that is the case, could Rider fans get Paul Lapolice as the new offensive co-ordinator under their Christmas tree? If it doesn't happen before Christmas, I don't expect it to be long into 2015 until the announcement is made.

--Kaillie Humphries is more than deserving of winning the Lou Marsh award as Canada's athlete of the year and its refreshing to see the honor go to an amateur athlete instead of a professional one, but I thought Eugenie Bouchard would win that in a slam dunk.

--Week 15 NFL Lock Of The Week  --- Lions over Vikings
   Week 15 NFL Upset Of The Week  ---Chargers over Broncos

--Kelly Remple and I debated the situation regarding the Pats and whether or not Morgan Klimchuk should be traded with the team playing so well on Thursday's Sportscage. I say you have to do it, but it would be tough to do considering it would hurt the team in the short run,  I'm guessing there is a lot of debate as to whether or not a deal will come. As for the fan, it would suck because it could mean no home ice advantage in the first round and perhaps a first round defeat, but as good as the team is playng right now, they should be better next year.

--A question for fans of the Green Bay Packers....longtime fans. Who would you rather have for one game. Favre or Rodgers? I think I would lean to Rodgers. His resume isn't as padded as Favre's whose ink is dry, but Rodgers has many more good years in him and he is simply smarter with the football.

--I don't know how much longer we're going to see weather like this and we know we will see -40 at some point, but to have it be like this and we're in mid-December is good news,

--Belated congrats to Wavell Starr for capturing the belt at HIW last Friday night in the Kings Challenge, Wavell's part of the corporation, he has the belt and he has Lady Luck on his arm, It must be good to be Wavell these days. Can't wait for the Access tapings to start in January. It should be a lot of fun again.

--Have a great weekend!