Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Time to get back to the pay window in Week 6.
QUARTERBACK - MIKE REILLY $11200
With quarterbacks going down in rapid numbers again this season, it is moreso of a gamble when picking your signal-caller. Reilly is throwing for just under 400 yards a game this season, and at home against a Winnipeg defense that goes in without some regulars in the secondary, one has to think if he can stay healthy, the Edmonton quarterback will have another big week. If you think Mitchell Gale has it in him again, remember he takes on an Alouettes team that just played Monday and hasn't had a lot of rest.
RUNNING BACK - JEROME MESSAM $7100
No one is running the football. When will that trend change? While Andrew Harris is the top RB on the Draftkings roster at 7200, I just don't see Harris getting a lot of action on the ground. As I said last week, Messam is the best bet on short yardage to get the ball in the endzone so I will once again go with him. Anthony Allen and Nic Grigsby are also solid bets.
WIDE RECEIVER - NAAMAN ROOSEVELT $8800
I don't think you can say the Rider receiver is flying under the radar, but at 8800, he is still relatively cheap. Speaking of cheap, while Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker are making catches in Edmonton, so is Cory Watson. Watson is also finding his way in the endzone as he has caught a pair of TD's. If you can get Watson and Walker or Bowman in your lineup, I like your chances.
DEFENCE - ESKIMOS $4700
I am not sold on Matt Nichols starting for Winnipeg. That Eskimo defence also has to be seething after letting a huge lead get away at home against the Ti-Cats. It might be time for the Eskimos defence to either show they have something or that the absence of Chris Jones has left them a little less dangerous than what they have been. I can see Edmonton's d getting a few sacks and about 3-4 turnovers against a Bombers offence that will be pressing. I also like Ottawa at home against a Ricky Ray-less Argos squad.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
If you have never seen the Stanley Cup before, today is your chance if you are in Regina.
Chris Kunitz is getting his day with the trophy, and he is going to have it in City Square Plaza from 330-530.
People can get their picture taken with the Cup, and the Regina native will be signing autographs as some limited edition photos will be available.
Money raised from today's event will go to the Allan Blair Cancer Centre.
Greg Hardy does not yet have a NFL home, and for now even his status in the Canadian Football League remains unclear.
Sportsnet has learned that the CFL has blocked the Saskatchewan Roughriders from adding Greg Hardy to the team’s exclusive negotiation list. Sources indicated the league office is now deciding whether or not to allow the Riders to obtain the rights to the former Pro Bowl defensive end.
Hardy is a free agent who, after fulfilling a four-game NFL suspension, played most of the 2015 season with the Dallas Cowboys. He remains unsigned south of the border, although he did visit Jacksonville last week, going through a two-day workout and interview session with the Jaguars.
While adding Hardy to a CFL negotiation list would not mean the player would sign a contract in Canada, that the league office has blocked him is significant. The CFL prevented teams from adding Ray Rice in 2014, but Rice has not played a professional game since. Hardy has.
When asked specifically about the Riders attempting to add Hardy to their negotiation list, and the league halting it, CFL spokesman Paulo Senra said: “We don’t have any comment.”
Even with a league-wide domestic violence policy, the CFL has permitted Justin Cox to sign, and play, in Saskatchewan, where he is now a starting defensive back with the Roughriders. Just last July, he was arrested for aggravated domestic violence, burglary of a residence and trespassing. Only nine months prior, he had been charged with burglary and aggravated domestic violence in a separate incident.
Sources say the Riders are waiting to hear from the league with regards to Hardy.
Back in 2014, Hardy was charged and found guilty of assaulting a female, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, and communicating threats – domestic violence. The victim clamed the six-foot-five, 280-pound lineman threw her in the bathtub, then dragged her into a bedroom, choked her and tossed her onto a couch covered with guns before threatening to kill her.
“He looked me in the eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I was so scared I wanted to die,” Holder testified.
After playing in Week 1, Hardy was placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List for what turned out to be the remainder of the 2014 NFL season.
Hardy’s return to the NFL was mixed last season. He played the final 12 games, and while productive (35 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and one interception), he was not without controversy. In one standout incident, Hardy got into a shouting match with Dez Bryant and knocked a clipboard away from an assistant coach. (http://thebiglead.com/2015/10/26/greg-hardy-shove-rich-bisaccia/).
In the spring, the CFL was asked if the league would allow any of its teams to sign players who have allegations of domestic violence like Hardy and Cox. Matt Maychak, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs responded with:
“With any player with a history of violence, or any player who has faced allegations of violence, we would look to the team to assess the player, not just on his football skills, but on what he brings to the team, including assessing how he has moved forward since the violence or allegation of violence. We have experts in the field willing to help in this regard. Simply having a past would not eliminate a player from the CFL. However, if an assessment revealed or concluded that his behaviour or attitudes had not changed, and those pose a risk of future violence, then the league would expect teams to treat that as a very serious concern. The policy puts an emphasis on awareness, training and prevention, as well as ensuring those hurt by violence and abuse get help. While it contemplates potential penalties up to and including a lifetime ban for repeat offenders, it is really focused on working to prevent violence, and working to help ensure it stop if it has occurred.”
Hardy was selected 175th overall in the sixth round by the Carolina Panthers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He’s recorded 238 tackles, 40 sacks – 33 quarterback take downs in his last 44 games – 16 passes defended, eight forced fumbles and one interception through a six-year NFL career.
Single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday morning for the SaskTel Fall Classic, a Canada West clash between the University of Regina Rams and the Saskatchewan Huskies on Oct. 1 that will be the first football game played at the new Mosaic Stadium.
Tickets will be available beginning on Tuesday at 10 a.m. through www.reginarams.com, the Rams administration office (306-585-5480), www.riderville.com, www.ticketmaster.ca, and in person or via phone through the Saskatchewan Roughriders box office (1-888-4-RIDERS).
“There’s been a lot of interest in both flex packages and single-game tickets for this game,” said Chris Briltz, director for the Rams. “With attendance limited to 16,500 for this game, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to be a part of history at the first game in the new stadium.”
The Rams are extremely pleased to have SaskTel recently come aboard as the major sponsor for the game.
“SaskTel is a long-time supporter of both the University of Regina Rams and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, so we are especially pleased to be able to be the title sponsor for the SaskTel Fall Classic,” said Darcee MacFarlane, SaskTel’s vice president of corporate relations.
Flex packages remain on sale at $80 each and include five adult tickets (one exclusively for the SaskTel Fall Classic and four which can be used interchangeably for any of the other three home games), eight child tickets (can be used for any of the Sept. 8, Sept. 23, or Oct. 21 home games), entry into the Football Dream Trip draw, and the immediate ability to purchase up to three additional tickets for the SaskTel Fall Classic.
Single-game ticket prices for the SaskTel Fall Classic will be $22.50 for adults, $15 for students, and $10 for children aged three through 12. U of R students get in for free at the Sept. 8, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21 games.
The game is part of the overall Regina Revitalization Initiative Stadium Project, and is designed to test the construction of the building including washrooms, public address systems, and elevators. Operational plans that will support the stadium will also be tested, including access and egress, transportation, parking, and security.
NOTES: The anticipated sellout would set a new Canada West attendance record, breaking the previous mark of 10,199 set at a University of Manitoba game during the 2013 season ... the Rams’ other three home games – Sept. 8, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21 – will all be played at the old stadium.
Monday, July 25, 2016
THERE'S A "1" IN THE WIN COLUMN - Ladies and gentlemen, its Game On when it comes to the green-and-white. I didn't think they would beat the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday, and I believe a majority of the 30-thousand who wandered into the grand old lady on 10th Avenue just north of downtown Regina were likely thinking the same thing. I just hope no one was injured leaving the game as that monkey that had been on the backs of the green and white escaped to no one's dismay.
As I said on Friday, the Riders don't win this game on paper, but we all know you don't play the game on paper and with a break here, and a bounce there, it could happen. Those breaks and bounces came. Trevor Harris was injured putting the high-flying Ottawa offence in the hands of Brock Jensen. I knew more about Brock Lesnar than Brock Jensen, and the Riders defense may have been in the same boat. The kid looked good, but he was out-duelled by Mitchell Gale,
With family in the stands. the 26 year old from Alva, Oklahoma got the job done in his first pro start. A pro start where he didn't have two of his starting receivers (John Chiles and Shawmaud Chambers) and two of his starting offensive linemen (Brendon Labatte and Dan Clark---add Chris Best to that mix if you want too.) All Gale did was throw for 354 yards and 1 TD in what was a pretty good performance. He will still be the back-up when Darian Durant returns, but I think Rider Nation is a little more at ease with number 4 on the sidelines right now than what they were last year. While some out there are trying to plant the seeds for a quarterback controversy, forget about it. It isn't going to happen.
Should we have been surprised at how Gale ran the Rider offence? You are not supposed to do that in your first CFL start, but this is a guy who has worked with Scott Milanovich in Toronto and has worked with Ricky Ray, Zach Collaros and Trevor Harris, Learning under those three will teach you some things and we saw that Friday. Like 98 percent of you, I hope to see Durant back under center in Montreal, but if he isn't, I'm a lot more confident than I was last year. Maybe all of those who whined, bitched, moaned and complained because they got a Shawn Lemon jersey should just take the nametag off and put Gale's on.
Other thoughts on Friday----in no particular order.
1, Can I just say again "How the h-e hockey sticks did Corey Chamblin and Brendan Taman get away with starting Jamel Richardson and Taj Smith ahead of Naaman Roosevelt. Everyone knew the Riders had themselves a player, but we had to wait and wait and wait to see it. Roosevelt scratched the surface with what he could do last year, and predictions of him having a huge year this season are coming to fruition. 42 catches for 477 yards and a touchdown in four games is what he has. Roosevelt isn't in the Chris Williams-Adarius Bowman category, but he may be there before too long.
2. The Riders took a lot of heat last season when soon to be free agent Jerome Messam was traded to Calgary for Tyler Crapigna. The cry of "Jeremy O'Day traded the best Canadian RB in the CFL to a Western rival for a kicker?" was heard loudly in this province. Who's laughing now? We knew Messam wasn't coming back here as a free agent, and O'Day went out and got a stepping stone to help build the future. Crapigna is 15 for 17 this year and his 53 yard game winner was the season's biggest play this season. That kick and the ensuing hold by the defence showed this young team they can win, and they can win without their leader. I don't think confidence was waning any in that room, but you know that team was pressing for a "W". They have it now, so let's see what they do with a win under their belt going into Montreal
3. Many will say the Riders won this game because Trevor Harris didn't play. That's fine. The Riders beat BC if Darian Durant remained in the game. It all evens out in the end doesn't it.
4. While the score would indicate a good old-fashioned CFL game, the reality is the game was not a classic and the reason for that was the performance of Al Bradbury and company. Horrible doesn't start to describe their effort. The game has become over-run with challenges and reviews. The lack of consistency is maddening, and there is no flow to the game. Global TV's Taylor Shire brought up a great point in the press box while watching Bradbury's crew stumble along. In the 4th quarter, Jensen was called for intentional grounding. The ref stood over Jensen for a good 4-5 seconds before he finally threw his flag. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? As Taylor mentioned, you would never see a guy get hauled down on a breakaway with the referee standing over the forward and defenceman for 4-5 seconds before pointing to center ice or calling a penalty. Make the damn call! Make the right call so we don't need reviews. Yes, the coaches challenge is a little ridiculous too. (Cmon Rick Campbell, you didn't think that was pass interference on Roosevelt late in the 4th??)Yes, you are allowed to grasp at straws, but that was ridiculous. Yes, it was interference on Chris Williams by Buddy Jackson late in the 4th, but again there was mysteriously no flag. I'm not even sure if the Command Centre are watching games or "How I Met Your Mother" re-runs. When fans say it is time to spin the wheel of justice, they may be right,
Perhaps TSN needs to get Kate Beirness doing her best Vanna White imitation when a call goes to the command center so Kate can spin the wheel so all of Canada can see if a call will be upheld or overturned. This endless string of reviews and challenges has to stop. Chris Jones says we have to abide by the rules the league sets out, and at the end of the day he is right, but it is killing the CFL. There is a spot for instant replay, but it has to be done correctly and the CFL isn't doing that. At least, not in my books. Yes, the stripes are getting a bad rap for this, but I can't defend them when the inconsistency is there.
As someone mentioned Saturday, the Riders are within 13 seconds of beating both of last year's Grey Cup teams. How can you not feel optimistic about the future?
LOSEIPEG - Rider fans are optimistic about the future, but down the road in Winnipeg, I have to wonder if Bomber fans are starting to count down the days until they can pile into the MTS Centre to watch Patrick Laine, Mark Schiefele, Blake Wheeler and the Winnipeg Jets. The Bombers performance against Calgary was absolutely horrible-----again! How much longer does Mike O'Shea have? If they lose to the Eskimos this coming week is that it? I have been on record since he was hired as saying Paul Lapolice will be coaching the Bombers by Labour Day, but even Lapo's offence isn't getting it done. After their loss to the Stamps, former Bomber Milt Stegall was bemoaning the fact the team doesn't have a deep threat. WRONG!! Darvin Adams can be that deep threat if someone can get him the ball and right now Drew Willy can't. It's sad when Bo Levi Mitchell has won as many games at Investors Group Field as Willy if you're a supporter of the Double Blue. On Sunday, the Bombers had Matt Nichols taking first team reps as he takes over for Drew Willy. The Bombers will battle an Edmonton team whose head must be spinning after an epic collapse Saturday at Commonwealth. I don't think that's the answer.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL---CFL STYLE - The Alouettes and Argos finish off the CFL week with a game at BMO Field. The last game at the Argos new home was a disaster attendance-wise after an opening nite filled with glitz and glamour. The Toronto Indy was said to be a deterrent for those attending the last game, but what will the excuse be tonight? Will the Toronto football fan show up for Monday night football? I am skeptical. I am hoping I'm wrong, but I don't think I will be.
QB CAROUSEL KEEPS SPINNING - 2015 was a bad year for QB's in the CFL as many starters missed a considerable amount of time. The same story is starting to emerge this year. Darian Durant, Henry Burris and Trevor Harris have all been hurt, Zach Collaros is still recuperating from last year's injury and Kevin Glenn missed a game albeit it wasn't for something that happened on the field. One can only hope this comes to a stop in a big hurry as the CFL needs its marquee players under center.
CMON GRAHAM - Many of us in the 306/637 who are fans of golf have more than just a passing interest into the performance of Graham DeLaet on a week-to-week basis. The Weyburn native took time off the PGA circuit this year to try and get a chipping problem under control, but on Thursday at the Canadian Open, he looked like me trying to chip and folks, if that's happening, its not good! DeLaet has always shown he has the tools to win on the tour, but something trips him up in each event he is contending in. With the Olympics coming up, it would be beyond huge to see him emerge as a medallist, but he has to find a way to get this case of the yips under control. His career could be riding on overcoming this problem, A province is pulling for you Graham.
HE DID WHAT?? - Baseball's trade deadline is at the end of the month, and one pitcher contending teams are looking at is White Sox hurler Chris Sale. He may have been scheduled to make his last start for Chicago on Saturday night, but now he may have already made his last appearance in a Sox uniform after what might be one of the most bizarre stories of the year. The White Sox sent him home after he apparently refused to don the 1976 throwback uniforms the team was supposed to wear, saying they were uncomfortable. result, Sale reportedly cut up the jerseys during batting practice and was "upset that, in his view, PR and jersey sales were more important.
This is what those 76 unis looked like, I can't believe a pro athlete would actually do this. Then again, if the Seattle Seahawks ever came out in these babies again, I might Fed Ex a pair of garden shears to Jon Ryan in hopes he would possibly do the same thing.
WORST UNI EVER!!! And yes, that includes the Canucks yellow V jerseys. Sorry Vancouver fans!!
ROLLING THE DICE - The Regina Pats are taking a gamble, but it is one you couldn't afford to pass up. Getting Dawson Leedahl from the Everett Silvertips for a 4th round pick and forward Sean Richards is a good deal for the Queen City Kids. The Saskatoon native fills out their crop of overagers. The question now is can they somehow lure Tyson Jost to Regina. The Canadian Junior A player of the year is committed to North Dakota. You can't blame the kid seeing they are the defending NCAA champs and have had the likes of Toews, Oshie and Parise play there. If the Colorado Avalanche would like him to play major junior, his rights would be owned by the Pats. If he came, chances are the kid wouldn't disappoint. Add him to the likes of Brooks, Steel, Wagner and the rapidly improving Jake Leschyshyn and this team will be ready to make some noise at the Brandt Centre this winter. I am guessing if Jost comes, the "conditional" picks will be high. If he doesn't, they won't be. It is a good deal IMO even if Jost doesn't show up.
JUNIOR - Ken Griffey Junior is where he belongs. The Baseball Hall of Fame!
That's all I got. Have a great week!
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tyson Jost picture courtesy BCHL
Regina Pats General Manager and Head Coach John Paddock announced today the team acquired over-age forward Dawson Leedahl (’96) and the WHL playing rights to forward Tyson Jost (’98) from the Everett Silvertips. The Pats traded forward Sean Richards (’98), Red Deer’s fourth round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft as well as conditional draft picks to Everett.
Dawson Leedahl (6’1”, 200 lbs) is a veteran of 226 WHL games over four seasons with the Silvertips. In that time, Leedahl posted 101 points (37G, 64A) to go with 266 penalty minutes. In 2015-16, the Saskatoon, SK product tallied 27 points (12G, 15A) in 48 games to go with a career high 88 penalty minutes. In eight playoff games, Leedahl registered five points (3G, 2A) and 37 penalty minutes. He also served as the Silvertips captain, earning the team’s ‘Unsung Hero’ award the past two seasons. The former second round bantam pick of the Silvertips was a member of the 2012 SMAAAHL Champion Saskatoon Contacts and captured a bronze medal at the Telus Cup.
“Any time you can acquire a player that has been a captain of a team, you are eager to do it,” commented John Paddock. “In Dawson, we are really excited about adding an experienced, big forward to our group who has been playing in a winning program.”
Tyson Jost (5’11”, 191 lbs) was selected 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The St. Albert, AB native played 94 games for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL the past two seasons while totaling 149 points (65G, 84A). Last season, Jost posted 104 points (42G, 62A) in 48 games and was named the BCHL and CJHL Most Valuable Player. Jost captained Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U-18 World Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota where he led the tournament with 15 points (6G, 9A) in seven games. Jost has committed to the University of North Dakota (NCHC) for this upcoming fall. He was the Silvertips’ seventh overall selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
“We fully know what Tyson’s desires are and we respect that immensely,” continued Paddock. “At some point we will have a conversation with his representatives and him about what we think of him as a player.”
Sean Richards (5’11”, 180 lbs) joined the Pats last October when he was called up from the Olds Grizzlys. The St. Albert, AB native played in 54 games for the Blue and White, totaling 18 points (3G, 15A) and 58 penalty minutes. In the 2016 WHL Playoffs, Richards posted three points (1G, 2A) and was a +3 plus/minus rating in twelve games.