Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Riders Senior Management Sign Contract Extensions

Saskatchewan Roughriders President & CEO Craig Reynolds has announced Vice-President of Football Operations, General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones has signed a one-year contract extension to remain with the club through 2019.

The Riders also announced that front office personnel Jeremy O’Day, John Murphy and Mike Davis have each agreed to two-year extensions, keeping them under contract with the Riders through the 2019 season.

“It was important for our organization to create continuity within our football operations to build on the strong foundation that’s been established,” stated Reynolds. “Chris is a proven winner and has surrounded himself with a valuable support system of experienced individuals. Under their guidance, we look forward to our football team taking the next step on-field.”

Originally hired on December 7, 2015, Chris Jones will enter his third season with the Riders. After going through a rebuilding season in 2016, the Riders increased by five wins under Jones’ guidance last year, and appeared in a division final for the first time since 2013.
Jeremy O’Day will remain with the Riders for his 20th consecutive season – his third in the role of Assistant Vice-President of Football Operations and Administration. O’Day originally joined the club’s front office in 2011 after playing 12 seasons on the Riders’ offensive line.

John Murphy will return for his third season as Assistant Vice-President of Football Operations and Player Personnel. Murphy will be entering his 13th year in the CFL after previously spending time in Calgary and Winnipeg. 

Mike Davis will return as the Riders’ Manager of Football Administration. Davis was added to the Riders staff in September, 2016 after coaching the Nebraska Danger of the Indoor Football League for six seasons.   

Monday, December 11, 2017

Moose Jaw Warriors Making Some Deals

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Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager Alan Millar has announced the acquisition of 18-year-old forward Ryan Peckford and a 4th round pick in 2018 from the Victoria Royals in exchange for 19-year-old forward Noah Gregor and an 8th round pick in 2018.

Peckford, 6’1”, 197lbs, is from Stony Plain, Alberta and has 13 goals, 14 assists, and 27 points in 33 games this season for the Royals.  In 2016-2017 Peckford had 13 goals, 21 assists, and 34 points in 45 games.
Peckford was drafted by the Royals in the 2nd round (31st overall) at the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.  In 140 WHL games he has 34 goals, 38 assists, ad 72 points.

Gregor, a 6-foot-0, 188-pound product of Beaumont, Alta., is heading back to the team that drafted him in the third round, 55th overall, of the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. The 19-year-old Gregor never played for the Royals, but has since become a star for the Warriors’ offensively-laden team with 176 points (71G-101A) in 164 WHL regular season games. This year, Gregor sits fifth on the Warriors in scoring with 36 points (14G-22A) in 30 games.


 Moose Jaw Warriors General Manager Alan Millar has announced the acquisition of 19-year-old forward Vince Loschiavo from the Kootenay ICE in exchange for 16-year-old prospect Jakin Smallwood and a conditional 3rd round pick in 2020.

 Loschiavo, 6’2”, 195lbs, is from Winnipeg and has seven goals, seven assists, and 14 points in 28 games this season with Kootenay.  In 2016-2017 Loschiavo led Kootenay with 29 goals and was second in team scoring with 57 points in 68 games.  Loschiavo was a 2nd round pick (31st overall) of the ICE at the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

(MJ Warriors Hockey Club)

James Franklin Is An Argonaut

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The Toronto Argonauts announced Monday that the team has acquired quarterback James Franklin and a third-round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft from the Edmonton Eskimos in exchange for Canadian offensive lineman Mason Woods.

Franklin, a 6-2, 225-pound native of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has dressed for 52 games in three years with the Eskimos. In 12 appearances, the University of Missouri product has completed 116-of-176 pass attempts for 1,449 yards, 12 touchdowns and just one interception while rushing for 145 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.

In his lone career start, a Week 20 showdown with the Argos in 2016, the 26-year old pivot completed 18-of-23 attempts for 335 yards and four touchdowns.

BC Lions Announce Changes In Football Operations

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BC Lions GM Ed Hervey today announced that Torey Hunter has been named the club’s new Director of Player Personnel and Player Development. Hunter had been a regional scout on the staff of the Edmonton Eskimos for the past four seasons.

A graduate of Washington State and a draft selection of the Houston Oilers, Hunter played defensive back with both the Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes before moving into the NCAA coaching ranks in 2002. Serving on coaching staffs at Western Washington, Idaho State, Central Washington, Eastern Washington and Idaho, Torey made his way back to the CFL in 2014 with Edmonton.

“I am very pleased to be adding Torey to our personnel staff,” said Hervey, who was named Lions general manager last week. “He understands the kind of unique talent we need to be successful in the CFL and I’m confident he will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we begin the process of building our team.”

Hervey also confirmed that Neil McEvoy will remain in place as the Lions’ Director of Football Operations while Geroy Simon will retain his duties as the Director of Canadian Scouting and add the title of CFL Draft Coordinator to his portfolio. Director of U.S. Scouting, Ryan Rigmaiden will also return in his current role.

“Neil, Geroy and Ryan have done an excellent job of positioning the club for the future and I am excited about the foundation we have to work from right now,” added Hervey. “There is much work to be done, but I am confident about the track we’re on today.”

(BC Lions)

NHL Three Stars Of Week

St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen and Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 10.

Schenn led the NHL with 6-1—7, including at least one goal in all four of his appearances, to power the Blues (21-8-2, 44 points) to a perfect week and the top of the Western Conference standings. He notched his third career hat trick, including the decisive goal, in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 5. Schenn then scored the winning goal in a 3-0 triumph against the Dallas Stars Dec. 7 and registered 1-1—2 in a 6-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 9. He closed the week with another tally, marking the second four-game goal streak of his NHL career (also Jan. 8-14, 2017: 4-0—4 in 4 GP w/ PHI), in a 3-2 overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 10. The 26-year-old Saskatoon, Sask., native ranks fifth in the NHL with 16-21—37 in 31 outings this season. He also paces the League in game-winning goals (t-6), shootout-deciding goals (t-2) and plus/minus (+25).

Allen went 4-0-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average, .944 save percentage and one shutout to guide the Blues to their third four-game winning streak of the season (also Oct. 4-10 and Oct. 25-30). He made 22 saves in a 4-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 5. Allen then turned aside all 29 shots he faced, earning his 16th career shutout in a 3-0 triumph over the Dallas Stars Dec. 7. He added a pair of weekend wins, recording 28 saves in a 6-1 victory against the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 9 and 22 stops in a 3-2 overtime triumph over the Buffalo Sabres Dec. 10. The 27-year-old Fredericton, N.B., native shares second place in the NHL with 17 victories in 26 contests this season (17-6-2), compiling a 2.54 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and one shutout.

Elliott posted a trio of victories – along with a 1.67 goals-against average and .954 save percentage – to help the Flyers (11-11-7, 29 points) bounce back from a 10-game skid (0-5-5) and complete a perfect road trip through Western Canada. He made 43 saves in a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames Dec. 4, 24 stops in a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 6 and 36 saves in a 4-1 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 7. The 32-year-old Newmarket, Ont., native – who is in his first season with Philadelphia – owns a 9-6-6 record, 2.79 goals-against average and .912 save percentage through 22 appearances.

(NHL Communications) 

Something To "Mitch" About

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--Just two more Saturdays to go to get Christmas shopping done.  If its only going to get worse the next two Saturdays than what it was this Saturday, can I just stay at home? Yikes!!  It's getting ugly out there.  I don't even what to think what it would be like at Costco right now.  Godspeed to you all if you have to endure that between now and the 25th. 

--If what we are hearing is true, there could be some very acrimonious bargaining when it comes time for the CFL and the CFLPA to start working on a new CBA.  Santa may have to step in as an arbitrator. Word came out this week that the league is urging teams not to issue bonuses being paid to players as of January 1, 2019 despite the fact the current CBA doesn't expire until May 14, 2019.

The players association says this undermines their working relationship with the league.  How can it not?

The league has certainly fired a pre-emptive shot leading into bargaining for a new contract.  You remember last time, the players felt they didn't get a good shake and were muscled into the deal they have now.  I don't see that happening this time around.  I don't think there is a lot of common ground when it comes to the key areas.

--Is Nik Lewis suggesting we need to diminish the role of Canadian in the "Canadian" Football League?  By looking at a Twitter exchange he had with Rider receiver Rob Bagg, it would certainly seem that way.  Lewis is throwing it out there that the number of Canadian starters be dropped by two or three. Bagg is saying hold on there big fella. I see the argument Lewis is trying to make, but it doesn't hold water with this blogger.  In fact, I would like to see more Canadians on game-day rosters because there are USports players out there whose careers are over the moment they peel off that university jersey for the last time.  Some would likely get a chance and when Halifax gets into the league if that comes to fruition, more will get an opportunity.  One has to think this will also come up when it comes time for that new CBA.

--It would appear as if the buzz over the Argos winning the Grey Cup has ended in Toronto. That is if there ever was a buzz of significance.  Late Saturday afternoon, Toronto FC won the MLS Cup beating Seattle 2-0.  I like soccer, but MLS is not my cup of tea. To me, it is the season that never ends. By the way, do some MLS fans call for the final to be moved up one month?  I digress.  I happened to turn over to TSN moments before Toronto got on the board.  The place was jumpin, it was sold out.  They were loving it at BMO Field. It just begs the age-old question as to why we can't get that for the Argos. Imagine!

Within hours of the win, Mayor John Tory announced the parade route. Parade? The Argos got a reception at Nathan Phillips Square and the soccer team gets a parade? While many turned up for the rally when the Argos won, I am expecting the parade route in downtown Toronto to be packed.  As was mentioned to me on Twitter, while the Argos took the Grey Cup to a Leafs game, did they take it to BMO for a TFC playoff game where two were played after the Grey Cup win. If they did, I didn't see or hear about it.  Set up some booths and sell some tickets with a good share of "football" fans in attendance.   While Toronto doesn't help the Argos, sometimes the football club doesn't help itself out either.

--The Bills and Colts played in a snowstorm in Buffalo. Is anyone suggesting the NFL season move up a month so this doesn't happen? 

--Drew Brees was the latest NFL player to come out and criticize Thursday Night Football after his Saints lost to Atlanta.  Was Brees just trying to deflect attention with his comments away from the fact he pulled off a Bo Levi Mitchell and threw a pass he never should have that cost his team the game? That's for you to decide.

Brees is right when he says it is ridiculous playing on Thursday because your body can't heal properly and you can't get ready properly after playing the Sunday previous.  However, once again the players can say no to playing Thursday Night Football when it comes to a new CBA.  Players don't really want to get rid of it because it may cost them money because they see the revenue being brought in by Thursday Night Football and they don't want to give that up.  The players aren't going to sacrifice any extra $$$$ they can get.----Thursday Night Football brings in added $$$ to the league so guess what.  It will be the same way if the NFL proposes more games to the schedule. If it means players getting more money, they will do so even though they don't like it.

--I can't help but think the chances of the Philadelphia Eagles winning the Super Bowl went out the window with what looks to be the season-ending  Carson Wentz knee injury much like the Raiders had their chance go last year when Derek Carr suffered a season-ending broken leg.  The Eagles have a better backup QB than Oakland had last year, but I don't see them being able to get it done. What a game that was in LA.  Hard to determine if that game or the Steelers-Ravens game was the better game.

--Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge in the same lineup? That news can't have pitchers in the American League or American League East very happy. Add someone who hit 59 HR's to Judge who cracked 50 plus last year and it is safe to say you have a very potent lineup.  I'm guessing new Yankees manager Aaron Boone just got a lot better in the eyes of many.

--There was anger at the Brandt Centre Friday night as the Kelowna Rockets beat the Pats.  The anger over the fact the team's blue-line has become extremely porous which doesn't make life any easier for a struggling Tyler Brown. I am hearing rumour after rumour after rumour of what players could be headed to Regina.  It's somewhat dizzying.  Some are conceivable while others are wayyyyy out there.   The job isn't getting any easier for John Paddock. I am guessing a win over Medicine Hat Saturday didn't really cool the heels of those who are getting impatient.


--Congratulations to  Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe for winning the Olympic curling trials.  Both finals were great and it capped off a great week of curling. The win for Koe means South Korea will get to enjoy Regina's Ben Hebert.  Those who know Ben know he will definitely make the most of the experience.  You have to think both are favoured to win gold.

That's all I got.  Have a great week!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Blues Lose Jaden Schwartz for 6 Weeks

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St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has placed forward Jaden Schwartz on injured reserve with a right ankle injury.

Schwartz, who suffered the injury during the Blues' 6-1 win in Detroit on Saturday, is scheduled to be re-evaluated in six weeks.

In addition, the Blues recalled forward Ivan Barbashev from the American Hockey League's Chicago Wolves.

Schwartz, 25, shares ninth in the NHL overall with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) and ranks second with a +23 rating through 30 games this season. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound forward is currently in his seventh season with the Blues after the club drafted him 14th overall at the 2010 NHL Draft. Overall, the Wilcox, Saskatchewan native has accumulated 247 points (103 goals, 144 assists) and 81 penalty minutes in 348 career regular season games.

(Blues PR)