Sunday, June 30, 2013

Klimchuk To Flames / Burroughs To Islanders

Regina Pats forward Morgan Klimchuk has been selected in the first round by the Calgary Flames with the 28th Overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey. 
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Klimchuk told TSN’s James Duthie after donning his new Flames jersey.  “Going into it, I knew how many picks Calgary had in the first round and I thought I had a pretty good couple interviews with them, but for this to actually come true and for my dreams to become a reality it’s an unbelievable feeling.” 
The Pats’ 5th Overall selection of the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft finished the season second on the team in scoring with 76 points (36G, 40A) while playing all 72 contests through the WHL Regular Season. 
In addition to the Calgary, AB product’s stellar play in the WHL, Klimchuk had a strong showing on the international stage.  He won a pair of Gold Medals with Canada’s Under-18 program, first at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament as part of the summer program and then the World U-18 Championships where Klimchuk was second in team scoring with eight points in seven games. 
“We are extremely proud of Morgan.  He has been a big part of our organization ever since we were fortunate enough to select him in the first round of the WHL Bantam Draft,” commented Pats Senior VP and General Manager Chad Lang.  “Being selected today in the 2013 NHL Draft is a true reflection of his hard work and dedication both on and off the ice.”

Regina Pats defenceman Kyle Burroughs has been selected in the Seventh Round (196th Overall) by the New York Islanders in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, New Jersey.
“It’s really indescribable,” said Burroughs shortly after being selected.  “It’s a surreal feeling, you know, it’s a dream and it pretty much just came true.”
A 3rd Round selection of the Pats in the 2010 WHL Bantam Draft, Burroughs led the Blue and White in scoring from the blue-line with 33 points (5G, 28A) in 70 contests through the WHL Regular Season.
For his stellar play in 2012-13, the Langley, B.C. native was presented with the Charles Johnston Memorial Trophy as the Pats Top Defenceman.  Burroughs’ brilliant second half of the season saw him as one of the fastest risers on the Central Scouting Draft Rankings, jumping 73 spots between the Mid-Term and Final Rankings.
“Kyle has been a valuable player for us the past two years,” said Pats Senior VP and General Manager Chad Lang.  “His dedication and positive attitude has had an impact both on and off the ice.  As a young player he has great leadership qualities.  Our entire organization is very proud of him and happy to see Kyle rewarded for his efforts.”

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thoughts On The Opener

I'm not going to say I didn't see that coming, but I didn't see the Riders being that dominant at Commonwealth Stadium this afternoon. I felt as if the team had to go out and send a message to a Western Division opponent by walking into their house and slapping them in the mouth and that's what happened. As well as what the Riders played, it just didn't seem as if Edmonton had any energy. However, any energy the Eskimos may have had might have been sucked away on the Riders first drive as Darian Durant led them down the field on an 8 play drive that ended in Kory Sheets' 18 yard TD. Just some thoughts

--It is just one game and we remember that the Riders demolished Hamilton in the season opener last year, but there weren't a lot of negatives that could be found.

--One negative was Dwight Anderson. Yes, he got penalized for doing something that he didn't do, but his actions were simply not what you want to see. Giving up 30 yards in a game that has been decided is one thing, but giving up 30 yards in a close game might be the difference between victory and defeat. Anderson will have to control his temper. The Rider Nation isn't sold on this guy on a whole and that act won't help any.

--Ben Heenan was absolutely fabulous playing right tackle. A lot was made about Heenan and whether or not he would make the adjustment. Did Odell Willis' name even get mentioned during the broadcast?

--It doesn't pain me to see Kavis Reed get it to handed to him whether it be by the Riders or any team.

--I said at the start of the year that this would be a monster year for Keith Shologan. One game in and that prediction is holding true.

--Could the biggest beneficiary of a George Cortez offence be Kory Sheets? With all the attention being paid to Dressler, Getzlaf, Smith and Carr, Sheets can take the ball and rack up some big chunks of yardage.

--If the time comes this year that the Riders are in their own end at the end of the half and they take a knee to end the half, don't boo. Please remember what Mike Reilly did at the end of the first half today. That was when you take a knee. The game was over as soon as Rey Williams went across the goal-line.

--It wouldn't have counted because of a pass interference call, but how exactly did Darian Durant not catch that pass from Weston Dressler. Darian has shown us he has the legs and the arm, but he has no hands.

--I'm not making a big deal out of the no-challenge call on the Macho Harris interception. Like the Anderson situation, if the game was close that might have been a major mistake, but I don't think Chamblin wanted to waste a challenge on a play where there was no guarantee that it would have gone his way. That being said. someone upstairs has to let him know what's going on and that didn't appear to happen.

--All in all, it was a great opener, but as the team will tell you its just one game and they have to do it again next week against a Calgary team that looked pretty good at home against B.C.

Goodbye Jay, Goodbye Dan! Hope to See You Again Soon.

If you missed it, the duo of Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole said goodbye to TSN and Canada last nite in rather unceremonious fashion. While they showed some of their funniest moments, including a Top 10, throughout the show, I thought they would have something more spectacular as a way of saying good-bye instead of having the cast around them,

The National Post has an excellent article on the duo and their next adventure as they fondly look back at what they did here including that magical Sportscentre stop in Estevan. You can read it right here

Friday, June 28, 2013

This And That




--It's been a long wait since the Super Bowl for football that matters, but the CFL returned Thursday night with the Bombers showing off their snazzy new digs against the Montreal Alouettes. I'll give the Bombers some credit as they fell down early, but they came back in the 3rd quarter and for a while, I thought they might beat Montreal. The Alouettes did come back to win it though by a score of 38-33. A very entertaining game to start the season off. Lets hope that is the first of many.


--What’s the over/under on wins by the Blue Bombers this year? 4 1/2. Yeah, they looked OK on night one, but I still don't see that team winning a lot of games.



--Where will the Riders finish this year? No one seems to know. Some have them finishing first in the West while others have them last. I have them second behind BC.  I just think the Lions still have the best team on paper and they may have the best team period. While I would like nothing more to see Darian Durant and company get presented with the Grey Cup in November at Mosaic, I realistically believe that honour will go to B.C after a win over Toronto.

--If the Riders aren’t going to be in the big game though, I’m just hoping Hamilton isn’t either. Burris, Fantuz and Austin coming back to Mosaic and perhaps leaving with the Cup would be a tough pill for the Rider Nation to swallow. Then again, we swallowed a rather large pill in 2009 didn’t we. SIGHHHHHHH!!!


--The Geroy Simon comments this week have been a little over the top. I believe in his column Rod Pedersen calls it rude. I can't disagree. Can we let the guy play for a while? Someone said Wally just laughs when he lets a Hall of Fame receiver go knowing he will end up in Saskatchewan and get fed to the wolves. While I think the actions of some are a little over the top, I am always reminded this fan-base booed Ron Lancaster too. It always makes me wonder how a guy like Brett Favre would have been treated here. Tell me his demeanour and Mississippi style wouldn't have won over everyone.

--A lot of people are talking about the defence and how John Chick and Rey Williams will enjoy a renaissance and how the unit is overall stronger. When its all said and done, I think Keith Shologan has a monster year and is perhaps the team's top defensive player. For some reason, I think Sholo just tears it up in 2013.

--With Rod in Edmonton, I will host Four Seasons Football Friday in the Sportscage tomorrow and I'm proud to announce that my two co-hosts are the newest additions to "Rider Radio". Former DB Lance Frazier and DL Luc Mullinder have a lot to say and they will say it starting tomorrow at 5. 

--The Rider Radio roster now includes the best in the biz in Rod and Carm, Michael Ball, Chris Szarka, Scott Schultz, Matt Dominguez, Gary Etcheverry, Frazier and Mullinder. What the hell is a schmuck like me doing in amongst that talent? In all seriousness though, what more do you want Rider fans? You are getting it from some of the best that have been in that locker-room and they all bring their "A" game to the table.

--The Colorado Avalanche have said they will not take Seth Jones with the number one overall draft pick, but I will believe that when I see it. Can Jones somehow fall to 7 when Edmonton picks? Yeah. that ain't happening. I hope the Oilers take a defenceman, but I somehow see them adding yet another forward. Darnell Nurse is the guy I would like to see Edmonton take, but he may be gone by the time the pick is made.

--If I'm James Reimer, I am being told by the Leafs that they don't have great confidence in me as a starter. In fact, Reimer might want to start packing his bags because I see him getting dealt.

--Back to the Oilers, there is no doubt they need some grit up front and there is word that Chicago is putting David Bolland on the trade block. If Edmonton could sign Bolland to a long-term deal, I would see what interests Chicago. Bolland will improve whatever team he is on.

--Bolland's heroics gave Chicago the Stanley Cup in what can only be described as one of those bizarre games that will be replayed often and not forgotten. When it was over, NBC's Mike Emrick commented about how the players could just put everything behind them seemingly and line up to shake hands. That has to be so tough to do in some cases like Boston in Game 6. Can you imagine the Riders shaking the hands of the Alouettes at midfield after GC 09.  YIKES!!!


--Nik Wallenda had a lot of people watch him walk over the Grand Canyon saying it was miraculous. Wallenda's  next feat is reportedly trying to get from one end of the Ring Road to the other without yelling at some driver or crashing his vehicle!

--Nice week for Boston sports fans…Aaron Hernandez, the Bruins collapse and Doc Rivers leaves the Celtics for the Clippers. If only the Red Sox “chicken and beer” story came out now.

--Pete Paczko and I are finished another season of Locker Talk. The Access 7 show will resume in the fall, but will it be with us at the controls? The end of this week’s show seemed to “suggest” otherwise. In our last episode, Pete and I ventured out to the Regina Lawn Bowling greens to learn the sport from Keith and Jean Roney who have won numerous Canadian and international awards for the sport. Its not the lawn bowling you play out at the park ladies and gents. It actually was pretty good and seeing the lawn bowling club is open for office gatherings and things like that, it might be an idea.

--I’m glad to see the guys at High Impact Wrestling are flourishing and that they are starting to become a name not only in Regina, but across Saskatchewan as they have many events planned. They aren’t getting the big $$$ and they put their bodies through the test doing what they do night after night. Its good to see the recognition for them.


--I am so happy to see Sarah Mills finally get her own show on CJME. I've known Sarah for years and she is one of my favourite people. If you got to know her, you would know why. She has worked her little British rump off for years and its about time she was recognized for her hard work by her getting a show. From what I've heard, it sounds great.  I'm really proud of her. Its just a good job that her show ends at 4 because with Sportscage starting at 4 beginning Monday----well you know.

 --I love Seattle, but do they really deserve being in the talk for an NHL team when their NBC affiliate wouldn't even put on the Stanley Cup games. Is that the market you want to have?

--That's all I got. Looks like its going to be a great weekend so get out there and enjoy it!



Wednesday, June 26, 2013


SPN will carry 60 live Canadian Football League games throughout the 2013 season, beginning Friday, June 28, with a doubleheader on ESPN3: Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts (7 p.m. ET) and BC Lions vs. Calgary Stampeders (10 p.m.). In all, ESPN will televise five games on ESPN2 and an additional 55 – including two playoff games – on ESPN3.

ESPN’s relationship with the CFL dates back to the company’s first full year on the air, having televised Canadian Football League games throughout the 1980’s (1980-84 and 1986-89) and 1990’s (1994-1997).

CFL games have also been carried on ESPN3, the company’s live multi-screen network, since 2008. ESPN3 is accessible in more than 85 million households nationwide for fans who receive their internet or video subscriptions from an affiliated provider.

All games will be available on computers at, on tablets and smartphones via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV.

ESPN will use commentators from TSN, the leading sports channel in Canada and CFL rightsholder, throughout the CFL season, which concludes in November.

Schedule through July:


Time (ET)



Fri., June 28

7 p.m.

Hamilton vs. Toronto


10 p.m.

BC vs. Calgary


Sat., June 29

3:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan vs. Edmonton


Thu., July 4

7 p.m.

Winnipeg vs. Montreal


10 p.m.

Toronto vs. BC


Fri., July 5

9 p.m.

Calgary vs. Saskatchewan


Sun., July 7

5 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Hamilton


Thu., July 11

7:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan vs. Toronto


Fri., July 12

7:30 p.m.

Calgary vs. Montreal


Sat., July 13

6:30 p.m.

Winnipeg vs. Hamilton


9:30 p.m.

BC vs. Edmonton


Fri., July 19

8 p.m.

Toronto vs. Winnipeg


Sat., July 20

7 p.m.

Montreal vs. Calgary


10 p.m.

Edmonton vs. BC


Sun., July 21

7 p.m.

Hamilton vs. Saskatchewan


Thu., July 25

7:30 p.m.

Edmonton vs. Montreal


Fri., July 26

8 p.m.

Calgary vs. Winnipeg


Sat., July 27

7:30 p.m.

Saskatchewan vs. Hamilton

Brent Sutter Returns To National Junior Team Bench

Hockey Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Hockey League, announced Friday that Brent Sutter (Viking, Alta.), head coach, general manager and owner of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels, will be head coach of Canada's National Junior Team for the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, scheduled for Dec. 26, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014 in Malmö, Sweden. Benoît Groulx, head coach and general manager of the QMJHL's Gatineau Olympiques, and Ryan McGill, head coach of the WHL's Kootenay Ice, will serve as assistant coaches.

Brent Sutter, 51, has coached Canada in international competition on four previous occasions, most recently at the 2012 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. Sutter led Canada to gold medals at the 2005 and 2006 IIHF World Junior Championships, going undefeated in 12 games over the two tournaments, and to a 7-0-1 record in the 2007 Canada-Russia Super Series, which featured both countries' national junior teams. Sutter won the CHL Coach of the Year award in 2000-01 after guiding Red Deer to a Memorial Cup title. He returned to the Rebels bench last season after three seasons at the helm of the NHL's Calgary Flames and two as head coach of the NHL's New Jersey Devils. Sutter also represented Canada as a player on four occasions, at the 1986 IIHF World Championship and 1984, 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Five Minutes With Coach Chamblin

Riders head coach Corey Chamblin and myself discussed year two for him as a head coach in a story you can currently find on Here is that interview.....

Argos Extend Owens

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is excited to announce that reigning CFL Most Outstanding Player SB/KR Chad Owens will wear Double Blue through the 2014 season!

Commented Argonauts General Manager Jim Barker, "Extending Chad Owens' contract helps us to create continuity and ensures another key player remains in Double Blue for the foreseeable future. Over the past several months, we have been busy putting the pieces in place to build a team that our fans and all of Toronto will be proud of for the long term. Chad is a dynamic player whose work ethic resonates within our locker room, and we are very happy he has committed to being an Argonaut."

The "Flyin' Hawaiian" enjoyed one of the most prolific CFL seasons ever in 2012. Owens became the first player in CFL history to lead the league in both receiving yards (1,328) and kick return yards (2,418), and broke a 15 year-old record held by Michael "Pinball" Clemons for most Combined Yards in a single season with 3,862. For his efforts, Owens was named the CFL Most Outstanding Player and CFL All-Star at receiver while helping lead the Argonauts to a memorable victory in the 100th Grey Cup championship on November 25, 2012 at Rogers Centre. Owens was red-hot during last season's post-season Grey Cup run. He scored his first punt return touchdown of the year (vs. Edmonton in the Eastern Semi-Final at Rogers Centre), set a club single-game playoff record with 11 receptions for 207 yards in the Eastern Final against Montreal, and scored the first touchdown for the Double Blue in the 100th Grey Cup victory. Recently, Owens was named the number one player on CFL's Top 50 list for 2013, marking it the first time an Argonauts player has sat atop this list.

Chad Owens remarked, "I am very excited for the opportunity to remain in Toronto and continue to build off of what we were able to accomplish in 2012. I appreciate the confidence the organization is showing in me by giving me this extension and I love the city of Toronto. I am looking forward to sharing more successes with the city, my teammates, our coaches and with the fans as we strive toward our ultimate goal of winning another Grey Cup."

The Argonauts acquired Owens in a trade with the Montreal Alouettes on June 23, 2010. Over his three year career in Double Blue, Owens has amassed 2,636 receiving yards, 5,464 kick return yards and 2,652 punt return yards. He was named East Division Special Teams Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011, and captured CFL Special Teams Player of the Year in 2011 before finally receiving the CFL MOP award last season. He was also named a CFL All-Star at kick returner in 2010 and 2011 before being named a CFL All-Star at receiver in 2012.

(Toronto Argonauts Football Club)

Hockey Night In Canada Says Goodbye With a Bang

Say what you will about Hockey Night in Canada's performance, but their montages simply can't be beat and they hit a grand slam as they said goodbye to us until October. Take a watch!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hawks Win Cup

The Chicago Blackhawks avoided a Game 7 in the Stanley Cup Final by coming back late to beat the Boston Bruins 3-2 in Game 6.

The game was tied at one in the 3rd when Milan Lucic scored with 7:49 to play. It looked as if Boston may hang on to win until Bryan Bickell beat Tuukka Rask at 18:44 with the net empty and just 17 seconds later, David Bolland put one behind Rask to shock the crowd at the TD Garden and give Chicago its second cup in four years and their 5th championship in all.

Patrick Kane was named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy.

In what has become a tradition, commissioner Gary Bettman was booed loudly as he came onto the ice to present the Conn Smythe and Stanley Cup.

Burrows Is The Man

University of Regina director of athletics Dick White announced Monday that Steve Burrows has been named the school’s men’s basketball head coach.


Burrows has extensive experience with University of Regina basketball, as he’s been as an assistant with the men’s team since the 1994-95 season. He has served double duty since the 2007-08 campaign, holding the title of assistant coach for the women’s basketball team as well.


“Steve will bring experience and a renewed commitment to excellence for our men’s basketball program,” White said. “He is widely respected around Regina and the province and has played a huge role in the development of both our men’s and women’s teams over the last several years. I am confident that Steve will show the same passion as a head coach at the CIS level that he’s consistently shown as an assistant coach.”


Burrows helped guide the men’s team to three appearances in the Canada West Final Four over a four-year span from 2003 to 2006. That time was punctuated by a historic 16-4 season in 2005-06 as the Cougars went undefeated on their home court during the conference schedule and set a program record for most wins in a single year. With the women’s team, Burrows has helped the program reach unprecedented heights including appearances in five CIS Championship tournaments in the six years he’s been on staff.


He is also the director of coaching development for Basketball Saskatchewan, a position he’s held since 2010. Burrows has also held head coaching positions for seven provincial teams, Saskatchewan’s Basketball Canada Centre for Performance, and at the high school level with Winston Knoll Collegiate.


Burrows becomes the 10th head coach in the history of the U of R’s men’s basketball program at the CIAU/CIS level.


University of Regina Men’s Basketball Head Coach History Stan Fisher, 1968-70 Gene Rizak, 1970-74, 1977-78, 1979-80 Mike Frisby, 1978-79 Craig Chamberlin, 1980-81 Wes Stevenson, 1981-82 Ken Murray, 1982-89 Dick Stark, 1989-90 Tim Artemenko, 1990-94 James Hillis, 1994-2013 Steve Burrows, 2013-


Riders Practice Roster and Player Moves

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced the following players have agreed to join the PRACTICE ROSTER:


Non-Import      WR      Alex Anthony

Non-Import      DL       Zack Evans

Non-Import      LS        Jordan Matechuk

Import              DB       Prince Miller
Non-Import      RB       Spencer Moore
Import              LB        Brian Peters
Non-Import      LB        Kevin Regimbald-Gagne

Import              DL       Richard Sumlin
Non-Import      OL       Matt Vonk

Non-Import      WR      Mitch Thompson (non-counter; territorial junior)



The following players have been added to the ONE GAME INJURED LIST:


Non-Import      RB       Neal Hughes

Import              WR      Kierrie Johnson
Import              LB        Abraham Kromah



The following players have been added to the 9-GAME INJURED LIST:


Import             DB       Milt Collins (wrist)
Non-Import      WR      Aaron Hargreaves (achilles)



Sunday, June 23, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

And to think we complained about 200 plus centimetres of snow. That is nothing compared to what our friends in southern Alberta are going through. The pictures and the scenes that you and I have witnessed from Calgary, High River and other places including Medicine Hat now are simply astounding.

I have many friends in southern Alberta and so far all of them have gotten off lucky when it comes to their homes, but many have been impacted. I'm sure many of you have some connection as well. As I said, the pictures are staggering and when it comes to sports, it makes you wonder when they can resume.

That's Athletic Park in Medicine Hat---the home of the WMBL's Medicine Hat Mavericks. It was just a year ago that the Regina Red Sox celebrated a league championship in that stadium. There won't be any celebrating now. Is it safe to say that the Mavericks have maybe played their last home game of what already is a short season?

That's nothing though compared to the Saddledome. After some fake pics hit the internet on the weekend, we finally got some pictures from the Flames themselves and it is just as devastating.

Flames president Ken King says the team will be ready to go by the time next season is ready to go, but I question that when I take a look at the rink and the damage that has been done that we haven't seen. Word is the dressing rooms are toast, the media center is done, everything in the lower bowl has been destroyed. How long does it take to get that water out? How long does it take to repair the damages? Is the building safe? So many questions that need to be asked. Could we see the Saskatoon Flames for a year? At this point, it wouldn't surprise me. I know the Flames will do everything they can to play hockey in the Saddledome and Calgary needs the Flames, but realistically can it happen. I'll be shocked if the Calgary Stampede goes off in a couple of weeks.

I'm also interested to see if leagues start coming to the table with money for flood relief.  The NHL can surely donate some money and so can the CFL. In fact, I think Canadians would show their generous spirit from coast to coast if CFL fans were able to donate 5 or 10 dollars at their team's first home game. I know I would put 10 or 20 bucks into the pot if I were walking into Mosaic for that first home game of the year----ironically against Calgary on July 5. I would love to see that happen here and I know the Rider Nation would come through with a lot of dollars for our friends in southern Alberta. If we can do it for the food bank promotion, we can do it for this can't we??
I have said it won't be much longer until Graham DeLaet is in the winners circle on the PGA circuit. I thought for a while that Sunday was the day. DeLaet, who did his part for Alberta flood relief by donating so much per birdie and eagle on the weekend, was right there all afternoon in the final round of the Travelers Championship. He didn't fade off like he has. His golf this year has simply been amazing and with a few more starts to go this year including what should be a lengthy appearance in the oh-so-confusing Fed Ex Cup golf playoffs, we will hear from the Weyburn native before this year is over. I ask this of you when it comes to DeLaet. Have you watched more golf on TV this year or paid more attention to it. I watch a lot of golf, but admittedly I hardly would have watched any of the Travelers Championship had Graham not been in contention. I think its safe to say that in a province where many of us play the game, we are watching a lot of more of it too. I'm guessing a lot of Weyburn had the golf on Sunday---perhaps moreso than the baseball game.
I might have been wrong when it comes to the Blue Jays. There is still a long ways to go, but I thought they were done. NOPE! The pitching staff has rebounded and the bats are going. Add that to the fact Jose Reyes is ready to come back and there might be some meaningful ball games played in late August and September at Rogers Centre. Make no mistake, Toronto still has to show they can beat the Yankees, Rays and Red Sox, but they are showing right now why many thought they would be a playoff team this year.  I also find it interesting that they are playing their best ball of the year without Brett Lawrie. I love the way the kid plays, but he has to tone it down just a tad because he hurts his team. When he comes back, what role does he have?
I want the Boston Bruins to win Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final Monday night just so we can see a Game 7. We deserve that don't we? The playoff hockey we have seen continues to be incredible and Game 5 in Chicago Saturday was another great example of the game being played the way I wish it could be played all the time. The 6-5 Chicago win in Game 4 was amazing as well, but we all know the coaches hate that game and they are rare. It makes them all that more special.
The CFL season is upon us. Its now time to see if what Brendan Taman did in the off-season will work or not. Some are already saying "I told you so" when it comes to Geroy Simon. Can we give the guy a chance? Why the hate towards someone that wanted to come here? If someone said they didn't want to come here, I would understand it, but he wants to be here!!!  The offensive line's play was concerning against Calgary, but I think to a man that was a real reality slap and we won't see that again. The kicking game needs to sort itself out, but Chris Milo was the incumbent and I didn't see him getting knocked off his perch.
When it comes to the final cuts, there are some guys on the roster that make me scratch my head wondering why while others that appeared to look OK are gone. The Eddie Russ release surprised me the most, but when he didn't play with the number one guys on Thursday, you had to know something was up. I'm hoping he sticks around on the practice roster, but I'm thinking we have seen the last of Eddie in Rider green. Two other guys that I hope stick on the practice roster are local products Zach Evans and Ryan Wellman. We know what Evans can do and I heard Wellman had a great camp, but I didn't notice him too much on Thursday.
Other CFL thoughts...

  --How bad will Winnipeg be? I am guessing Russ and a lot of other cuts may end up in blue and gold.

  --What is the Eskimos excuse for missing the CFL cutdown deadline by over 14 hours? The CFL says the cuts were in, but I don't believe that for one second otherwise we'd have known. The league can't protect Edmonton in this situation, they must slap them hard for this transgression to let it be known to them and other teams that this action won't be tolerated. I don't know if Ed Hervey is to blame or Kavis Reed or whoever, but they have embarrassed their own organization and the league with that stunt!

--Hamilton beat Winnipeg badly, but does that really give us an indication as to how good Hamilton is? I still think they are fighting Montreal for 2nd in the East when it comes right down to it.

--What will the flooding in Calgary do to the Stampeders and their psyche.  You know their minds can't totally be on football.

--Who in their right minds said Arsenio Hall should be back on late night television. What has the American public done to deserve this?

--Two of the best U of R Rams to ever put on the helmet right here ladies and gentlemen...
Marc Mueller was one of many who came out Friday night for a steak night put on by Jon Ryan with money going to Regina Minor Football and the Bob Ryan Scholarship Foundation. From all accounts, the golf tournament that Jon put on was a huge success in its opening year meaning they have quite an act to follow up on year two, but like the Eberle deal, it will happen.  The q and a with Jon, Troy Westwood, former Steelers kicker Jeff Reed (who wouldn't exactly endorse that Roethlisberger was in the endzone in Super Bowl 40) and Don Narcisse was highly entertaining as Rod Pedersen put them through the paces. The best thing about it all was when Reed and Jon talked about how much of a privilege it is to play in the NFL and that when you look down at that shield, you know you have made it. Reed says he just about whiffed the opening kickoff in Super Bowl 40 because of the nerves he felt and the cameras popping. I can't imagine what that would be like to be on the field and have the eyes of the world on you watching every move.
Do you have your blue bin yet? I'm not sure. but my neighbourhood might have been one of the last in Regina to get them. I was starting to think I was going to have to phone the city to see where mine is.
The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and several other schools are coming out with a cologne. Yes, you know can smell like a Notre Dame football player or a West Virginia football player. The Yankees apparently did this years ago. It just begs the question as to when the Riders will trot out their version of cologne. You know if it had the /=S=/ on it, it would be a big seller in Saskatchewan no matter the scent. It would just add to the money they are already raking in.
That's all I've got. If reading from Calgary or southern Alberta, thanks for doing so and keep safe and dry. The country is thinking about you. Have a great Monday!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Klimchuk In A Waiting Game

Morgan Klimchuk has a set of calm hands when he's working around the rink.
The Regina Pats forward will try to keep that cool at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, the site of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Understandably the Calgary product, who played bantam with the Calgary Bisons and midget with the Buffaloes, is trying to stay poised as draft day approaches.
"I'll probably portray I'm calm but inside I'll be pretty nervous," Klimchuk said. "I'm hoping to go as high as possible and to the best team possible. Outside I'll be calm, but inside I'll be nervous."
Klimchuk, who found the back of the net 36 times in 72 games this season for the Pats, will find a new home on June 30th.
He's still got some unfinished business in Regina, though.
"From a team standpoint, I wasn't very happy with [the season]," the 5-foot-11, 180-pound left winger said. "We didn't make the playoffs and reach our goals. I think we grew a lot. We had a pretty young team this year and hopefully we'll be a bit better next year.
"Individually, I was pretty happy with the numbers I've put up. I think I contributed pretty consistently throughout the year and was a pretty big part of the success we did have in Regina."
The highly regarded goal scorer is 25th in Central Scouting's final ranking for the draft, which could put him in line to be picked by the Calgary Flames.
And he's more than aware of it.
"They've got a lot of picks in the first round," Klimchuk said. "It'd be very special. I'd love to play in my home town and feed off the pressure of that. I try not to think about that too much. I'll be happy wherever I go."
With just two weeks until he learns his destination, Klimchuk is keeping busy at Crash Conditioning in Calgary, working alongside the likes of Mike Green, Braydon Coburn and Jordan Eberle.
He's getting a crash course in what it takes to make it to the next level.
"You train alongside those guys, you skate alongside those guys and one of the best players in the world and they're still in here doing extra," Klimchuk said. "That's something you can really appreciate and to play at the next level, that's what it takes. It's impressive."
But aside from a handful of workouts, Klimchuk is enjoying some downtime from a season that started in August at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial and concluded in April at the World Under-18 Championship.
"In between the combine and draft and hopefully development camp, you kind of sit back a little bit, train and get ready for next season," Klimchuk said. "You're still doing interviews, you're still on your toes but it's not nearly as stressful as the past couple of weeks."
The calm before the storm for Klimchuk.


Russ, Evans and Williams Amongst Rider Cuts

Released: WR Alex Anthony, OL Eric Armitage, RB DeDe Dorsey, DL Zach Evans, WR Rod Harper, OL Kyle Hill, DB Reshard Langford, LS Jordan Matechuk, K Brody McKnight, RB Spencer Moore, LB Brian Peters, LB Kevin Regimbald-Gagne, DB Ramzee Robinson, DB Eddie Russ, LB Thomas Spoletini, DL Richard Sumlin, DL Hilee Taylor, OL Jose Valdez, OL Matt Vonk, DL Ryan Wellman, DL Mick Williams.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Video of Downtown Calgary

This footage from Global Calgary  is just so graphic as to what kind of damage has been suffered by Calgary as a result of the floods.

CFL Games To Be Shown On NBC Sports Network

The CFL will have more of its games broadcast in the U.S. this season.

The league announced Friday that NBC Sports will carry 14 regular-season games, the conference finals and Grey Cup. Last year, NBC broadcast nine regular-season contests, the playoffs and 100th Grey Cup.

``We're very pleased to partner again this year with NBC Sports Network to deliver our high-scoring and exciting brand of football to our fans south of the border,'' CFL president Michael Copeland said in a statement. ``It's important for our league and has a significant impact on player recruitment, and gives fans an opportunity to follow some of their former favourite collegiate players.''

NBC Sports Network will carry the CFL season opener Thursday night when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Montreal Alouettes at new Investors Group Field. The American broadcaster will conclude its Canadian football coverage with the Grey Cup game Nov. 24 in Regina.

NBC Sports Network will kick off its CFL broadcast schedule with the opening game of the 2013 CFL season, featuring the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the Montreal Alouettes in their brand new stadium, Investors Group Field. It will follow the league right up to Grey Cup Sunday, which will take place this year in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sunday, November 24.

“We are excited to be partnering again with the CFL, and to present its fast-paced and tradition-rich brand of football on NBC Sports Network,” said Mike Perman, Vice President, Programming, NBC Sports Group.

All CFL games are broadcast in Canada on TSN, with additional games available in French on RDS and RDS2.

“We’re looking forward to a very exciting season, and welcome our many American friends along for what will be a great ride,” Copeland said.

Here is the full NBC Sports Network CFL Schedule: (All times ET)

Regular Season:
Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 9:00pm - Montreal/Winnipeg
Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 7:30pm – BC/Toronto
Friday, August 2, 2013 at 9:00pm – Hamilton/Edmonton
Monday, August 5, 2013 at 7:00pm – Winnipeg/BC
Friday August 9, 2013 at 9:00pm – SSK/Calgary
Thursday August 22, 2013 at 7:30pm – BC/Montreal
Monday September 2, 2013 at 5:00pm – Edmonton/Calgary (TBC)
Tuesday September 3, 2013 at 7:30pm – Montreal/Toronto
Friday September 6, 2013 at 9:00pm – Calgary/Edmonton
Friday September 27, 2013 at 10:30pm – BC/Winnipeg
Monday October 14, 2013 at 12am (10/16) – Toronto/Hamilton
Friday October 18, 2013 at 12am (10/19) – Calgary/Edmonton
Thursday October 24, 2013 at 7:30p – Winnipeg/Toronto
Friday November 1, 2013 at 12am (11/2) – Montreal/Toronto

CFL Playoffs:
Sunday November 17, 2013 Time TBD at 11pm – Eastern Final
Sunday November 17, 2013 at 12am (11/19) – Western Final

Grey Cup:
Sunday November 24, 2013 at 6:30pm – 101st Grey Cup in Regina

The Thoughts Of Coach Chamblin

For those looking for "This and That", it will get blended into "Something To Mitch About"

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hockey Canada and TSN Extend Marriage

Hockey Canada along with TSN and RDS announced today they have reached a new 10-year agreement, beginning in 2014, that extends their long-standing partnership dating back to 1991.
The new deal, negotiated exclusively with TSN and RDS, gives Canada's #1 English and French speciality networks multi-platform media rights to all Hockey Canada events including theIIHF WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP (World Juniors). Hockey Canada also confirmed today that the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship will both be co-hosted by Toronto and Montreal - with TSN and RDS holding all broadcast rights.
As the official broadcast partner of Hockey Canada, TSN and RDS will deliver more than 30 games from key Hockey Canada events each year, including:
  • International events such as the IIHF World Junior Championship, IIHF World Championship, IIHF World Women's Championship and the IIHF World Men's Under-18 Championship
  • Domestic events such as the World Junior A Challenge, the National Women's Under-18 Championship, the World Sledge Hockey Challenge, the World Under-17 Challenge, TELUS Cup, Esso Cup, RBC Cup, Allan Cup, and the Order of Hockey in Canada.
In addition to broadcast and digital rights, the deal also includes exclusive radio rights to the IIHF World Junior Championship and IIHF World Championship for TSN and TEAM Radio stations across the country, including TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto, TSN Radio 690 in Montreal, TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg, TEAM 1040 in Vancouver, and TEAM 1200 in Ottawa.
"It is rare to find a partnership so rewarding as the one between TSN, RDS, and Hockey Canada. Together, we have grown the profile of amateur hockey in Canada to remarkable heights and have helped to make the World Juniors one of the most-anticipated and most-watched events on Canadian television every year," said Phil King, President of CTV Programming and Sports. "Extending this wonderful partnership with Hockey Canada ensures our subscribers will continue to have exceptional coverage of some of the biggest domestic and international events in Canadian hockey."
"Hockey Canada is very excited to be able to continue its long-time and successful association with TSN and RDS as our media partners," said Hockey Canada president and CEO Bob Nicholson.  "TSN and RDS have helped grow many of our properties into Canadian traditions, and achieved record viewership numbers along the way.  We look forward to working with TSN and RDS to continue to build our properties, from national championships through to new grassroots initiatives."
"Nothing galvanizes Canada like watching our hockey players proudly wear the Maple Leaf as they take on the world's best," said Stewart Johnston, President of TSN. "Hosting theWorld Juniors in Toronto and Montreal will help to further establish this tournament as one of the all-time marquee events in the Canadian sports. We are thrilled to be a part of the magic and look forward to delivering Canada's holiday hockey tradition to fans for years to come."
Hockey Canada is the third Canadian partner to extend its exclusive partnership with TSN and RDS in the past 20 months, joining the CFL and the Canadian Curling Association in signing a long-term rights agreement with the networks.


The Saskatchewan Roughriders are having no problems on the financial side of things. The team has released its annual report for the 2012 season. To take a look at it, click here

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MJ Looks At Bringing Basketball Team To City

Moose Jaw is a hockey town, but could we become a basketball city? A Mississauga, Ontario-based sports marketing company is exploring the idea of Moose Jaw becoming home to a team in the new Canadian Basketball League.

Cosmos Sports is working with a group of investors to create the CBL, which would start play in the fall of 2014, with a goal of developing Canadian basketball talent.

“A group of three approached us about a year ago about a basketball league and we did a feasibility study for six months and came to the conclusion that if done correctly, a Canadian Basketball League really could have life,” said Cary Kaplan, president of Cosmos Sports.

The basketball talent in Canada has been growing over the past few years and Kaplan sees this as a good opportunity to keep players in their home country rather than going overseas or playing in smaller leagues in the States.

“There’s a lot of great Canadian players that have to play overseas and we want to retain them in Canada. If you live in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, why should you have to play in Fort Wayne, Indiana when you could play in Moose Jaw,” he said. “The skill level is high, there’s a lot of good Canadian basketball players.”

The league would feature eight to ten teams and be modeled on the NBA D League, which is a developmental league in the United States. Teams would be required to have six to nine non-import players on their roster with a $150,000 salary cap.

Cosmos Sports is eyeing some mid-market cities in Western Canada that they think could support teams in the league.

“We’ve had a number of preliminary conversations with the NBA, the Toronto Raptors, some NHL groups in Western Canada, and it seems like there’s an appetite both in small markets and large ones to have a Canadian Basketball League,” said Kaplan.

He says they’re looking at the WHL, OHL and QMJHL of examples on how these teams can be successful in smaller communities. “We have populations of 30, 40 and 50,000, and hockey is the primary event, but would it be exciting to have another 15 dates of basketball,” explained Kaplan.

“Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Red Deer, Lethbridge, those are all just as significant markets for us as Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.”

With the plan for the league now in place, the next step is to find interested parties as owners of teams. “What we’re really looking for is group or individual in Moose Jaw that believes in the market and potentially would like to be an owner,” said Kaplan.

“The first thing is we need a group that’s committed financially, so they have to have the financial wherewithal to do it, they have to have a passion for basketball, but also understand that it’s a business.

“If a group like that presents itself, we want them to be at this meeting in Edmonton and that’s where the opportunity to move forward would take place.”

(Discover Moose Jaw)

Blades Restructure Their Coaching Staff

The Saskatoon Blades have announced a restructuring of their coaching and hockey operations staff, effective immediately. The change includes associate coach David Struch being promoted to the role of head coach.

Outgoing head coach Lorne Molleken will remain on as both general manager and alternate governor.

The rest of the Blades coaching staff will stay intact, including Jerome Engele and Curtis Leschyshyn staying on as assistant coaches, with Tim Cheveldae remaining in place as the goaltending coach.

"Our organization has full confidence in what David can do with this team going forward", said general manager Lorne Molleken. "He has been a part of this coaching staff for the past 7 years. He's done the necessary work to become a head coach in this league. He's passionate about coaching, the city of Saskatoon and the Blades. We feel that he'll be a great fit as we enter a new and exciting era as an organization."

Struch first joined the Blades in a coaching capacity following the 2005-06 season. He is also a former player for the organization, appearing in 253 career regular season games with the team from 1988 until 1992. Struch also had a long and successful playing career following his time as a player with the Blades, going on to play 12 seasons of professional hockey including a stint with the Calgary Flames.

The change in head coach also marks the end to an impressive coaching career for Lorne Molleken. He has spent 24 seasons behind the bench at various levels of hockey, including 17 in the Western Hockey League and 13 as head coach of the Saskatoon Blades. Earlier this season, Molleken became only the second coach in WHL history to reach 600 career victories. His team's have also taken home four Eastern Division titles, a pair of Eastern Conference championships and a Scotty Munro Trophy as the WHL's top team in the 2010-11 regular season.

"We really like the players we have returning for next season," said Molleken. "We've got a number of character prospects in our system who are eager to prove themselves. Our coaching staff is looking forward to getting them all into training camp and starting the process of putting their stamp on the 2013-14 Saskatoon Blades."

(Saskatoon Blades hockey club)

Gaydosh Gets Comfy in Carolina

CHARLOTTE – Things really heat up, relatively speaking, when the calendar turns to July in Linden Gaydosh's hometown of Peace River, Alberta, Canada.

The average high temperature is 72 degrees, with more than 17 hours of daylight. It's a far cry from the 17 hours of darkness and average temperature of 11.5 degrees in January.

"I'm not used to humidity like this. It's something else," Gaydosh said following one of the Panthers' organized team activities. "I've talked to a couple of guys about how they handle the heat, and they told me, ‘This is just a nice day.'

"I guess I'm in for a rude awakening come training camp."

The sizzling Spartanburg summer isn't the only adjustment Gaydosh must make if his time with the Panthers is to extend beyond training camp. They play a different brand of football north of the border, especially along the line of scrimmage, where Gaydosh plies his trade as a defensive tackle.

But Gaydosh showed during the Panthers' offseason training program that he's more than willing to put in the work to turn his dream into a reality.

"I'm very excited," Gaydosh said. "This is what I've been striving to try to accomplish."

Gaydosh excelled on the football field from an early age in Peace River, a town with less than 7,000 residents that sits 500 miles north of Canada's border with Idaho and Washington as the crow flies. That route, however, is only fit for fowl: Thanks to the expansive Canadian Rockies, it's more than an 800-mile drive.

The University of Calgary, a traditional football power about a 500-mile drive southeast of Peace River, offered Gaydosh a scholarship, and he picked up where he left off. Gaydosh was consensus rookie of the year, then MVP of the conference championship game as a sophomore before earning conference all-star honors each of his last two seasons.

As the 2013 Canadian Football League Draft neared, momentum built toward the Hamilton Tiger-Cats taking Gaydosh with the No. 1 overall pick. He was a top talent to be sure but garnered additional attention when no team signed him in the days that followed the NFL Draft.

"I was really disappointed because I put a lot of work into things, especially my combine prep. When nothing came of that, it was kind of deflating," Gaydosh said. "It brought me down, but going No. 1 in the CFL draft brought me back up.

"I didn't really have any words for that. It was a great honor and something that will always be dear to me, but I'd like to move on from that and move up and play the highest level of football that I can."

Four days after the CFL draft, Gaydosh got his chance as one of 36 invited tryout players at the Panthers' rookie minicamp. The day after the three-day camp concluded, Carolina signed him.

"I had nothing, nothing up until the Panthers contacted me. I was stunned, realizing that it was a reality. Then I realized quickly that I had to show them what I could do," Gaydosh said. "If this doesn't work out, I have a job playing professional football in Canada. Not many people get that opportunity to begin with, so I'm blessed in both worlds."

Looking at his measurables, it's surprising that the 6-3, 315-pounder didn't garner more attention sooner. His 33.5-inch vertical jump at the CFL combine was better than any verticals by defensive tackles at the NFL combine, and his 36 bench-press reps would have been third most among defensive tackles.

The defensive tackles that were drafted, however, have a major advantage over Gaydosh.

"I'm still getting used to the ‘no-yard' coming from Canadian rules," Gaydosh said. "We've got a one-yard neutral zone area in Canada, so you have a little more time to read and react. Here, it's just bang, right in your face as soon as the ball is snapped.

"It's a big adjustment, but as time goes on I'll get better at it and will be able to incorporate it more easily into my game."

Between the figurative heat that opposing offensive linemen will bring and the literal heat that awaits at training camp, Gaydosh knows he has his work cut out for him. And that's without even mentioning that the Panthers invested their top two draft choices in defensive tackles, selecting Star Lotulelei in the first round and Kawann Short in the second.

But it will be a cold day in Spartanburg before Gaydosh gives up.

"I'm very excited. This is my dream. I couldn't ask for anything better," he said. "My strength and my lateral speed for my size, I've got both of those things going for me, and that's a little bit of a rare combination. It's really about catching up on the mental aspects of the game.

"I've got a lot of work ahead of me, a lot of things I've got to brush up on to get me to where I want to be. I just hope it works out."

(Carolina Panthers)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Avalanche Say No To Seth Jones

You can't believe it until you hear it, but it sounds like the Colorado Avalanche are going to pass on Seth Jones come draft day to take one of the talented forwards available. The story can be read right here.

If Sakic is true to his word, who does he take? Do you still think the Avs take Jones and this is just a smokescreen?

Riders Sign Canadian Fullback

With Neal Hughes injured, the Riders are filling the void left by his absence by signing former Hec Crighton Trophy winner Daryl Stephenson. That from Sportsnet's (and Sportscage's) Arash Madani who reported it Tuesday afternoon. The 27 year old has also spent time with Hamilton and Winnipeg.

Eskimos Lose Nichols For Season

He's done before it really started.
A torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered by Matt Nichols in Friday's pre-season loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders has ended the Edmonton Eskimos quarterback's 2013 CFL season.The Eskimos announced the injury news Monday morning.
Nichols, 26, is slated for surgery to his right knee, which he injured late in the first quarter while trying to bring down Roughriders defensive back Carlos Thomas, who had picked off a pass from Nichols that bounced off receiver Ed Gant's hands. Thomas then scampered for a 30-yard touchdown.
Nichols had to be helped off the field following the play and was carted off to the Eskimos dressing room. He returned to the field on crutches and didn't comment following the 31-24 Eskimos loss.
Nichols will speak to the media early this afternoon.
“It is a disappointment, but injuries are a part of our game, unfortunately," Eskimos head coach Kavis Reed said following Friday's game. "I think our team is constructed very well that if it is something long term, we’ll be fine.”
Quarterback Mike Reilly, whom Nichols had been battling for the team's starting role, is now the No. 1 pivot.
It's the second major injury in as many games for Nichols, who suffered a dislocated ankle during the East semifinal loss to the Toronto Argonauts in November.

(Edmonton Journal)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Modano Returning to Prince Albert

The Prince Albert Raiders announced today that alumni Mike Modano will be returning to Prince Albert on Friday November 1st for a Raiders home game, followed by serving as the guest speaker at the Kinsmen Sportsman Dinner on November 2nd.

Modano joined the Raiders in 1986 and was the team’s first player to be selected first overall in an NHL Entry Draft when the Minnesota North Stars drafted him in 1988. Through his three-year career with the Green and Gold, the Livonia, Michigan native compiled 294 points in 176 games, the 6th highest total in Raiders franchise history. Modano also sits tied for 6th in goals scored, with 118, and his 176 assists is the 5th among all-time Raiders.

Modano joined the North Stars in 1989 and went on to play 1499 NHL games with the North Stars, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings. Throughout his 21-year career, the 6’3” centre set multiple NHL records for American-born players including most goals, with 561, most points, with 1374, and most games played by a forward. An eight-time NHL All-Star, Modano also appeared in 176 playoff games, scoring 146 points and a winning the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999.

Internationally, he represented his country in two World Junior Championships, three World Hockey Championships and World Cup’s as well as three appearances at the Olympics, winning a silver medal in 2002. USA Hockey honoured Modano’s illustrious career when he was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012.

Canada West And Shaw Announce Football Sked

Canada West Universities Athletic Association and Shaw Communications have teamed up for the 7th year in a row to bring football fans across the West another exciting weekly TV lineup in 2013, with eight games that feature all six conference schools, along with both Hardy Cup semifinal games this fall.

Each live broadcast can be seen on local Shaw stations, Shaw HD and Shaw Direct 299.

Canada West on Shaw TV Schedule

Beginning in Week #1, the first seven weeks of action highlight each Canada West football school and several rivalry match-ups, with an open option to show any game on the season’s final weekend as playoff positions are set.

The University of Saskatchewan Huskies are featured four times in the first seven weeks, with the Manitoba Bisons, UBC Thunderbirds, Regina Rams, Alberta Golden Bears and five-time defending Hardy Cup champion Calgary Dinos each making two appearances.

A big Prairie battle opens the Canada West / Shaw TV schedule when Regina travels to face provincial rival Saskatchewan on Friday, August. 30 at 7:00 p.m. Last season, the Rams used home field advantage to defeat the Huskies in the semifinals and secure a spot in the Hardy Cup final.

On Saturday, Sept. 7, the Huskies meet another 2012 playoff team as they play the Manitoba Bisons at Winnipeg. In Week #4, the Calgary Dinos have their first TV date of 2013, against Manitoba on Friday, Sept. 20. The Dinos defeated the Bisons in the highest-scoring game in Canada West history, 78-54 on the final day of the regular season last year, and eliminated Manitoba a week later in the a semifinal game at McMahon Stadium.

Mark down Friday, October 4 as a crucial on-air contest between heated rivals Calgary and Saskatchewan, at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon. One or both teams have hosted a playoff game every year since 2008 and they finished 1-2 in the standings four straight seasons from 2008 to 2011.

After a “bye” week for all schools, UBC and Alberta kickoff the playoff drive with a game at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver on the afternoon of Saturday, Oct. 19 and the Oct. 25-26 weekend brings an end to the conference season, where any of three Canada West games – UBC at Calgary, Saskatchewan at Regina or Manitoba at Alberta – could be picked up by Shaw TV.

Both highly anticipated semifinal games, November 1 & 2, will be broadcast live on Shaw TV across Canada. A carrier for the 77th Hardy Cup game on the weekend of Nov. 9 will be confirmed at a later date.

The Canada West champion hosts the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) winner in the Mitchell Bowl on the weekend of Nov. 16 and the CIS 49th Vanier Cup national championship is to be played at Université Laval in Quebec City on Saturday, Nov. 23.

The broadcast crew returns in tact from last season. WHL on Shaw host Andy Neal returns for his second season hosting Krown Produce Canada West Football on Shaw. Jim Mullin will provide the play-by-play for his 11th consecutive season in Canada West and seventh season with Shaw TV. Former Saskatchewan Huskies quarterback Laurence Nixon is back for his third season at colour commentary, while 2004 Hec Crighton Award winner Jesse Lumsden returns for his second season of colour commentary. Former San Francisco 49er and CFL defensive end Daved Benefield returns for his fourth year of analysis.

This season, Krown Produce Canada West Countdown will debut as a 30-minute pregame show, hosted by Ryan Sullivan and Andrew Wadden. It’s the third season of the CIS football show. Countdown will feature a Coast-to-Coast Highlight Reel, panel discussion and more. For those of you who want their CIS news earlier, Krown Produce CIS Coast-to-Coast will be available online every Wednesday night and on Shaw TV Vancouver.

(Canada West)

Riders Make First Set of Cuts

Import             QB      Levi Brown
Non-Import    LB       Aaron Crawford
Import             WR      Phillip Livas
Import             LB       Anthony Heygood
Import             RB       Stephfon Green
Import             DB       Chip Vaughn
Import             DL       Kenny Rowe
Non-Import    DL       David Rybinski
Non-Import    OL       Patrick Neufeld (9-game injured list)
Non-Import    LB       Mike McCullough (9-game injured list)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

Howdy friends! I shut things down on the weekend for a while because it was time to make a road trip. 

The destination was Winnipeg's beautiful MTS Centre with the event being UFC161. After watching it for so many years with my neanderthal friends, we had to make the trip and what a trip it was. That is if you consider walking the rainy downtown streets of Winnipeg in a rye-induced haze at 230 in the morning one night followed by having a chance to talk to some of the performers after the event was over in a social setting Saturday night which again resulted in a slow and painful start to the day on Sunday a great trip. Here are just a few pics.

The card was not what UFC wanted it to be and several changes had to be made in the weeks and days leading up to the event. The main event was Rashad Evans vs Dan Henderson, but the people of Winnipeg didn't seem to care. They wanted their UFC and they got it.

There were a lot of Canadians on the card, and those Canadians came through. One of them was Saskatoon's Mitch "Danger Zone" Clarke.
Mitch was visibly emotional after beating John Maguire for his first UFC win in three tries. He said after that had he lost, his days in UFC were likely over.

Winnipeg's own Roland Delorme was on the undercard and he was by far and away the most popular fighter of the evening as the hometown crowd cheered on his every move.

Much to everyone's delight, Delorme also came through.
While people were there to see the fights, they were also there to see the extremely beautiful Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer and both of the UFC Ring girls did not disappoint,

The crowd also loved it when the voice of the octagon Mike Goldberg and his partner Joe Rogan came out for the festivities.
I also  had the chance to hob-nob with a lot of the stars of the show and the UFC. From what I've heard, I don't think Saskatoon will have to wait much longer before a card comes to Credit Union Centre.  Here are just a few snaps of me with some UFC celebs...
Former CFL commish and now head of UFC Canada Tom Wright. You don't find a better guy than Tom. One of the first things he said to me was I'll be at GC 101 because you can't beat a GC in Regina.
Referee Yves Lavigne

Roy "Big Country" Nelson. The crowd was really cheering for him, but he got beat in the end in what was a riveting heavyweight match between himself and Stipe Miocic. Nelson got hit over 450 times in the match and did not go down. That is a record. 

Edmonton's Ryan Jimmo. He won his match, but it wasn't particularly exciting. Near the end of his fight, a fight happened in the stands near where we were sitting. I don't think anyone on my side of the MTS Centre heard that Jimmo won because of the noise going on and everyone watching the fight which included some ladies. Even Rogan had to wonder when it was all over what had happened and in the post-fight news conference, Jimmo admitted the fight in the stands may have been better than his.
One other picture I had to show you from the MTS Centre and its this one. If you've been inside the building, you've probably seen it...

They love this guy in Winnipeg as much as we loved him in Regina. I miss seeing ya play Rip and so do a lot of others. We will never forget you!

I also couldn't believe the amount of people that stopped me while walking around the MTS Centre concourse. I must have had at least a half dozen people if not more including a father-son combo from Moose Jaw who had nothing but superlatives to say about the Sportscage and the job that is done in putting together the show that the true Rider fan wants to hear on a daily basis.

I can't really make any comments about the Rider game as I didn't really see a lot of it and when I did see it, it was basically moving my head up to a TV where there was no sound. I only had a couple of observations and these may not mean much.

 --Greg Carr is going to make it tough on this coaching staff to find a spot for him
 --If he performs well against Calgary, the team will have to find a way to keep Tino Sunseri around. Perhaps GM Brendan Taman better get that "9 game" handshake going. That handshake has been known to result in a finger injury.
--The defence looked like it was getting good pressure on the Edmonton quarterbacks
--Darian Durant seemed to like what was going on when he was out there,

Of course, I'll be able to give much more thought on this week's game since I'll be front and center,

That is it. I could tell stories about some of the things that happened on the road and who else I bumped into, but to protect the innocent I won't. There is that "What happens on the road trip stays on the road trip" thought process. In the end, no one was harmed in the production of what was a great weekend. Winnipeg, if you get the UFC back there, I will see you.

Thanks for checkin in!

(Pictures of Mitch Clarke and Roland Delorme, courtesy of Winnipeg Sun)