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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alouettes 17 Riders 16



Oops!!

It looked like the Riders were going to win their season opener in Montreal, but a 44 yard FG attempt by Tyler Crapigna on the game's last play sailed wide right as the Alouettes won 17-16 in a game the green-and-white should have won.

Darian Durant threw for two touchdown passes in the win and told TSN's Matthew Sciantti after the game that the football gods are what pushed Crapigna's attempt wide because they know what happened shouldn't have ended the way it did.  Durant was extremely enthusiastic after winning the opening game of the season as he hopped around the field celebrating while appearing to yell something towards the Riders bench most likely at Chris Jones.

Kevin Glenn threw one touchdown pass, and it was a controversial one as Bakari Grant appeared to have fumbled as he hit the goal-line, but the refs after review called it a touchdown.

Nic Demski had a break-out game for the green-and-white as he caught 7 passes.

The Riders are back in action July 1 versus Winnipeg at Mosaic Stadium as the first official CFL game is played at the team's new 278 million dollar home.

Thoughts on the game and other topics will be found in the usual "This and That" column which will appear on Saturday morning.

Depth Charts For Riders-Alouettes Game



Game time is 5:30 on 620 CKRM and TSN

Jordan Eberle Traded To Islanders

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The Edmonton Oilers have traded Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Ryan Strome.

The former Regina Pat had 20 goals and 31 assists in 82 games iwth the Oilers last year, but in the playoffs, he only had two assists in 13 games.

The 26 year old is entering the 5th year of a 6 year, 36 million dollar contract.

Strome, who was the 5th overall pick in the 2011 NHL draft, had 13 goals and 17 assists in 69 games last season and has 126 points in 258 career games with the Islanders, The 23 year old owns a $2.5 million cap hit and is entering the final season of a two-year deal.

With Leon Draisaitl becoming a restricted free agent on July 1 and Connor McDavid eligible to sign an extension, the Oilers were believed to be looking to add cap space this summer.

Eberle, a Regina, SK native, has played his entire career with the Oilers, originally drafted in the first round 22nd overall in 2008 and has scored 165 goals and 217 assists in seven NHL seasons.

Eberle has represented Canada eight times in his career, winning gold at the under-18 world championship (2008), world junior hockey championship (2009) and world hockey championship (2015).

Players To Watch

 

The 2017 CFL season begins in Montreal Thursday night with the Riders taking on the Alouettes. There are many storylines to this game as both teams look to get off to a positive start after less than stellar campaigns last year.  

Here are some players to watch for

DARIAN DURANT:  Duhhhh!! Durant has said all the right things this week leading up to the first game against his old team.  There is no doubt he would like to be more than "moderately successful" in this game and send a message to Chris Jones.  The relationship between the two was obviously strained enough to the point he could not return.  Durant, who is said to be leaner going into the season, isn't putting up any statements for people to run with, but you know in his first game as an Alouette, he would love nothing more than to stick one to Jones. 

DURON CARTER:  It is Durant's first game against his old team, and it is Carter's first game against his old squad.  The publicity for that hasn't been as great, but I would think Carter would like to show his former team what they are missing as well.  He was released by the Alouettes late in the season and combined with Naaman Roosevelt gives Kevin Glenn two very inviting targets to throw the football to. The key is emotion as Carter has to have his head screwed on right and focus on the game and nothing more. 

CALEB HOLLEY:  With all the attention that will be paid to Roosevelt and Carter, it could free up some space for Holley. He showed us what he could do last year, and if Kevin Glenn can find him on a few routes it will make the Riders offence a little more dangerous 

JOHN BOWMAN:  The 34 year old defensive lineman is a quarterback's nightmare.  The guy shows no signs of slowing down.  The Riders o-line has a challenge in front of them in dealing with Bowman. Neutralizing him goes a long way to recording a "W".  

CHRIS LYLES:  He takes over the defensive half spot left open by the release of Justin Cox. He needs to provide the solid defence in his first CFL season as Cox did in his. I would think Durant will be looking at Lyles as the possible weak link in the secondary.  

BJ CUNNINGHAM:  A lot of people are talking up the 28 year old Michigan State receiver as a player to watch after having a great training camp. Cunningham caught 4 TD passes late in the 2015 season for the team, but didn't play last year. Who is this guy? We may find out tonight if the clippings come out of Montreal are correct 

Game time is 5:30 on 620 CKRM and TSN





Wednesday, June 21, 2017

McDavid Named MVP; Golden Knights Name Roster




The big winner at the NHL awards on Wednesday night was Edmonton Oiler Connor McDavid as he joined Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky in winning the Hart Trophy symbolic of league MVP before turning 21. 


At the NHL Awards in Las Vegas Wednesday night, the hockey world watched as McDavid was coronated as heir to the throne as the game’s best player by taking home the league’s top individual prizes in the Hart and Ted Lindsay Award, the latter the MVP honor as voted by his fellow players.

McDavid was the league’s lone 100-point player in 2016-17, winning the Art Ross race by 11 points. En route to reaching the century mark for the first time in his career, McDavid was one of 26 players to score 30 goals and led the league with an outstanding 70 assists. And while his scoring was undoubtedly impressive, it was the impact he had on the group around him that was most awe-inspiring. With McDavid healthy and in the lineup for all 82 games — he missed 37 games of his rookie campaign in 2015-16 — the Oilers saw an improvement of 33 points. No other team took a greater leap forward this past season, and McDavid was undoubtedly the prime catalyst behind the resurgence in Edmonton.

It was also announced McDavid would be the face of EA Sports' NHL 18 video game.

Other award winners were:

NORRIS TROPHY:  Brent Burns
CALDER TROPHY:  Auston Matthews
VEZINA TROPHY: Sergei Bobrovsky
SELKE TROPHY - Patrice Bergeron
LADY BYNG TROPHY - Johnny Gaudreau
JACK ADAMS TROPHY - John Tortorella
BILL MASTERTON TROPHY - Craig Anderson

---

The Vegas Golden Knights got their jerseys on Tuesday, and on Wednesday they started filling them.

 Among the team's picks, which came from each of the NHL's other 30 teams by way of lists of unprotected veterans, were longtime Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, Nashville Predators forward James Neal and Ottawa Senators defenseman Marc Methot.

David Clarkson, Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore, Alex Tuch, Mikhail Grabovski, Jake Bischoff and at least 10 different future draft picks also landed in Vegas as part of separate trades executed by Golden Knights general manager George McPhee.

In order of selection in between the NHL's handout of awards, here are all 30 of the Golden Knights' expansion draft selections:
  1. G Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche
  2. D Luca Sbisa, Vancouver Canucks
  3. F Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes
  4. D Jon Merrill, New Jersey Devils
  5. F William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres
  6. F Tomas Nosek, Detroit Red Wings
  7. F Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars
  8. F Jonathan Marchessault, Florida Panthers
  9. D Brayden McNabb, Los Angeles Kings
  10. F Connor Brickley, Carolina Hurricanes
  11. F Chris Thorburn, Winnipeg Jets
  12. F Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Philadelphia Flyers
  13. D Jason Garrison, Tampa Bay Lightning
  14. G Jean-Francois Berube, New York Islanders
  15. F James Neal, Nashville Predators
  16. D Deryk Engelland, Calgary Flames
  17. F Brendan Leipsic, Toronto Maple Leafs
  18. D Colin Miller, Boston Bruins
  19. D Marc Methot, Ottawa Senators
  20. D David Schlemko, San Jose Sharks
  21. F David Perron, St. Louis Blues
  22. F Oscar Lindberg, New York Rangers
  23. D Griffin Reinhart, Edmonton Oilers
  24. D Alexei Emelin, Montreal Canadiens
  25. D Clayton Stoner, Anaheim Ducks
  26. F Erik Haula, Minnesota WIld
  27. F William Karlsson, Columbus Blue Jackets
  28. D Trevor van Riemsdyk, Chicago Blackhawks
  29. G Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
  30. D Nate Schmidt, Washington Capitals


REDBLACKS secure front office

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The Ottawa REDBLACKS of the Canadian Football League today announced that General Manager Marcel Desjardins and Head Coach Rick Campbell have each agreed to contract extensions that will keep them in their roles through the 2020 season.

“The results speak for themselves,” said Jeff Hunt, President of the REDBLACKS parent company, OSEG Sports. “Marcel and Rick have taken the team to the Grey Cup championship game in each of the last two seasons. They’ve shown exemplary skills assembling and leading our football operations department and making the REDBLACKS a model franchise in the CFL. Having stability in both of these roles is a tremendous asset to have – we’re proud of their work and delighted that they’ll both be with us for at least the next four seasons.”

Desjardins and Campbell joined the REDBLACKS prior to their expansion season in 2014 and built the team from the ground up. They assembled a scouting staff and coaching staff and acquired all players that have ever worn the sawblade “R” since the team’s inception.

Stamps Are Grey Cup Favourites

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The 2017 CFL season kicks off this weekend with a trio of Western Division teams battling for top spot on the Grey Cup odds, with the Calgary Stampeders leading the way as the +350 Grey Cup favourites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Stampeders were the class of the CFL last season, winning 14 straight games en route to a league-best 15-2-1 record during the regular season.

A 39-33 overtime loss to Ottawa as 9.5-point chalk marked Calgary’s second Grey Cup loss in five years, but the Stampeders get an early chance at revenge when they visit the RedBlacks as a 3-point road favourite in a Week 1 matchup on Friday night.

The defending-champion RedBlacks open the new season well back of the favourites and deadlocked with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at +700 on the Grey Cup odds.

The RedBlacks endured an inconsistent regular season in 2016, failing to win consecutive games after opening the campaign with a pair of upset wins on the road. But after finishing 8-9-1 to capture top spot in the middling Eastern Division, Ottawa caught fire in the post-season, upsetting Edmonton 35-23 as a 2.5-point underdog in the Eastern Final to set the stage for their Grey Cup win over Calgary.

The B.C. Lions represent the Stampeders’ closest competition on the Grey Cup odds, trailing at +500, followed by the Eskimos at +550.

After romping to victory in their final three outings the Lions trailed only Calgary with a 12-6-0 regular-season record last season, but struggled to a 32-31 win over Winnipeg as 5-point home chalk in the Western semifinal before getting crushed 42-15 by the Stampeders as 7.5-point underdogs in the Western Final.

The Lions open the campaign on Saturday as 2.5-point chalk in a matchup with Edmonton, but face an Eskimos squad that turned the corner down the stretch last season, winning six of their final eight contests including four outright road victories.

The Tiger-Cats look to bounce back from a dismal end to last season when they open their 2017 schedule in Toronto on Sunday afternoon, taking on the Argonauts as 3.5-point chalk. Hamilton has posted victories in just four of its last 14 games overall, and has just one win in its past seven outings.

The Montreal Alouettes own +750 odds of ending a seven-year Grey Cup drought, ahead of the Blue Bombers and the Saskatchewan Roughriders at +800, while the Argonauts are pegged as +1200 longshots on the CFL futures heading into the season.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Calgary Looks Into Another Winter Olympics

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The price tag for Calgary to host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games will be about $4.6 billion, according to a bid exploration committee.

The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee (CBEC) told city council Monday that revenue the Games generate would cover almost half the cost, but another $2.4 billion would be needed.

The 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., cost $7.7 billion.

Calgary’s estimate is lower because the city can re-use venues from the 1988 Winter Games, CBEC chair Rick Hanson said.

“Having pre-existing facilities made a significant impact,” Hanson said. “On average, you would have to look at $1.6 billion in some cases to built the facilities that are necessary for the Games.

“Because we had existing facilities, we’ve got that number well under half a billion dollars.”

CBEC and city administration will make final recommendations to council on a possible bid July 24.

“I’ve always said I will be persuaded on this particular issue by the evidence, so I just see this as a presentation of a bunch of evidence,” Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi said.

“Me and council and the public . . . will have to really cogitate over this and chew on some of these numbers and see if this is something we want to do.”

The International Olympic Committee no longer requires the Canadian Olympic Committee to put forth a candidate city by September, which was the initial deadline the committee was working under, Hanson said.

The IOC has yet to reveal bid procedures and guidelines for 2026. The IOC has indicated the formal bid process for 2026 won’t start until after February’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

“It means we’ve got some time to do some thinking here,” Nenshi said. “It would be very difficult for council to make a final decision to move forward without knowing what the IOC host city agreement will be.”

A wrinkle in a potential Olympic bid is Calgary’s civic election Oct. 16. Nenshi is running for a third term.

CBEC was given $5 million by the city last year to investigate whether it is feasible for Calgary to host the 2026 Winter Games in a “financially responsible manner” and if it is “prudent” for the city to do so.

Led by Hanson, a 17-member committee delved into facilities, security, community interest, finance and government support.

With fewer cities interested in bidding for Olympic Games, the IOC has tried to make it easier and less costly to do so under an Agenda 2020 program that is essentially “reduce, re-use and recycle.”

Calgary fits that bill having invested in its 1988 venues to keep them not just operational, but still hosting annual international events.

But gaps exist particularly in hockey arenas. The city is currently negotiating with the Calgary Flames on location and who will play for what in a new NHL arena.

Two NHL-sized arenas are needed to host a Winter Olympics, Hanson said.

Calgary’s former police chief also addressed why the projected security budget of $610 million is less than Vancouver’s approximately $900 million.

“It was a different world then. Canada was in Afghanistan. There was a war going on and they (Vancouver) had their own considerations. It’s a port city. That adds a level of complexity,” Hanson said.

“A lot of the security planning was done post 9-11 leading up to 2010. There’s been another seven years since the 2010 Games,” he continued, pointing to more sophisticated security methods and measures world-wide.

CBEC’s estimate showed operating costs exceeding operating revenues by $425 million.

“I’m going to have to take a lot of convincing to be told we should be running an operation deficit in that range while other parties like the IOC and the COC actually make a lot of money off of sponsorship and TV rights,” Nenshi said.

“The risk cannot be entirely held by the host city in my opinion.”

CBEC conducted a poll of 2,000 people in the Calgary and Bow Valley corridor in March with two-thirds indicating support for an Olympic bid, but over half expressing wariness about costs.

Sion, Switzerland, Innsbruck, Austria, Almaty, Kazakhstan and Sapporo, Japan, are among cities that have also expressed interest in a 2026 bid.

(Calgary Herald)

Something To "Mitch" About



YUCK - Safe to say a lot of fathers and sons were discussing what happened Friday night in Vancouver over the weekend, and it's safe to say there weren't a lot of positives when having those discussions.  It wasn't pretty under the dome at BC Place Friday night, and now the questions start when it comes to the 2017 edition of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Offensively, Kevin Glenn did not look great in his first action of the year, but his offensive line didn't really help him out a lot. KG has  been around long enough that you know he will be ready to go when the lights come on Thursday in Montreal.

If there is anything to get excited about, it is the thought of what Duron Carter and Naaman Roosevelt could do. The potential is there for those two to have one of the greatest seasons by a pair of receivers in CFL history.  Carter's catch in double coverage in the first quarter was a thing of beauty.   I also think we should get excited at the prospect of what Marquise Williams can do.  He could be the answer as he is showing me and others he has what it takes to play the CFL game.  Don't rush him though.

Barring the team bringing someone in, Cameron Marshall will be the starting running back although we haven't seen a great sample of what he can do seeing he nor any other running back touched the ball Friday.

Defensively, six sacks were great to see, but the constant 3 man rush wasn't,as it was easy for Jonathan Jennings to pick apart the secondary.  I am guessing we won't see that Thursday seeing this one and the rest of them count.

The performance did a leave a lot to be desired, but it was a pre-season game and Chris Jones had more to evaluate than what Wally Buono did.  If it's a blowout in Montreal on Thursday, you can start asking questions, but I am not ready to even come close and say get ready for a repeat of last season.

As for what to expect this season, I have said it numerous times.  I don't think they can compete with BC and Calgary in the West, but I do think they can finish 3rd ahead of Edmonton and Winnipeg.  There is a strong discourse amongst the fanbase over what is happening, and I do understand that. I think Chris Jones understands that as well and knows another 6 or 7 win season will mean his days here could mean his employment here comes to an end.  No one said it was going to be easy.

WILLY OR WON'T HE -  As you look at the cuts of other teams, you ask if there is anyone who might be able to try and continue their career in Riderville.  I was surprised to see Drew Willy get released in Toronto, and it did make me wonder if Willy may end up coming back to the team where his CFL career started.  I asked the question on Twitter, but a majority say no.  Willy's stock has fallen, and at the end of the day, I don't think he will come back, but he would provide some more "starters" experience if something happens to Kevin Glenn

YAWWWWWNNN -  I am one to sit down and watch the majors when it comes to the world of golf. The best in the world usually provide a lot of drama and flair down the stretch. Not this year. It was evident early on Brooks Koepka was going to be the man to beat and he ran away from the field winning by four shots. The final round may be remembered the most for an unfortunate gaffe from FOX's Joe Buck when he referred to Koepka's current lady-friend as his old one and had to be corrected in what was a major OOPS.  That was it though.

One other thing,  would anyone be upset if during the course of the US Open or any golf tournament that someone just took a 6 iron and clubbed the "get in the hole" guy across the back of the legs.  Let's hope we don't see some idiot like that at the Wascana in August 2018 when the LPGA Tour makes a stop.  If some jackwagon wants to do that, can we just deposit him in the creek?   Speaking of the ladies tour, at a time when golf fans in Saskatchewan should maybe start paying attention to the LPGA seeing they will be coming to town, it was great to see Canadian Brooke Henderson win this week.

By the way, I am a Joe Buck fan. I think the guy is great at what he does, and he has been behind the mic for the Seahawks Super Bowl win over Denver and the Cubs World Series win. The question I have is why does FOX trot him out for all the major events they do. Is there no one else there who can do the job, I don't have the problem with him doing golf that others do, but football and baseball is what he should be doing, and that's it.

BUILDING A WINNER -  Have you seen the list of players the Vegas Golden Knights can pick from. The NHL wants this team to be a playoff team right off the bat. Is that right? It is a gamble (no pun intended) going to Sin City, but the NHL's newest team has the potential to be a contending team if they want.  They have a lot of talent to pick through---talent that is high-priced, average and bargains.  GM George McPhee says he was really pleased with what's available. No kidding!  He could go out and get the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonathan Bernier and Calvin Pickard is net. He has plenty of options at defence and forward as well.  This team will be competitive on opening night. They aren't Stanley Cup calibre---at least not yet, but a couple of shrewd drafts collecting young talent and they might be soon.  When all is said and done, they may better than some current NHL teams. (COUGH COUGH VANCOUVER COUGH COUGH).

???? - While flipping through my Twitter feed (@scruffyregina) on Sunday, I saw ads for the MuchMusic Video Awards which happened last night. Much still plays videos? When? How can you have an awards show when you don't play videos.  Muchmusic was great back in the day, but now it's just a joke.  It's sad to see the product get diminished like that.

GOOD IDEA, BUT  -  Major League Baseball wants to take a page out of the XFL's book and have a weekend where players can have their nicknames on their back. Remember Rod Smart aka "He Hate Me". I love the idea, but can you tell me 10 major leaguers that have distinct nicknames. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is "Riz", many guys just have a "py" added to their name like Aroldis Chapman is Chappy.  The idea is great in theory, but the days of the creative nicknames have passed us by.  For what it's worth, if someone in the majors had the nickname "Scruffy", I would buy his jersey because you know MLB would offer one up.

That's all I got.  Have a great week.






Sunday, June 18, 2017

Riders Sign Cameron Judge










The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced they have signed national linebacker Cameron Judge.       

 Judge (6’2 – 235 lbs.) was selected by the Riders in the first round (2nd overall) of the 2017 CFL Draft after spending four seasons at UCLA. The 22-year-old California resident played 47 collegiate games while with the Bruins, picking up 46 defensive tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one interception.

Judge missed Roughriders training camp as he completed final exams and attended graduation at UCLA. He is expected to be on field as the Riders open week one practice on Monday.   

(Ryan Pollock/Riders PR) 

List of Players Available For Vegas Knights Released

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The NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, will announce their roster at next week’s NHL Awards, but first they must pick players in a league expansion draft.

In that expansion draft, the Golden Knights will select 30 players — one from each established NHL team. Those 30 other NHL teams can protect players on their roster (seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender or eight skaters and one goaltender) but anyone left exposed can have their contract assumed by Vegas for no compensation.

The list of what players were protected and not protected by the various teams can be found here

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Vince Young And Many Others Released By Riders


And with that tweet from Vince Young's agent, Leigh Steinberg, the former NFL quarterback's attempted comeback appears to be over.

CFL teams have to get down to the limit today and several Riders have already announced through social media they have been let go including Anthony Allen and Jenson Stoshak.

Young was trying to revive a football career that had seen him not play a game since 2011, but the 34 year old suffered a torn hamstring during training camp that will take 4-6 weeks to heal,


As for the rest of the moves made by the Riders, here you go....

 ADDED TO PRACTICE ROSTER:
·       International wide receiver Antwane Grant
·       National defensive lineman Makana Henry
·       National offensive lineman Eddie Meredith
·       International defensive lineman D.J. Pettway
·       National defensive back Denzel Radford
·       National wide receiver Joshua Stanford
·       International linebacker Myke Tavarres

SUSPENDED:
·       National offensive lineman Emmanuel Adusei
·       National linebacker Alexandre Chevrier
·       International defensive back Ahmad Fulwood
·       National wide receiver Mitchell Picton

RELEASED:
·       International defensive back Royce Adams
·       International running back Anthony Allen
·       International quarterback Bryan Bennett
·       International defensive back Zavian Bingham
·       National defensive lineman Ivan Brown
·       International defensive back Crezdon Butler
·       International offensive lineman Terrence Campbell
·       International wide receiver Joe Craig
·       National linebacker Alexander Gagne
·       International defensive back Warren Gatewood
·       National linebacker Dillon Grondin
·       International offensive lineman Jarriel King
·       International wide receiver Thomas Mayo
·       International defensive lineman Greg Milhouse Jr.
·       International wide receiver Desmond Reece
·       National defensive lineman Jordan Reaves
·       International defensive back Mark Roberts
·       International wide receiver Jenson Stoshak
·       International running back Quincy Walden
·       International quarterback Vince Young