GETTING CLOSER - I don't know about you, but every time I drive past this place whether it be down Saskatchewan Drive or inside Evraz Place, I just get excited knowing a new era of football in this town is about to begin with new Mosaic Stadium opening its doors. Say what you will positive or negative about the Riders, the new facility will be a welcome change from what we were used to at the old Mosaic. Yes, the old girl had its charm, but we know what this place brings especially if you were at the Rams-Huskies game last year when everything was tested out. #isitjuneyet
SEE YA SCOTT - Many wondered what future Scott Milanovich had with the Toronto Argonauts once Jim Barker was fired as GM. Obviously, Milanovich did too. The news he was leaving to be the QB's coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars came as a huge surprise to this blogger. I didn't see that one coming. Hey, if Danny Barrett can be an NFL assistant coach than Scott Milanovich can be as well. It will be interesting to see how he works with Blake Bortles who after a good 2015 regressed somewhat this year. Its a good move for Jacksonville, and a good move for Milanovich. The CFL is likely already in his rear-view mirror and getting smaller. He should write a book about his Toronto days. It would likely be a best-seller.
As for Toronto, what do they do now. They are already looking for a GM after getting rid of Jim Barker this past week, and as TSN's Gary Lawless has reported, the window to interview candidates from other CFL teams closes January 31 meaning no team could grant the Argos permission to talk to anyone. What a colossal mess! It just keeps getting worse, and not better.
Argos DB Jermaine Gabriel may have put it best when he said on Twitter after the Milanovich news was made public that he needed a sinking ship emoji
G'BYE GALE - Seeing the Saskatchewan Roughriders release Mitchell Gale before free agency was somewhat of a surprise. I don't know the rationale behind the move, but it is obvious the quarterback wasn't going to sign here. Did the Riders not want him or vice-versa? If it is the latter, it makes you wonder why after Chris Jones said last week Kevin Glenn is not being given the job. There was a chance for Gale to come in and win the job. He has chosen not to. The same could be said for Curtis Steele. There was no guarantee he wasn't going to be the starting tailback, but there was nothing saying he wasn't going to be. Competition is a good thing, but on the surface maybe it wasn't for these two. They certainly didn't think they would be anointed as the guy did they? I could be way off base on this one, but I do find it odd both were let go early. Speaking of which, remember this pic from just a few months ago.
I think we can all agree that didn't work out so well. No doubt a better job needs to be done this time around when it comes to free agency.
NHL AT THE BREAK - Another all-star game has come and gone (YAWWWWNNNNN!!!), and its time to start the stretch drive. As you look at the standings, who is really out of it. I think you can safely say Arizona and Colorado are, but the West is wide open while in the East, there are four teams who are on the cusp of being out, but that could change for New Jersey, Carolina, Detroit and Buffalo if they can come out of the break and get hot. It will make for what could be a very dead trade deadline day as teams will have a tough time trying to find a trading partner to get what they need seeing so many squads have a chance at being in the playoffs.
As the break hits, there are 4 Canadian teams in the playoffs as it stands right now, with Toronto one point out of a playoff spot in the East, Vancouver one back in the West and Winnipeg three back. I think it is safe to say we won't be going through this year's playoffs without any Canadian involvement. Could all 7 make it? I am guessing not, but the hue and cry of Canadian teams not being in the playoffs shouldn't be heard. For what its worth, that talk doesn't bother me, but it is good for a number of different areas.
NHL TOP 100 - The NHL Top 100 was revealed on the weekend, and for the most part it is a solid list, but like it is with any list, you ask about some who made the list and others who did not. I won't even start to look at those who played the game before I was born, but obviously the greats I heard about were on that list as they should.. It baffles me to see Eric Lindros on it. The guy isn't one of the best to play the game, and he certainly wouldn't be on my top 100. Cam Neely would have been in my top 100 as would have had Dale Hawerchuk and Jarome Iginla. How Evgeni Malkin didn't make the list is surprising as well.
CRAZINESS AT THE CKHS - It rarely happens at the CKHS when the U of R basketball teams are playing for whatever reason, but it was nice to see some energy and some atmosphere in the gym on Saturday night as the Cougars met Calgary. The womens basketball team is the best team Regina has had over the past many years on a year-over-year basis, but people just don't seem to come out and check Dave Taylor's squad out while the men's team may not win every game, but they do provide a solid night of hoops. On Saturday, people were there and it showed what kind of place the gym can be when its full.
The kids stormed the court at half-time of the women's game to shoot some hoops and man did they ever. It was chaos, but it was fun. The women beat Calgary to cement their #2 ranking in Canada while the men came back from a 20 point deficit to shock the #5 ranked Dinos in what might have been the best Cougar men's game I have seen since the days of Kevin Gilroy who was in the house along with other basketball alumni. I don't know what has to be done to get more people out to Cougar basketball games and Cougar athletics in general. Many things have been discussed and many initiatives have been tried. It really is a secret that more people need to tune in to. The next home games are in two weeks as the regular season winds down. I hope the scene inside the CKHS is similar to what it was on Saturday, but my expectations are likely too high.
That's all I got. Have a great week!