Friday, June 30, 2017

Depth Charts For Saturday's Riders-Bombers Game

Media preview

Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 7 PM and can be seen on TSN and heard on 620 CKRM with the pre-game show starting at 4

Take The Bus To Riders Home Opener

Related image

Ahead of the July 1st regular season home opener, the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club has shared important transportation and parking information for fans travelling to and from Mosaic Stadium.

Fans are encouraged to consider all the free and easy options to get to and from the stadium.

Fans driving to the game should note that game day street closures will begin 3.5 hours prior to kickoff and remain closed, up to one hour after the games conclusion. Elphinstone Street from Saskatchewan Drive to Dewdney Avenue will be restricted to pedestrian and City Transit access during this time.


Why drive when you can sit back and just ride the bus – for FREE!

Simply show your game ticket and hop aboard Rider Transit, beginning 2 hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff with continuous pickup and drop off intervals leading up to game time.

Buses will depart from the Southland Mall, Northgate Mall, Victoria Square Mall, and Normanview Crossing, as well as two downtown locations: Delta Hotel (eastbound at Saskatchewan Drive & Hamilton Street) and Victoria Park (westbound at Victoria Avenue & Scarth Street).

Passengers travelling from the four shopping mall locations are unloaded in front of Mosaic Stadium on 10th Avenue, while the travellers from the two downtown locations are unloaded on 10th Avenue beside the Lawson Aquatic Centre. Buses depart from the same locations for up to an hour postgame.

With plenty of available parking – free on evenings and weekends – the downtown transit loop is a quick and easy option.

NOTE: Following the July 1st game, City Transit will be running shuttles from Mosaic Stadium to Wascana Park for the Canada 150 fireworks celebration. Following the fireworks shuttles will be running from Wascana back to all four mall locations and both downtown locations.


Why not take two wheels instead of four? Try our fully secured on site bike valet service on Rider game days beginning two hours prior to gates opening. The bike valet is fast and free.  The bike valet is located outside gate #1 in the southwest corner of the stadium beside Confederation Park..


On site parking is by permit only. Fans who have pre-purchased permits for parking at Evraz Place or the Lawson Aquatic Centre should visit for route and entry/exit information. Please note – parking permits have been sold out for the 2017 season.

Parking along North Railway between Elphinstone Street and Albert Street is by permit only.

Street parking around Mosaic Stadium is based on open availability. Regular noted parking restrictions apply, as per City of Regina Bylaws.


Take your time and debrief following the game. Harvard’s Studio 620 and the Coors Light Party in The Park can be used as a meeting point as both will remain open for one hour following the game. Harvard’s Studio will also include a limited concession menu.

This And That

Welcome to Friday! Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

---Rider Nation, are you ready!  The days of watching your favourite football team at an antiquated facility are over.  Welcome to your new home!

A new chapter in the long and storied history of the franchise will begin July 1, and what a night it should be. It will be made even better if the green-and-white can make sure that the history books show the first Rider game in the place was a victory over Winnipeg.  Hey, if the Rams could beat the Huskies in the first-ever event at the place last October, the Riders can do the same right?

Rider president and CEO Craig Reynolds has publicly stated Saturday is one of the most important days in the history of the franchise because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He is right! It is a day that can't go down as a Bombers win.  Things can change from one week to another, and we haven't seen Winnipeg yet, but I do believe after watching the narrow loss to Montreal that the green-and-white can rebound and even their record. 

Does that make Saturday night a must-win. Any game in the CFL should be treated as a must-win, but in this case, it is imperative for Saskatchewan to walk off the field with a 1-1 record. I've got them winning this one from anywhere between 5-9 points. 

The only down thing about Saturday will be this......

I thought Worksafe Bob was gone, but he's apparently back and creepier than ever.  SIGHHHHH!!!  He needs to get in a car with those two idiots who stream the Blue Jays games and go away!! With my luck, I'll get stuck in an elevator with it. 

--Speaking of going away, I think the NFL had thought Vince Young had gone away, but he came back and he came back with guns a blazin. I think it is safe to say some of the words Young had about wanting to stay in the CFL may have been false as it appears he wanted to perhaps use the green-and-white as a stepping stone back to the NFL which is a league he think fails him. Reaction to the article has been mostly negative when it comes to Young with a lot of people saying he needs to look in the mirror.  It may be safe to say we have seen the last of Vince because I just can't see him trying to keep the comeback alive, but who knows.


The Riders scored a touchdown Thursday with the unveiling of a statue and their fan walls.

What a tremendous job by all involved for these pieces that will draw people to the northeast commons of the stadium which is right where you turn in off of Elphinstone.  Some are upset over the fact Ron Lancaster and George Reed aren't being honoured in some fashion, but I am told that honour is coming.  I don't know if it will be a statue of 23 handing off to 34, but if it is, I hope we also have something to document Dave Ridgway's famous kick in the 1989 Grey Cup, Gene Makowsky holding the Grey Cup aloft in 2007 and once his days as a CFL'er are over, Darian Durant holding the trophy high in 2013. They are the most iconic moments in this franchise's history.  We don't need a Junior Mertile whiffing on Adarius Bowman though.

When I looked at the fan wall Thursday, I thought it looked like the silhouettes of kids, but I also thought I was crazy. I was somewhat relieved when Riders VP of marketing Gregg Sauter said the idea was for the names to be displayed with the black space representing kids and the youth of the community.  As I said, it is a tremendous project and it is one that will draw many Rider fans to it Saturday and beyond.

--Sportscage Insider Arash Madani was openly opining on what Canadian venue has the best atmosphere while visiting with Rod and myself this week.  While Madani had the atmosphere at Taylor Field on his top 5, I have to think that atmopshere will be surpassed with the new stadium.  I think the gathering places both at the statue and fan walls along with Confederation Park will make Rider game-day an even more hallowed experience.  If this team is winning, it may rival and surpass everything this country has seen including playoff hockey in Edmonton, awinter  Saturday night in Montreal at the Bell Centre or a Friday night at the Hungarian Club for High Impact Wrestling. OK, perhaps I exaggerated on that final one just a little.

-I will talk more about Week 2 in the CFL once all four games have been played, but it is safe to say the best rivalry in the game right now is the one between Ottawa and Calgary. The last three games between the two have had it all. When do they play again? Oh yeah, it may not be until next year unless there is a Grey Cup rematch.  I hate back-to-back games against the same team in the CFL except for Labour Day weekend.  Who had the great idea of putting the Stamps and REDBLACKS against one another in the first two weeks. They could be done with one another for the rest of the season and if they aren't, they won't see each other again until late November barring a crossover. I don't like it, and I don't think I'm alone.

--If they only had 13 thousand for a game in Toronto against Hamilton, what will the Argos get for a visit from BC tonight. Is it safe to say under 10-grand? Under 8? I don't know what you do to get people in the GTA interested in the Argos again, but if you can get almost 27 thousand on a rainy night to watch TFC while the Blue Jays are playing at home, you should be getting that for Argo games as well.  Yes. it is easier said than done, but the move to BMO has to start paying dividends for this club. If not, how much longer will they have?

--RIP to Dave Semenko. As a life-long fan of the Oilers, I was shocked and stunned to get up Thursday morning and learn of Semenko's passing after a short battle with cancer.  Dave won many fights during his career in an Edmonton uniform, but he couldn't win this one. While the numbers of Gretzky, Messier, Coffey and Fuhr hang in the Rogers Place rafters, all will tell you the play of number 27 was a big reason for those first two Stanley Cups.  He truly was a gentle giant, and in the lone time I met the man, he was as warm and as good a guy as could be with many a story.

--The news surrounding the Oilers was much better Wednesday when we learned Connor McDavid is poised to sign an eight year contract extension worth 13 1/4 million US on Wednesday. As legendary Edmonton sportswriter Terry Jones says, it is a deal that should have Oiler fans doing cartwheels from West Edmonton Mall to Jasper Avenue and beyond.  Not only will it mean McDavid will be around for 11 years in an Edmonton uniform which should translate to a Cup or two, but it is also a deal that some thought wouldn't happen as McDavid is taking the maximum. Some Oiler fans worry about what it will mean once Leon Draisiatl gets paid, but many are saying if Pittsburgh can do it with Crosby and Malkin and Chicago has done it with Kane and Toews, that Edmonton can do it with McDavid and Draisaitl.

--Congratulations to Adam Brooks.  Do we really expect he won't be playing Saturday nights on our TV in the near future.  The Leafs love the former Pats captain and if he can take his game to the next level with the Toronto Marlies next year, there is no reason to think Brooks won't be skating alongside Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and others by the 2018-19 season. Many here will be pulling for last year's captain and why shouldn't they be.

--Congratulations to another former Pat Jordan Weal. He signed a two year contract with the Flyers on Thursday night. It finally appears as if Weal is getting the chance he wasn't getting at the NHL level for whatever reason. He made the most of a late-season stint with Philly and should be a player to watch next season. Could he be a late round pick in your hockey draft?  Speaking of drafts, NFL Radio has been talking about upcoming fantasy drafts. Training camps haven't even started yet!! Settle down! It shows you just how big fantasy sports is in Murica, and in some places Canada as well.

--With all apologies to TSN and Sportsnet, I won't be glued to my TV on Canada Day watching Free Agent Frenzy or whatever they are calling it this year. I am sure my phone will be going off constantly telling me this player has gone here and that player has gone there. It will be interesting to see if Chris Kunitz leaves Pittsburgh though. Kunitz, who has won three Stanleys in Pittsburgh, is someone contending teams would love to have on their roster because of his playoff pedigree. How much are they willing to pay though and for how long. It is said Kunitz could be lured back to Western Canada as there is interest from the Flames, Jets and Oilers. If one of those three get him, they will be better.

--Yes. it is Canada's 150th birthday tomorrow. Would it be safe to assume in those 150 years, our greatest sports moment is Paul Henderson's goal in 1972. If it isn't that, is it the Olympic win in Vancouver or Salt Lake City. Does Joe Carter's homer off Mitch Williams  even get into the discussion?

--That's all I got. Have a great week.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Leafs Sign Adam Brooks To 3 Year Deal

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed former Regina Pats forward Adam Brooks to an entry-level contract.

Brooks was selected 92nd overall by the Leafs in the 2016 entry draft, and ended up finishing second in league scoring with 43 goals and 87 assists for 130 points in 66 games while contributing 18 points in 17 games during a playoffs which saw him injured twice. 

Riders Unveil Fan Wall and Statue

The Riders, and the City of Regina, unveiled an 18 foot statue that celebrates football and athletic achievement while recognizing the community and other teams that call Mosaic Stadium home. 

The statue, made of white bronze, shows fans holding up a Rider as he catches a football.  

At the base of the statue, it reads:

"As we evolve, we strive to soar higher; that soaring quest of our lives makes us who we are. 

In the act of sport, the fans create the lifting culture that unites us all and gives us a sense of togetherness, pride and lightning. 

The fan wall is one of three that features a granite side engraved with the names of fans who contributed to the "Build The Pride" fan wall program.  When fully installed, the walls will hold the names of around 2000 fans who will be permanently recognized near the statue at the northeast commons of the stadium.

“This incredible statue and the three fan walls are a direct reflection of our community, our province and our fan base,” said Gregg Sauter, Roughriders Vice Presidnet of Marketing and Business Development. “The artwork unveiled today was made possible through the contributions of Rider Nation and our hope is that this location at Mosaic Stadium will be as much about inspiring future achievement, as it is about reflecting on the past.”

Former Oilers Enforcer Dave Semenko Dead at 59

Image result for dave semenko

It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Oilers legend Dave Semenko after a short, but courageous battle with cancer. Dave will be remembered as a fierce competitor, loyal teammate, fan favourite and dear friend to so many. His legendary toughness on the ice is surpassed only by his kindness and caring for others, and his equally legendary wit and sense of humour.

The Winnipeg native, who played junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings, started playing professional hockey with the World Hockey Association Oilers in 1977 and was on the team when it joined the National Hockey League two years later.

The 6'3, 215-pound left-winger played 10 seasons with the Oilers organization, winning three Stanley Cups. Semenko, one of the most-feared NHL enforcers of his time, played 575 NHL games with the Oilers, the Hartford Whalers and the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring 65 goals and 88 assists for 153 points to go with 1,153 penalty minutes.

Our hearts go out to Dave's family and many friends.

Once an Oiler, Always an Oiler

(Edmonton Oilers Hockey Club)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

CFL Apparently Has New Commissioner

Reports from Winnipeg Wednesday night suggest the Canadian Football League has found its new commissioner, and it is a former player.

An announcement is expected within days from the league saying ex-offensive lineman Randy Ambrosie is the successor to Jeffery Orridge who resigned the position earlier this year.

Ambrosie is the former secretary of the CFL Players’ Association, and was the runner-up when the CFL hired Orridge back in March 2015.

The 54-year-old Winnipeg native played nine seasons in the CFL, winning the 1993 Grey Cup with the Eskimos in his final season.

Pats Take Two In CHL Import Draft

The Regina Pats Hockey Club selected a Russian defenceman, and a Finnish forward with their two choices in the 2017 CHL Import Draft on Wednesday morning.

In the first round, 60th overall, the Pats took 17-year-old Russian defenceman Yegor Zamula. The product of Chelyabinsk scored three goals and had 23 assists in 36 games with Metallurg Magnitogorsk U17 in 2016/17.

Head Coach and General Manager John Paddock says Zamula has been said to share many of the same on-ice traits as former Pat defenceman Sergei Zborovskiy.  He is eligible to be taken in the 2018 NHL draft.

With the 120th overall pick in the second round, Regina selected Finnish forward Emil Oksanen. The 19-year-old played professionally with Espoo United of the Mestis League in 2016/17. He scored 13 goals and had six assists in 48 games.

Oksanen stands 6’1” and weighs 189 lbs, he won a gold medal at the 2016 Under-18 World Championships with Team Finland.

Paddock says he could be a steal considering where he was taken and admits they are rolling the dice a little with this pick.

"He’s probably a slight bit more of a flyer as far as availability but it seems like people we spoke to are thinking this could be a good opportunity for him so we’ll  see where it goes.”

Paddock also admits that while happy with the two players selected, there are still many unknowns, but he believes both will be at training camp.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pats 2017-18 Sked is Released

Photo: Keith Hershmiller 

The Regina Pats start their 100th anniversary season with a home and home against their division rivals, the Brandon Wheat Kings.  The first game will go September 22nd in Brandon with the two teams back at the Brandt Centre September 23. 

Thanks to Agribition and the Tim Hortons Brier, the team will have two eight game road trips during the season as they look to repeat as WHL Eastern Conference champions.  The entire schedule can be found right here.

Regina will play a total of 17 games at home on either Friday or Saturday nights. The club will host five Sunday games and 12 on Wednesday’s.

In total, the Pats will play 18 Friday games, 19 on Saturday, 12 on Sunday, two Monday’s, three Tuesday’s, 17 Wednesday’s and one Thursday night game.

Vince Young Goes Off On The NFL

Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated came to Saskatoon to speak to Vince Young about his time in the CFL and his time in the NFL.  The quarterback, who is recovering from a torn hamstring injury, did not have kind words about his time south of the border.

You can read the rather lengthy article right here 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Teemu Selanne and Others Get Call To Enter HHOF

Image result for teemu selanne jets

The Hockey Hall of Fame will welcome five players and two builders into its doors as part of the 2017 class.

Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Danielle Goyette were officially inducted as players on Monday afternoon, while former Canadian collegiate coach Clare Drake and Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs were inducted under the builders category.

Overall it is an extremely impressive class of players. Selanne, Andreychuk and Recchi are all among the top-20 goal scorers in league history, while Goyette was a 10-time gold medalist for the Canadian women’s hockey team, including twice at the Olympics. Drake was the long-time coach of the University of Alberta Men’s ice hockey team, coaching the team to six University Cup championships in 28 years. He coached the Edmonton Oilers for one season in 1975-76 when they were still in the WHA. Overall his coaching career spanned 40 years at various levels of Canadian hockey.

Selanne’s induction seemed to be an obvious one, but for Andreychuk and Recchi it ends what were pretty lengthy waits to finally have their names called.

Prior to Monday’s announcement, Recchi, Selanne and Andreychuk were the only retired players in the top-30 of the NHL’s all-time points list to not already be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Eskimos Lose Sherritt For Season

Image result for jc sherritt

JC Sherritt, the Edmonton Eskimos middle linebacker and defensive captain, is finished for the season after rupturing the Achilles tendon in his left leg during the season-opening Edmonton win over the B.C. Lions on Saturday.

Sherritt, the CFL’s most outstanding defensive player in 2012, is in his seventh year with the team. He came up lame on a second-quarter play that didn’t see any contact with him.

It is rumoured the Eskimos may sign former Argos and Riders linebacker Greg Jones to replace him.

Riders Getting Ready To Show Mosaic Stadium To The World

The official unveiling of Mosaic Stadium is now less than a week away.

On Saturday night, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will show off their brand new 278 million dollar home to the nation when the green-and-white open up against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the first official CFL game at the facility.

Riders president and CEO Craig Reynolds can’t wait.

“We’re excited to show the country what we’ve done here and what the province has accomplished ,'” Reynolds told reporters Monday morning. “We think its the best building in Canada, it is world-class and it is iconic so to unveil it on Canada’s 150 birthday is quite exciting.

Reynolds adds the game will be a significant one in the team’s storied history with the opening of the stadium.

He says this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that it will be an amazing day for Rider Nation and its fans.

Game time Saturday night is 7 PM.

Something To "Mitch" About

GREAT DEBUT -- Well done CFL!  The first week of games were tremendous with the first three coming right down to the last play before we knew what the verdict was going to be. You can't really ask for anything better than that as a fan. Yes, those who bleed green-and-white wish the last play of their game would have been better, but Week 1 was full of excitement.   While the Toronto-Hamilton game was a one-sided affair, you can see Ricky Ray could be re-juvenated under Marc Trestman the way Anthony Calvillo was, and SJ Green was SJ Green which is bad news for secondaries and defensive co-ordinators around the league.

Say what you will about him, but Corey Chamblin had the Argos defence looking good as well,  Let us also remember it is also Week 1.  I think it is safe to say though that if we can get games like what we saw this weekend it will be good for the CFL as a whole.

KICKERS -  Rider Nation isn't the only one gnashing their teeth over the late game play of kickers. Safe to say, it wasn't a good week for those guys. Alphabet in Toronto had a kick blocked that went back for a touchdown, but that wasn't when the game was on the line.  We know what Crapigna did, and he had company with the usually-dependable Rene Paredes and BC's Ty Long.  Long's performance made me wonder if Wally was looking through his contacts to see if he still had Paul McCallum's number.  Rider radio analyst Luc Mullinder sent out a tweet Saturday night saying Week 1 kicking in the CFL has been ____________!  I'm guessing we know what some of the answers were.

CAN THAT STATEMENT BE REVIEWED? --  On Saturday night, TSN's Farhan Lalji came on saying he had spoken to Glen Johnson about two controversial calls that were not changed even though they probably should have been in the Riders-Montreal game and the Calgary-Ottawa game. The reason being they weren't "egregious" enough. Excuse me?!

Johnson told Lalji  |They want replay to be just about egregious calls that have been missed, they don’t want grey area. So if it takes two-and-a-half to three minutes to make sure the call gets exactly right, that means that call was too close to overturn."

He goes on to say "Those were not egregious calls. In the minute, minute-and-a-half we want to take to make these decisions in an effort to speed up replay, not slow down the pace of the game, those calls did not meet the standard for obvious, egregious mistakes and we’re just not going to overturn those types of calls. That’s going to be something people around the league are going to have to get used to.'”

I'll just leave that there and let you react accordingly.

WHO IS NUMBER TWO? -  Sportsnet is asking Blue Jays fans to rank the top 40 players to have worn the Toronto uniform. There is no doubt Robbie Alomar will be number one when all is said and done. Who is number two though?  Roy Halladay would get my vote.  If they're going to retire Mark Buehrle's # in Chicago, then perhaps it is Toronto's time to retire another number other than the 12 once worn by Alomar.  In thinking about it, and by no means is this gospel---the top 5 Jays in my mind would be Alomar, Halladay, George Bell, Joe Carter and Dave Stieb.

WHO WON THE NHL DRAFT - I don't know if one team won the draft, but one country did. When did Finnish hockey become so popular?  12 Finns went in the first two rounds. Compare that to the entire Quebec Junior Hockey League who only saw 14 players get drafted in total.  I like what Vegas did, I like what Columbus did in getting Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad and I liked St. Louis' draft. The kid they took at 20--Robert Thomas--was the guy I was hoping to see fall to Edmonton at 22.  I also like Calgary's acquistion of Travis Hamonic although it was a little steep when it came to the price they paid for him. Is the Battle of Alberta coming back. You bet it is!

ONE PICTURE TELLS A THOUSAND WORDS - When the U of R Rams lost to the UBC Thunderbirds in a Canada West semi-final last season, it was my last game at the venerable Taylor Field. As the clock wound down in what was an upset, I started to realize it was my last game.  As I wandered from the 620 CKRM broadcast booth down to the press box, I knew what had to be done to say good-bye. I grabbed a Sharpie from U of R Sports Information Officer Braden Konschuh and went to the seat where I had watched so many games scrawling a simple message on the window where I had seen the highs and lows of Riders football...

Image may contain: one or more people and indoor 

The message simply said "Thanks for the Memories Mosaic".  Imagine my surprise when I grabbed the "Field of Dreams" insert in Saturday's LP and found that scribbling inside the pages. Page 39 to be exact as Rob Vanstone had taken a picture of it to use in a story about the old girl. It is obviously the highlight of the booklet which needs to be looked at if you are a Rider fan. Thanks to Rob and whoever at the LP for immortalizing that tribute. 

That's all I got. Have a great week!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Two Pats Taken In NHL Draft

Saturday was a big day for two members of the Regina Pats as Jake Leschyshyn and Nick Henry heard their names get called at the NHL Draft in Chicago.

Leschyshyn was the first to go as he was taken with the last pick of the 2nd round, 62nd overall, by the Vegas Golden Knights.


With the first pick of the 4th round, the Colorado Avalanche selected Nick Henry as he went 84th overall.

Two former Pats also heard their name get called on Saturday.  Lane Zablocki was selected in the 3rd round by the Detroit Red Wings with the 79th pick while Jordan Hollett was taken in the 6th round with the 183rd pick by the Ottawa Senators.

 The Western Hockey League is proud to announce 33 WHL players have been selected in the 2017 NHL Draft, which concluded today at the United Center in Chicago.

The seven WHL players selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft represented the most prospects provided out of any league in the world during the opening round of the draft. The 33 WHL players selected in the 2017 NHL Draft represented the second-most prospects provided out of any league in the world.

The Canadian Hockey League (WHL, OHL, QMJHL), as a whole, provided 89 of the 217 draft picks this year. In addition, 14 of the 31 first-round selections developed this season in the Canadian Hockey League.

Here are the WHL'ers who were taken:

 Round One (7)
#2 – Nolan Patrick (C) – Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#6 – Cody Glass (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#9 – Michael Rasmussen (C) – Detroit Red Wings; Tri-City Americans; Surrey, B.C.
#14 – Cal Foote (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Engelwood, Col.
#16 – Juuso Valimaki (D) – Calgary Flames; Tri-City Americans; Nokia, Finland
#22 – Kailer Yamamoto (RW) – Edmonton Oilers; Spokane Chiefs; Spokane, Wash.
#29 – Henri Jokiharju (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Portland Winterhawks; Oulu, Finland

Round Two (5)
#33 – Kole Lind (RW) – Vancouver Canucks; Kelowna Rockets; Shaunavon, Sask.
#40 – Aleksi Heponiemi (C) – Florida Panthers; Swift Current Broncos; Tampere, Finland
#41 – Jaret Anderson-Dolan (C) – Los Angeles Kings; Spokane Chiefs; Calgary, Alta.
#56 – Josh Brook (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Moose Jaw Warriors; Roblin, Man.
#62 – Jake Leschyshyn (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Regina Pats; Grasswood, Sask.

Round Three (6)
#67 – Morgan Geekie (C) – Carolina Hurricanes; Tri-City Americans; Strathclair, Man.
#68 – Scott Walford (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Victoria Royals; Coquitlam, B.C.
#73 – Stelio Mattheos (RW) – Carolina Hurricanes; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#78 – Stuart Skinner (G) – Edmonton Oilers; Lethbridge Hurricanes; Edmonton, Alta.
#79 – Lane Zablocki (RW) – Detroit Red Wings; Red Deer Rebels; Wetaskain, Alta.
#87 – Cale Fleury (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Kootenay ICE; Calgary, Alta.

Round Four (5)
#94 – Nick Henry (RW) – Colorado Avalanche; Regina Pats; Portage la Prairie, Man.
#97 – Mason Shaw (C) – Minnesota Wild; Medicine Hat Tigers; Wainwright, Alta.
#98 – Nikita Popugaev (LW) – New Jersey Devils; Prince George Cougars; Moscow, Russia
#110 – Ian Scott (G) – Toronto Maple Leafs; Prince Albert Raiders; Calgary, Alta.
#122 – Kyle Olson (RW) – Anaheim Ducks; Tri-City Americans; Calgary, Alta.

Round Five (3)
#128 – Tyler Steenbergen (C) – Arizona Coyotes; Swift Current Broncos; Sylan Lake, Alta.
#140 – Zach Fischer (RW) – Calgary Flames; Medicine Hat Tigers; Lloydminster, Alta.
#149 – Jarret Tyszka (D) – Montreal Canadiens; Seattle Thunderbirds; Langley, B.C.

Round Six (4)
#159 – Jacob McGrew (RW) – San Jose Sharks; Spokane Chiefs; Orange, Calif.
#163 – Brett Davis (RW) – Dallas Stars; Kootenay ICE; Oakbank, Man.
#166 – Brendan De Jong (D) – Carolina Hurricanes; Portland Winterhawks; Victoria, B.C.
#183 – Jordan Hollett (G) – Ottawa Senators; Medicine Hat Tigers; Port Moody, B.C.

Round Seven (3)
#194 – Dylan Ferguson (G) – Dallas Stars; Kamloops Blazers; Lantzville, B.C.
#198 – Skyler Mckenzie (LW) – Winnipeg Jets; Portland Winterhawks; Sherwood Park, Alta.
#204 – Daniel Bukac (D) – Boston Bruins; Brandon Wheat Kings; Most, Czech Republic

***Photos Courtesy Keith Hershmiller

This And That---the Saturday Edition

It's one day late due to the Riders game, but welcome to Saturday. Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order.

--What a shot to the onions Thursday's CFL opener provided to Rider Nation. Hey, its not like other games against Montreal have come down to a field goal that hasn't turned out well for you right? SIGHHHH!  What could have been an optimistic week for Canada's team and its crazed fanbase turned out being another knife-throwing affair in the waning hours of Thursday night and Friday.

All Tyler Crapigna had to do was kick the game-winning 45 yard field goal and the Riders would have been 1-0 and there would have been a good feeling surrounding the team, but nope!  No wind and straight down the middle. He has done that before and he will do it again, but on this night it wasn't going to happen.

Crapigna has made game winning kicks for the team before, and he will again.  On this night, it wasn't to be though which is too bad because the Riders outplayed the Alouettes, but they didn't get the two points.  You can complain about Chris Jones bringing in Brandon Bridge and the clock management all you want as well as other things, but at the end of the day, a play that should have been made wasn't made.  Players will tell you one play does not make a game and they are right, but on this night the one play that needed to be made wasn't so we move on to Winnipeg and hope the first official CFL game at Mosaic Stadium does not go down in the history books as a win for the Bombers.

Crapigna isn't alone as we found out Friday night in a Grey Cup rematch. Rene Paredes had the game on his foot and he failed to come through as well as Calgary and Ottawa played to a tie.  It brought up my problem with CFL overtime which is teams need to start possession at the 45 yard line or 55 yard line.  After Calgary intercepted an Ottawa pass, all they had to do was run two simple plays and kick a field goal.  By putting the ball at the 45 or 55, you make them have to earn at least a first down before having a reasonable shot at a field goal.  It's too easy to get points from the 35.

As for video review, TSN's Chris Cuthbert put it the best after another highly questionable call by the command centre when he put "CFL Video Review needs to be reviewed" on his Twitter account, Yes it does Chris, yes it does.   Hey, at least the first two games of the season have gone right down to the last play though right?

 --A question for the CFL from the warped mind of Twitter follower "Jock Cartier".  With no commissioner, whose signature is on the CFL football this year?

--Jordan Eberle is a New York Islander. A fickle fan base turned on Eberle because they didn't want to remember what he had done over a seven year time, but what he did over a two month period.  Why did Eberle become the whipping boy in the playoffs when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had just as bad a playoff?  In a bad year, Ebs still scored 20 but in the end it didn't matter as he was sent away for Ryan Strome.  Yes, I would have liked to seen more, but the trade allowed for the return of Kris Russell and perhaps another piece in either a trade or free agency.  You might have not been able to get the same return for RNH as you did for Eberle, but it will be tougher to fill Jordan's skates and his offensive production.  He'll score 25-30 if not more playing alongside John Tavares in a conference that isn't as tough.

--I just want to make sure I have this right. The Arizona Coyotes went to the NHL draft and they were there without A) a head coach B) no president of hockey operations C) no #1 goalie unless you want to give that to Antti Raanta whom they traded for along with Derek Stepan to the Rangers for the  #7 pick and  D) no captain.  What a hot mess!  Speaking of hot messes, how about the Vancouver Canucks who tweeted out just hours before the draft that they will be re-tooling their scouting staff after the draft and free agency.  ?????  Get excited Vancouver!!  Congratulations as Trevor Linden and Jim Benning have taken over for Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe as biggest front office dunces that used to be former players.

--Was the torch officially passed from Sidney Crosby to Connor McDavid as the face of the NHL Wednesday night when  the Oilers captain won the NHL's MVP award?  I don't know if you can really do that until McDavid has the Stanley Cup in his possession whenever that may be especially if Pittsburgh continues to be a strong contender for hockey's holy grail.  I will ask this though.  At the NHL Awards this week, players were asked if you could start a team today what player would you start with and the majority answered McDavid. Connor voted for Carey Price for what its worth. The reason players are voting for McDavid is because he is much younger.  It begs the question that with the likes of Matthews, Laine, Marner and other young guns making their name known, where would you put Sid if starting a team from scratch with everybody available.  I would have to think he would be no lower than 3, Would you put Matthews ahead of him?

--How many people does it take to announce your first round draft pick?

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 23, 2017

7 WHL'ers Taken In First Round of NHL Draft

Image result for 2017 nhl draft

The Western Hockey League is proud to announce seven WHL players have been selected during the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center in Chicago Friday night.

WHL players selected in the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft included Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings (second overall, Philadelphia Flyers), Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks (sixth overall, Vegas Golden Knights), Michael Rasmussen of the Tri-City Americans (ninth overall, Detroit Red Wings), Cal Foote of the Kelowna Rockets (14th overall, Tampa Bay Lightning), Juuso Valimaki of the Tri-City Americans (16th overall, Calgary Flames), Kailer Yamamoto of the Spokane Chiefs (22nd overall, Edmonton Oilers) and Henri Jokiharju of the Portland Winterhawks (29th overall, Chicago Blackhawks).

The NHL Draft resumes Saturday morning with the second round beginning at 8 a.m. MT on Sportsnet.

In total, 14 of the 31 selections made Friday developed in the Canadian Hockey League this season. Through 51 WHL seasons, a total of 1,974 WHL players have been selected in the NHL Draft.

2017 NHL Draft – WHL Players
Overall – Player (Pos.) – NHL Team; WHL Team; Hometown            

Round One
#2 – Nolan Patrick (C) – Philadelphia Flyers; Brandon Wheat Kings; Winnipeg, Man.
#6 – Cody Glass (C) – Vegas Golden Knights; Portland Winterhawks; Winnipeg, Man.
#9 – Michael Rasmussen (C) – Detroit Red Wings; Tri-City Americans; Surrey, B.C.
#14 – Cal Foote (D) – Tampa Bay Lightning; Kelowna Rockets; Engelwood, Col.
#16 – Juuso Valimaki (D) – Calgary Flames; Tri-City Americans; Nokia, Finland
#22 – Kailer Yamamoto (RW) – Edmonton Oilers; Spokane Chiefs; Spokane, Wash.
#29 – Henri Jokiharju (D) – Chicago Blackhawks; Portland Winterhawks; Oulu, Finland

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Alouettes 17 Riders 16


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

Image result for jordan eberle

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:

CALDER TROPHY:  Auston Matthews
VEZINA TROPHY: Sergei Bobrovsky
SELKE TROPHY - Patrice Bergeron
LADY BYNG TROPHY - Johnny Gaudreau
JACK ADAMS TROPHY - John Tortorella


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

Image result for ottawa redblacks

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

Image result for ottawa redblacks grey cup

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

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

Image result for calgary olympics

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)