Monday, January 21, 2019

Many WHL'ers In Latest List of NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Draft Rankings

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The Western Hockey League announced today 48 WHL players have been listed by NHL Central Scouting in its midterm rankings in advance of the 2019 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 21-22 in Vancouver, B.C.

Headlining the list are three WHL players among the top four skaters in North America, led by forward Kirby Dach (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. / Saskatoon Blades) who is ranked second. Joining Dach in the top four are forward Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Yukon / Lethbridge Hurricanes), and defenceman Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C. / Vancouver Giants). Joining the trio in the top 10 list of North American skaters is Kootenay ICE captain Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta. / Kootenay ICE), who is ranked eighth. Mads Sogaard (Aalborg, Denmark / Medicine Hat Tigers) is the highest-ranked WHL net minder, ranked third among North American goaltenders.

Including, Dach, Cozens, Byram, and Krebs, nine WHL players are ranked inside the Top 31, including defenceman Lassi Thomson (14th – Tempere, Finland / Kelowna Rockets), forward Brett Leason (17th – Calgary, Alta. / Prince Albert Raiders), defenceman Matthew Robertson (18th – Sherwood Park, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings), forward Nolan Foote (26th– Engelwood, Colo. / Kelowna Rockets), and defenceman Kaedan Korczak (31st – Yorkton, Sask. / Kelowna Rockets).

The Kelowna Rockets lead all WHL clubs with six players ranked. In addition to Thomson, Foote, and Korczak, forwards Kyle Topping (195th – Salt Spring Island, B.C.), Alex Swetlikoff (217th – Kelowna, B.C.), and goaltender Roman Basran (11th – Vancouver, B.C.) find a place on the NHL radar. The Edmonton Oil Kings sit just behind the Rockets with five players named in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings. Four teams have a trio of players on the rankings while 10 more have a pair of players featured in the rankings.

Overall the list includes 27 forwards, 14 defencemen, and seven goaltenders from the WHL, representing 20 of the 22 WHL member Clubs. The Central Division leads all divisions with 17 players appearing on the list, while the 48 prospects are split evenly between the conferences, each claiming 24 as their own.

Of the 48 players listed in the NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings, 15 will participate at the 2019 Top Prospects game in Red Deer on January 23  


Midterm RankPlayerHeightWeightPositionAmateur Club
2Kirby Dach5’10.25”199CentreSaskatoon
3Dylan Cozens6’3.0”181CentreLethbridge
4Bowen Byram6’0.5”194DefencemanVancouver
8Peyton Krebs5’11.25”180CentreKootenay
14Lassi Thomson6’0”188DefencemanKelowna
17Brett Leason6’3.75”200CentrePrince Albert
18Matthew Robertson6’3.0”201DefencemanEdmonton
26Nolan Foote6’3.5”190Left WingKelowna
31Kaedan Korczak6’2.75”192DefencemanKelowna
37Oleg Zaytsev6’0.75186CentreRed Deer
44Adam Beckman6’0.5”168Left WingSpokane
66Reece Newkirk5’10.75”172CentrePortland
67Josh Williams6’1.0”194Right WingEdmonton
71Quinn Schmiemann6’1.75”185DefencemanKamloops
73Brayden Tracey6’0”177Left WingMoose Jaw
77Aliaksei Protas6’4.75”205CentrePrince Albert
78Jake Lee6’1.75”216DefencemanSeattle
81Sasha Mutala6’0.5”195Right WingTri-City
82Luke Toporowski5’10.75”179CentreSpokane
85Gianni Fairbrother5’11.75”194DefencemanEverett
122Luka Burzan6’0”184Right WingBrandon
128Mitchell Brown6’3.0”205DefencemanTri-City
129Henrik Rybinski6’0.5”176Right WingSeattle
132Krystof Hrabik6’4.25”218CentreTri-City
144John Ludvig6’0.5”196DefencemanPortland
145Jackson Van De Leest6’6.25”222DefencemanCalgary
151Vladimir Alistrov6’1.75”175Left WingEdmonton
156Brett Kemp6’0.5”162CentreMedicine Hat
159David Kope6’3.75”170Right WingEdmonton
160Cole Muir6’2.5”205CentreKootenay
162Martin Lang5’10.75”163Right WingKamloops
172Connor Horning6’2.75”188DefencemanSwift Current
175Cole Moberg6’2.5”187DefencemanPrince George
182Alex Morozoff5’11.75”184CentreRed Deer
195Kyle Topping5’11.25”185CentreKelowna
196Mark Kastelic6’3.5”213CentreCalgary
209Emil Malysjev6’3.0”187DefencemanSaskatoon
211Logan Barlage6’3.75”202CentreLethbridge
217Alex Swetlikoff6’2.5”188CentreKelowna
LVJacson Alexander5’9.25”178DefencemanEdmonton
LVDillon Hamaliuk6’2.75”190Left WingSeattle

For the complete list, CLICK HERE.


Midterm RankPlayerHeightWeightPositionAmateur Club
3Mads Sogaard6’6.75”192GoaltenderMedicine Hat
5Taylor Gauthier6’1.0”193GoaltenderPrince George
6Trent Miner6’0.5”182GoaltenderVancouver
11Roman Basran6’1.5”195GoaltenderKelowna
13Ethan Anders6’0.75”172GoaltenderRed Deer
17Dustin Wolf5’11.5”156GoaltenderEverett
21Jesse Makaj6’2.75”209GoaltenderKootenay

NHL Three Stars Of Week

 New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner, New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad and Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 20.

Stars of the Week, Lehner, Zibanejad, Kane


Lehner stopped 65 of the 67 shots he faced, compiling a 3-0-0 record with a 0.67 goals-against average, .970 save percentage and one shutout to lift the Islanders (29-15-4, 62 points) to their fifth straight victory overall and into first place in the Metropolitan Division. He yielded one goal in each of his first two outings for the week, making 30 saves in a 2-1 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues Jan. 15 and 16 stops in a 4-1 triumph over the New Jersey Devils Jan. 17. Lehner then helped the Islanders record their second consecutive shutout (following a 19-save performance by Thomas Greiss Jan. 18 at WSH), turning aside all 19 shots against in a 3-0 victory over the Anaheim Ducks Jan. 20. The 27-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden, native has appeared in 26 total games this season, pacing the NHL with a 2.02 goals-against average and ranking second with a .930 save percentage to go along with a 15-7-3 record and three shutouts. Lehner also leads the League with 11 wins in his past 12 contests dating to Dec. 18 (1.30 GAA, .953 SV%, 2 SO).


Zibanejad scored the winning goal in all three of his appearances, topping the NHL with five total tallies (5-2—7) to propel the Rangers (21-20-7, 49 points) to a perfect week. Zibanejad posted 2-2—4, his fourth career four-point performance and third of the season (also Oct. 23 vs. FLA: 2-2—4 and Dec. 29 at NSH: 0-4—4), in a 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Jan. 15. He then scored once, the decisive marker, in a 4-3 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 17. Zibanejad added two more goals in a 3-2 triumph over the Boston Bruins Jan. 19, making him the second player in the Rangers’ 93-year history to record the winning goal in three consecutive team games (also Rod Gilbert: Dec. 11-17, 1966). The 25-year-old Huddinge, Sweden, native leads New York with 27 assists and 44 points in 48 total contests this season (17-27—44) – three points shy of his 72-game output from 2017-18 (27-20—47).


Kane, the top scorer on the Blackhawks (17-24-9, 43 points), registered one four-point outing and one five-point performance to lead the NHL with 4-6—10 in three games. He opened the week with 2-2—4, his eighth multi-goal effort of the season, in an 8-5 loss to the New Jersey Devils Jan. 14. Kane collected one assist in a 4-3 loss to the New York Rangers Jan. 17. He then posted 2-3—5, his second career five-point game and first since Jan. 9, 2018 (1-4—5 at OTT), in an 8-5 victory over the Washington Capitals Jan. 20. The 30-year-old Buffalo native sits fifth in the League with 29-41—70 through 49 total contests this season. That includes 7-13—20 during an active eight-game point streak, giving him the most points thus far in the 2019 calendar year.

(NHL Communications)

Bombers Re-Sign Jackson Jeffcoat

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has re-signed defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat on a two-year contract extension. Jeffcoat was to become a free agent next month.

Jeffcoat has spent the past two seasons in Winnipeg after signing as a free agent prior to the 2017 season. In 2018, the Texas product recorded five sacks, two forced fumbles and 21 defensive tackles in just 12 games, missing the other eight due to injury. Jeffcoat also recorded two sacks in each of the club’s postseason games in 2018.

“Jackson has continued to develop into a very strong pass rusher for us,” said General Manager, Kyle Walters. “He was able to come back strong after missing some time due to injury last season, and really played well in the postseason for us as well. He’s a big part of our defence up front and we are thrilled to have him back.”

In 2017, Jeffcoat’s first season in the CFL, he finished tied for the team lead in sacks with seven, while also recording one interception, one forced fumble and 36 defensive tackles.

Something To "Mitch" About

--What a day of football.  NFL Championship Sunday was better than what we thought it could be with two overtime games in what was a drama-filled seven hours.  In the end, we saw Tom Brady do what he has done so many times before, we saw an absolutely egregious non-call and arguably a game-changing call and we get boneheaded plays (thanks Dee Ford) and a horrible example of time management (thanks Sean Payton) with the never-ending NFL overtime format debate to cap it off.

Let's start with overtime.  The NFL overtime format isn't perfect, but I would rather have it than the CFL one.  If you lose the coin toss, it is up to your defence to keep the other team out of the endzone. A field goal is OK, but a touchdown isn't/  KC had numerous chances on 3rd and long to either have New England punt or kick a field goal.  Yes, KC doesn't get a chance to touch the ball, but they would if the defence does its job which they didn't.

In the CFL, you start way too deep in the other team's end and can basically not move the ball and still line up for a 42 yard field goal.  Start at your own 35 and we would have a much better debate.

How much of the overtime hate comes from the fact New England won? Would we be feeling that way had Kansas City won?  Was the overtime hate there in the LA-Saints game?

--Sean Payton can moan and groan all he wants about a bad no pass interference call which it was, but in the end he has no one to blame but himself.  After getting the ball on the LA 13 following a long completion to Ted Ginn, the Saints had the game in the bag.   On first down, the Saints tried passing which was incomplete thus stopping the clock. Why? A run with Mark Ingram or Alvin Kamara keeps the clock running.  The same on the controversial 3rd down incompletion to Tommy Lee Lewis.  Run the ball, make the Rams use their timeout and let the clock tick down.  They took a grand total of 11 seconds on their three plays after the two minute warning thus allowing the Rams to have lots of time and a timeout to go back down and tie it.  Moan and groan all you want about the NFL admitting to a mistake Sean, but you need to admit to your fan base that you made one too and it cost you the season.

--I wasn't surprised to see Jeremy O'Day get named as the new general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Friday.  Craig Reynolds may have told him he wasn't the guy back in 2015 when he hired Chris Jones, but the Riders president/CEO couldn't say no this time around.  O'Day didn't pick up his laptop and go elsewhere.  He very well could have, but he wanted to stick around and learn from Jones. He had opportunities to go elsewhere, but he didn't.  He knew this day would come and it has.  I'm sure like every other GM in the history of this province, every move will be scrutinized, but he will do his best to keep the team on the plateau it is on and get it to the desired level.   That may be easier said than done, but I am excited to see what he does with the football club.

--Reynolds indicated Friday during the press conference when asked if the football team had gotten the wool pulled over its eyes by Jones when this "out" clause was established in his contract extension that he already had it in.  This doesn't surprise me.  I would think all teams would allow their head coaches an out clause to another league or the NCAA.  Why wouldn't they?  The truth of the matter is no one cared if Jones had an out clause until talk first surfaced of it.  Once that talk started, everyone had to know and when the extension was signed, that question was answered because everyone would want to know.   There are some out there that think Jones knew exactly what he was doing and what the future held, and that he protected his staff by giving them time, but we'll never know the answer.

--While Marc Trestman and Paul Lapolice are the 1-2 candidates amongst Rider Nation to succeed Jones as head coach, one can't ignore Craig Dickenson.   He is ready to become a CFL head coach.  Hiring him would not upset the apple cart tremendously as he brings some stability..  Add that to the fact that this inane CFL coaches salary cap hamstrings the team somewhat means he would be a nice fit.  It just asks the question as to who the defensive co-ordinator might be.  Would they promote Jason Shivers to the position?  I don't see why they wouldn't take a good thorough look to see if he is ready to take that responsibility. The Dickenson argument became stronger Sunday afternoon when we found out the Bombers aren't giving permission to the Riders to speak to Lapo in a decision that reportedly has him a little hot under the collar. 

Its interesting to note that when Lapolice left the Riders in 2010 to become Winnipeg's head coach that the hiring was made on February 4.  The Bombers can't say its too late, because it wasn't too late back in 2010   Verrrrrrry Winnipegish!  I get the feeling this decision may be one that will cause ripples in the Bombers room. How can it not?

--I laugh at those who are so happy Jones is no longer here.  I go back to day one when he said "I'm not here to win popularity contests, I am here to win championships.".  That is a mantra every coach should have.  Sorry, but this folksy mentality that we have here where we can walk up to the coach or the players in the Co-Op and have a conversation with them is over.  The want to "live in the past" is something that has to go.

Jones didn't win any popularity contests, he didn't win championships either, but in his time here the football team showed tremendous growth and is a far better one than the one he inherited.   That can't be argued!  At the end of the day, I want success and not whether or not the guy comes off as arrogant or not what you want him to be.  He was all business and didn't worry one bit about how he had to be perceived.  He put in the work and when he felt the time was right to make a move he did.  We will never know what the 2019 Riders would do under his watch, but one would have to believe it would have went well.

--I was asked Saturday if this team would have won the Grey Cup had Zach Collaros not been hurt.  I don't know the answer to that question, but its a great one. I do believe they would have beaten the Bombers in the West semi.  Could they have gone into Calgary and knocked off Bo Levi and the Stamps and followed that up with a win over Ottawa?  I think they could have beaten the Stamps, but Ottawa seemed to have their number this year.  I think the REDBLACKS might have won a close one.

--Who had the New York Islanders having as many points as the Maple Leafs at this point in the season.  John who?  Weren't the Islanders supposed to sink further into oblivion when John Tavares left for the Leafs.  Barry Trotz has done a magnificent job with that team.   You can talk Bill Peters in Calgary for the league's top coach right now, but my vote goes to Trotz.   Wouldn't you love to somehow see an Islanders-Leafs playoff series.

--Stick a fork in the Oilers.  They are done.  How bad did they look against the Flames and Hurricanes on home ice this weekend.  Fire Peter Chiarelli now and start looking for someone.  Why wait? The all-star break would be a perfect time to say see ya!

--A great weekend for Cougars basketball as they went out to Kamloops with each team getting sweeps over Thompson Rivers.  The men's team had a couple of huge performances including a huge comeback win Friday night.  The final regular season weekend is Feb 1 and 2 against the U of S and then playoffs start.  I'm excited to see how far this team can get in playoffs.

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

Sunday, January 20, 2019

NFL Conference Championship Preview

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The final four teams are set and this Sunday will determine the two teams heading to Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.

NFC Championship Game
Los Angeles Rams
New Orleans Saints
3:05 PM ET
AFC Championship Game
New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs
6:40 PM ET

Championship Sunday begins with the NFC title game, presented by Intuit Turbo Tax Live, between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints followed by the AFC Championship Game, presented by Intuit Turbo Tax Live, featuring the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs. The top two seeds in each conference advanced to the Conference Championship games for the first time since 2015 and for just the eighth time in the 29 seasons since the 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990.
During the 2018 regular season, the Chiefs led the league with a scoring average of 35.3 points per game, followed by the Rams (32.9), Saints (31.5) and Patriots (27.3). This Sunday will mark the first time in the Super Bowl era in which the four highest scoring teams in the regular season all advanced to the Conference Championships.

However, in the Divisional round, defense loomed large as each of the four remaining teams came up with big defensive plays on their way to victory. In the NFC, New Orleans cornerback MARSHON LATTIMORE had two interceptions, including the game-sealing pick in the fourth quarter, while the Rams defense came up with a fourth-down stop in their own territory to begin the fourth quarter against Dallas that led to the eventual game-winning touchdown. In the AFC, Kansas City linebackerJUSTIN HOUSTON recorded two sacks and a forced fumble in the Chiefs win over Indianapolis last weekend while New England held the Chargers to 19 rushing yards in their Divisional round victory.

The Conference Championship games features a rematch of memorable 2018 regular season games and are highlighted by their quarterbacks, as each matchup includes an all-time great against an outstanding young star.

At the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Saints quarterback DREW BREES, the league’s all-time leading passer, faces off against Rams third-year quarterback JARED GOFF. In their Week 9 meeting, a 45-35 win by New Orleans, Brees passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns while Goff totaled 391 passing yards and three touchdowns.

In the AFC, Patriots quarterback TOM BRADY, the NFL’s all-time postseason leader in wins (28), passing yards (10,569) and touchdown passes (72), heads to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City to take on Chiefs second-year quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES, who became the third quarterback to record at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season. In their Week 6 meeting, a 43-40 win by New England, Brady passed for 340 yards and had two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) while Mahomes recorded 352 passing yards and four touchdown passes.

LOS ANGELES RAMS (14-3) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (14-3) (Sunday, FOX, 3:05 PM ET)      
  • The Rams and Saints meet in the postseason for the second time. In the two teams’ only postseason meeting, the Saints defeated the Rams 31-28 in the 2000 NFC Wild Card Playoffs (December 30, 2000).
  • The Rams hold a 41-34 advantage in 75 all-time meetings between the clubs (including the postseason). The teams last played in Week 9 (November 4), with the Saints winning 45-35.
  • The Rams have advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the tenth time in franchise history. The Rams’ most recent NFC Championship Game appearance was in 2001 against Philadelphia (January 27, 2002).
  • Rams running backs C.J. ANDERSON (123 rushing yards, two touchdowns) andTODD GURLEY (115 rushing yards, one touchdown) each eclipsed 100 rushing yards in the Divisional Playoffs, becoming the first duo of running back teammates to each rush for at least 100 yards in a playoff game since the 1997 Wild Card Round (Denver running backs TERRELL DAVIS and DEREK LOVILLE vs. Jacksonville, December 27, 1997).
  • Gurley leads the NFL with 22 scrimmage touchdowns and 18 rushing scores this season (including the playoffs).
  • The Rams, who led the NFC in total offense in the regular season, recorded 459 net yards of offense in the Divisional Round, a franchise postseason record. Los Angeles’ 273 rushing yards in the Divisional Round also marked a postseason franchise record.
  • Los Angeles won the NFC West for the second consecutive season and the team’s 13 wins are the most for the franchise since 2001, when the team won the NFC and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVI.
  • The Rams had four players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: defensive tackle AARON DONALD, quarterback JARED GOFF, running back TODD GURLEY and special teamer CORY LITTLETON.
  • The Saints have advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the third time in franchise history. New Orleans previously played in the NFC Championship Game in 2009 (January 24, 2010) and 2006 (January 21, 2007).
  • New Orleans wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS caught 12 passes for 171 yards in the Divisional Round. His 171 receiving yards were a single-game franchise postseason record.
  • Saints quarterback DREW BREES threw for 301 yards last week and holds the NFL record for the most 300-yard passing games, including the postseason (123 games).
  • New Orleans captured the NFC South for the second consecutive season, the first time in franchise history they have won back-to-back division titles, and earned a first-round bye for the first time since 2009. The team’s 13 regular-season wins match a franchise record and are the most since 2011.
  • The Saints had five players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: tackle TERRON ARMSTEAD, quarterback DREW BREES, defensive end CAMERON JORDAN, wide receiver MICHAEL THOMAS and center MAX UNGER.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (12-5) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (13-4) (Sunday, CBS, 6:40 PM ET)      
  • The Patriots and Chiefs meet in the postseason for the second time. New England won the previous meeting, 27-20, in the 2015 Divisional Round (January 16, 2016).
  • The Chiefs lead the all-time series (including postseason), 18-15-3. The teams last played in Week 6 (October 14), a 43-40 Patriots victory.
  • New England has advanced to its eighth consecutive AFC Championship Game and are the first team since the 1970 merger to play in eight consecutive Conference Championship Games.
  • New England won its 10th consecutive division title, the longest streak in NFL history. The Patriots are the only team to win 15 division titles in a 16-year span.
  • The Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 41-28 last week in the Divisional Playoffs. Patriots head coach BILL BELICHICK and quarterback TOM BRADYhave won 28 postseason games together, the most in NFL history by a head coach and starting quarterback combination.
  • Belichick has advanced to 13 Conference Championship Games, the most by a head coach since the 1970 merger.
  • Brady has 28 career playoff wins, the most by any starting quarterback in NFL history. Brady is also the NFL’s all-time postseason leader in career completions (954), attempts (1,508), passing yards (10,569) and touchdown passes (72). Last week against the Chargers, Brady passed for 343 yards and one touchdown for a 106.5 passer rating. He has 15 playoff games with at least 300 passing yards, the most in NFL history.
  • Patriots rookie running back SONY MICHEL rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns in his postseason debut, while running back JAMES WHITE caught 15 passes in the Divisional Round, tying an NFL postseason record (running backDARREN SPROLES, New Orleans at San Francisco, 1/14/12).
  • The Patriots had two players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: quarterback TOM BRADY and cornerback STEPHON GILMORE
  • Kansas City will play in the team’s fifth AFL/AFC Championship Game and Sunday’s contest will marks the franchise’s first AFC Championship Game appearance since 1993 (January 23, 1994 at Buffalo). The Chiefs are 3-1 in the club’s previous four appearances.
  • Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES led the NFL with 50 touchdown passes this season, joining TOM BRADY (50 in 2007) and PEYTON MANNING (55 in 2013) as the only quarterbacks with at least 50 touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.
  • Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE caught seven passes for 108 yards in the Divisional Round. In the regular season, Kelce had 1,336 receiving yards, the second-most in a single season all-time by a tight end.
  • Defensive lineman CHRIS JONES ranked third in the NFL this season with 15.5 sacks and had at least one sack in 11 consecutive games (Weeks 5-16), the longest streak in a single season since the individual sack became an official statistic in 1982.
  • The Chiefs had six players selected to the 2019 Pro Bowl: tackle ERIC FISHER, outside linebacker DEE FORD, wide receiver TYREEK HILL, tight end TRAVIS KELCE, quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES and fullback ANTHONY SHERMAN
(NFL Communications)

Saturday, January 19, 2019

REDBLACKS Deny Riders Permission To Speak with Elizondo

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders requested to interview Ottawa Redblacks offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo for their vacant head coach position but permission was denied, according to TSN Football Insider Dave Naylor.

Naylor noted Elizondo previously interviewed for the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts head coaching openings in December, so the issue appears to be the request was made too late in the off-season.

Elizondo has been the Redblacks' offensive coordinator the past three seasons. Prior to that he coached with the Argos.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Riders Name O'Day As New GM and VP Of Football Operations

Saskatchewan Roughriders President & CEO Craig Reynolds announced today the Club has named Jeremy O’Day vice-president of football operations & general manager.

“I am very pleased to announce Jeremy O’Day as the franchises next general manager,” stated Riders President & CEO Craig Reynolds. “Jeremy is a true leader and highly respected throughout the CFL.”

“I have complete confidence he will continue to guide our team in the right direction. He is a quality person and more than ready to assume this position.”

This is O’Day’s second tenure as the Riders’ general manager after he was named the franchises 15th GM on August 31, 2015 – a positional he held on an interim basis for the final nine games of that season.

“First of all, I want to thank Craig Reynolds and the entire organization for the support and opportunity to be named the clubs general manager,” stated Jeremy O’Day. “I am excited to get to work and look forward to the challenges and successes that are ahead.”

The 44-year-old O’Day is entering his 21st season of consecutive service with the Roughriders.

The former Roughriders offensive lineman moved into the front office after retiring as a player in February 2011, accepting the position of football operations coordinator. In 2012 he was named assistant general manager, a position he held for the next four years.

In December of 2015, O’Day was named vice president of football operations & administration under Chris Jones. In this role, O’Day led many day-to-day football operations activities, including player evaluations, contract negotiations, and coordinating training camp, mini camps and free-agent camps. He also participated in the scouting of NFL, NCAA and U Sports games.

O’Day’s playing career in the CFL began in 1997, when he joined the Toronto Argonauts after a standout career at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He played two seasons with the Argos, winning a Grey Cup with them in 1997.In 1999, O’Day signed as a free agent with Saskatchewan and spent the next 12 seasons on the Riders’ offensive line. He started 202 regular-season games for Saskatchewan, which ranks him 12th on the club’s all-time list of games played. He also appeared in 16 playoff games and three Grey Cup games with the Roughriders, helping them win the CFL title in 2007.

O’Day won his third Grey Cup in 2013 when he was a member of Saskatchewan’s front office.

This Week In Cougar Athletics

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Friday (all times CST)
Men's Hockey – vs. Manitoba, 7:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Women's Volleyball – vs. Brandon, 7:00 PM (CKHS)
Women's Hockey – at Manitoba, 7:00 PM (Winnipeg, Man.)
Women's Basketball – at Thompson Rivers, 7:00 PM (Kamloops, B.C.)
Men's Basketball – at Thompson Rivers, 9:00 PM (Kamloops, B.C.)
Swimming – at Toronto Grand Prix, Day 1 (Toronto, Ont.)
Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open, Day 1 (Edmonton, Alta.)

Saturday (all times CST)
Men's Hockey – vs. Manitoba, 3:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Women's Hockey – at Manitoba, 4:00 PM (Winnipeg, Man.)
Women's Volleyball – vs. Brandon, 7:00 PM (CKHS)
Women's Basketball – at Thompson Rivers, 7:00 PM (Kamloops, B.C.)
Men's Basketball – at Thompson Rivers, 9:00 PM (Kamloops, B.C.)
Swimming – at Toronto Grand Prix, Day 2 (Toronto, Ont.)
Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open, Day 2 (Edmonton, Alta.)

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars (8-8) moved up to .500 for the season with a critical road sweep over Saskatchewan, defeating the Huskies in five sets on Friday and in three straight sets on Saturday. Now in a three-way logjam for sixth place in the Canada West standings, the Cougars are back at home for the next two weekends as they continue to battle for playoff position. They'll host Brandon (3-13) on Friday and Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport with match time set for 7:00 on both nights.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars will play the first two of four consecutive home games this weekend, as they'll play host to Manitoba this Friday and Saturday at The Co-operators Center. Friday's game has a 7:00 PM start time, while Saturday's game is set for a 3:00 PM afternoon start. Coming off a pair of losses to Saskatchewan in a home-and-home last weekend, the Cougars (3-16-1) will host the No. 2-ranked Alberta Golden Bears on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26 to finish off the four-game homestand.

Women's Basketball (U SPORTS Ranking: No. 9) – The Cougars (11-3) took a pair of big home wins over UBC Okanagan last weekend, recording an 86-53 win on Friday and an 82-43 win on Saturday. That clinched a playoff berth for the Cougars as they'll head to the postseason for the 24th consecutive year, continuing a streak that began way back in 1996. The Cougars hit the road for the next two weekends, starting this Friday and Saturday in Kamloops, B.C. against a Thompson Rivers team that will come in with a 4-10 conference record.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars improved their conference record to 10-4 with two home wins over UBC Okanagan on Friday and Saturday. They dominated the Heat for a 92-53 victory to open the weekend set, but had to hold off a late Heat challenge for an 82-77 win on Saturday. This weekend, the U of R will face a Thompson Rivers team that's right in the thick of the Canada West playoff race. The Cougars and the WolfPack (6-8) will meet in Kamloops, B.C. starting at 7:00 PT on both Friday night and Saturday night.

Women's Hockey – The Cougars split with No. 10-ranked Saskatchewan last weekend in a home-and-home, losing 4-1 in Saskatoon on Friday but getting a Jordan Kulbida goal in the eighth round of the shootout to come away with a 2-1 win over the Huskies on Saturday. The Cougars (7-8-2-3) will also face ranked opposition the next two weekends, starting this Friday and Saturday with a pair of road games against the No. 3-ranked Manitoba Bisons. Game times are set for 7:00 on Friday night and 4:00 on Saturday afternoon at the Wayne Fleming Arena on the U of M campus.

Track & Field – The Cougars had their first meet of the 2019 calendar year over the weekend as the teams headed up to Saskatoon to compete in the Sled Dog Meet. Greg Hetterley had the highlight for the U of R, as he won the 1000-metre run in a time of 2:27.94 that gives him the early No. 1 ranking in all of U SPORTS in the event. The Cougars will send a full team up to Edmonton this weekend to compete in the Golden Bear Open.

Swimming (Men's U SPORTS Ranking: No. 10) – The Cougars return to the pool for their first competitive meet since late November, as they'll head east to participate in the two-day Toronto Grand Prix hosted at the University of Toronto on Friday and Saturday. They won't be getting back into the water completely rusty, though – the team spent two weeks in late December and early January training in Arizona.

(Braden Konschuh/U of R Athletics)