Friday, January 30, 2015

Dressler Is Back

The Saskatchewan Roughriders today announced international wide receiver Weston Dressler has agreed to a four year contract extension to remain with the team. As per club policy financial terms of the contract were not released.
Dressler (5’7 – 179) has spent his entire seven year pro career with the Green and White after originally entering the Canadian Football League in 2008. He again re-signed with the team as a free agent in August, 2014 after attending training camp with NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.   

After 107 career regular season games the 29-year-old sits third in franchise history with 469 receptions and 6,856 yards, while his 44 receiving touchdowns rank fifth all-time.

The Bismarck, North Dakota native has surpassed the 1,000 yard receiving mark in five of his seven seasons, has been named a West Division All-Star four times (2009, 2011-13), a CFL All-Star twice (2012-13) and won the 2013 Grey Cup championship.

Last season, the University of North Dakota product played nine regular season games registering 27 receptions for 320 yards and a touchdown. He also added 27 punt returns for 338 yards and two touchdowns.  

Dressler was eligible to become a free agent on February 10th.

(Photo Courtesy Saskatchewan Roughriders) 

This And That

The weekly assortment of thoughts running through my muddled brain, and as always there is no particular order

--The Edmonton Oilers had the three sons of the fallen RCMP officer in St, Albert drop the puck Tuesday night just one day after they witnessed a full regimental funeral for their father. It was an extremely classy move by the Oilers and an extremely classy move by Oilers captain Andrew Ference to actually take time to speak with each of them instead of the obligatory handshake.

--Unlike a lot of you, I am not worried about the fact Weston Dressler has not signed yet with the Riders. He will!

--Tell the truth, you had no idea there was a Kris Bastien on the Riders until he was traded Thursday. I see Watson being a backup behind both Dressler and Getzlaf inside and while some think his arrival may mean the end of Rams receiver Addison Richards being drafted, I still think the Riders grab him if they can. However, I don't think they move up to get him anymore and that may mean they're out of luck.  Speaking of Getzlaf, with all due respect to #89 and to Montreal Gazette beat writer Herb Zurkowsky. I don't think Getz is making 225-thousand dollars.

--It won't matter because Shea Emry has told Tyron Brackenridge he will get a new number, but how about those two stepping into the octagon with the winner getting the number, That would be a great battle.

--The Regina Pats played baseball on Wednesday before leaving for Cranbrook in an effort to change things up. What a great idea! I'm guessing some of the Euros had no idea what they were doing,

--A decision by Regina council Monday night showed that as progressive as we think we are, we are still in the stone ages. When someone does all the paperwork needed and has everything approved, it should be rubber-stamped yet council took a business opportunity away from someone. I realize that business is a controversial one, but if people want to support said business they should be allowed to and if they don't, they don't. Will this happen the next time someone wants to bring a strip club into Regina? Will they be cut off at the knees and if so why bother because the message has been sent. As for those outraged at this idea, where were you when the government changed liquor laws and don't tell me you didn't know because you did.

--What the hell happened to Mike Richards?

--On the other end of the spectrum, what the hell is happening to Gordie Howe because that stem cell treatment he received has done wonders for Mr. Hockey it would seem. I can't imagine what it will be like in Saskatoon when he is introduced at the Kinsmen Sports Dinner. What's the world record for a standing ovation?

--Could the Leafs send either Dion Phaneuf or Phil Kessel to Arizona and get Max Domi in return? Domi should be a Maple Leaf.

  --I'll just say it right now. If I am a team in the Western Conference and I am going to the playoffs, I am hoping my opponent is not the Winnipeg Jets.

  --Why Budweiser Why? Why must you make commercials at Super Bowl time that get my allergies going. If you haven't seen what the beer giant has put out for this year's game, you will Sunday and your allergies might start up again too.

--Imitation is indeed the greatest form of flattery.

--Some woman from Ontario said she needed to get a pizza brought to her in Regina from home because she's not down with Regina pizza. ??????????. Wait a minute, ??????????????????????With all due respect, this woman has no idea what she is talking about. There are several great establishments in this city for some 'za and for me the discussion usually starts and ends with Tumblers which is the crème de la crème of za's for this cowboy. They just don't make them any better than what Jimmy Baiton and the boys do.

--Sportscage NFL insider Jim Lang said it the best on Wednesday while doing his weekly NFL appearance regarding Marshawn Lynch. There are many other players and coaches for both teams that you can talk to so why don't you. Reporters are just egging the Seattle running back on and he loves every second of it. He has talked to many people. Would I love to get a crack at talking to Lynch. Hell yeah! Would I rather do it in a scenario other than Super Bowl week----absolutely!

--Speaking of Super Bowl Week, how about the garb worn by the author of the Monday Morning quarterback column that can be seen at and a regular on NBC's Sunday Night Football, Mr. Peter King.

You may remember King was at Mosaic Stadium for the season opener. Thanks Peter! Many are reppin the /=S=/ throughout North America and the World and we can add your name to that list. I think this makes him a member of Rider Nation, 

--It was great being on Twitter Wednesday and seeing the #BellLetsTalk hashtag. Mental health is an issue that should be 24/7/365 instead of one day, but that one day is awfully powerful by seeing how many used that hashtag. Its on days like Wednesday  that Reginans should remember the likes of Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien.

--Martin Brodeur had a shutout just about once every ten games. That is just one reason why he is the best all time in my books. I do find it surprising though he is staying with the St. Louis Blues and not taking a position with the New Jersey Devils. Is there some animosity there?

--Comedian David Spade (and I use that term loosely) was on the Dan Patrick show Thursday where his relationship with Heather Locklear was brought up. David Spade and Heather Locklear were an item? David Spade??!! Someone needs to explain that one to me.  Heather is first ballot material in the Scruffy Hall of Babes.. Who can argue?

The story about the Quebec gentleman who is not getting his share of a Lotto 7 Jackpot because the ticket was seven seconds too late is a load of crap. The ticket was bought in time and there is proof of that so just because the ticket was printed late should mean diddly. Of course, the question needs to be asked what took the gentleman so long to get his ticket. I am guessing Grandma was in front of him checking out her 20 dollars of tickets and was too obtuse not to use the ticket checker. I HATE THAT!!!
Back to Gronkville! High Impact Wrestling returns Friday night at the Hungarian Club and its the start of year two of HIW on Access with Pete Paczko and myself.  I wonder if the Gronks will realize that the Crown Corporation should be embraced and not ridiculed. If not, I will once again have to preach the message. The bell rings at 7.
That's all I got. You know I have the Seahawks to win the Super Bowl Sunday night and unlike last year, this will be a game that gets decided late.  I'm taking a 22-20 Seahawks win with kicker Steve Hauschka nailing one from about 40 yards out within the last two minutes to take the Vince for a second straight year. Win or lose, I'm thinking there won't be a Monday column.
Have a great weekend everyone!! GO SEAHAWKS!!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Riders And Bombers Swap Receivers

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have acquired national receiver Cory Watson and a 3rd round pick (26th overall) in the 2015 Canadian Draft from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
In exchange the Riders have sent national receiver Kris Bastien, a 2nd round pick (15th overall) in the 2015 Canadian Draft, and the rights to a negotiation list player to the Bombers.
Watson (6'3 - 212) has spent five seasons in Winnipeg after the Blue Bombers selected him in the 2nd round (9th overall) of the 2010 Canadian Draft.
Last season the 30-year-old Quebec native registered 21 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns in 12 regular season games.
For his career Watson has recorded 178 catches for 2,217 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 67 regular season games. He was named the Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Canadian in 2011.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX Preview

Its the Patriots and the Seahawks for the Vince on Sunday from Glendale, Arizona. For a preview of the contest, just click here

SJ Won't Be Wearing Green

The Montreal Alouettes announced on Wednesday that veteran receiver S.J. Green has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the club, which will allow Alouettes fans to keep watching one of the most spectacular receivers in the CFL for years to come.

Green (6'03'', 220 lbs.) has once again been a true leader on the Alouettes' offence in 2014 in what was yet another productive season for the 29-year-old international receiver. Green concluded the season ranked seventh among the league's receivers, amassing 835 receiving yards on 53 catches as well as four touchdowns in only fifteen outings. The eight-year veteran had playoffs to remember saving one of his best career-performances against the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton for the Eastern Division Final as he registered three touchdowns and 126 receiving yards. He tallied another touchdown a week before in a decisive 50-17 victory over the BC Lions in the Eastern Division Semi-final. As it's been the case throughout his career, Green multiplied spectacular catches all through last season and has showed what a fearsome offensive weapon he is, as well, all while developing good chemistry with quarterback Jonathan Crompton.

"S.J. is a true Alouette. He has proven that he is intelligent, dependable, tough, dynamic, and exciting. He is everything you are looking for in a player," said Alouettes General Manager, Jim Popp. "We look forward to S.J. being a tremendous leader on and off the field, as we continue to chase excellence."

Green was named an Eastern Division All-star for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. A two-time Grey Cup champion in 2009 and 2010, the Fort Lauderdale, FL native was named to the CFL All-star in 2013, following what was his best season. That year, he collected 1,197 receiving yards while scoring 13 touchdowns on 83 receptions, which was the highest total in the league. The former University of South Florida Bull had previously recorded two other 1,000-yard campaigns in 2011 (1,147 yds.) and 2012 (1,111 yds.).

Green has been a constant fixture in the Alouettes offence over the past few seasons, including the last two where he has hooked up with six different quarterbacks.

During his eight-season career in the Canadian Football League, all of them defending the Alouettes' colours, Green shows an impressive total of 368 catches for 5,518 yards and 38 touchdowns in 92 regular season games.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tyron Is "Brack" In Green

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today international safety Tyron Brackenridge has signed an extension to remain with the team. As per club policy, details of the contract were not released.   

Brackenridge (6’ – 190) will remain with the Green and White for his fifth CFL season after originally signing with the team as a free agent in October, 2011. He also re-signed with the Riders as a free agent in February, 2013. 

Last season, the California native collected 64 defensive tackles, ten special teams tackles, three interceptions, three forced fumbles, three tackles for loss, two quarterback sacks and one blocked field goal in starting all 18 regular season games. He was named a West Division and CFL All-Star for the second time in his career and second consecutive season. 

For his career, the 30-year-old Brackenridge has recorded 196 defensive tackles, 16 special teams tackles, nine interceptions and two quarterback sacks in 59 career regular season games. He won his first Grey Cup in 2013 as a member of the Riders.   

Brackenridge was eligible to become a free agent on February 10th.

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson and Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 25.
Capping a weekend that celebrated the sport and the fans, Johansen was named the MVP – via Twitter vote – of the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game. The 22-year-old Vancouver, B.C., native led Team Foligno (captained by Blue Jackets linemate Nick Foligno) with 2-2—4, including a pair of goals in the opening period, in a 17-12 loss to Team Toews Jan. 25. He also was the top pick in the 2015 NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft presented by DraftKings Jan. 23 and the winner of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Jan. 24. The Blue Jackets’ leading scorer in 2014-15, Johansen was held without a point in each of team’s two outings earlier in the week – a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild Jan. 19 and a 4-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets Jan. 21. That snapped his point streak at 13 games (8-8—16), a franchise record, career high and the longest in the NHL this season. Johansen paces the Blue Jackets (20-22-3, 43 points) with 26 assists and 43 points in 45 outings in 2014-15. He also is the only player in the NHL with two point streaks of at least 10 games this season (also Oct. 9-31: 5-8—13 in 10 GP).
            Karlsson tied for first among all players with three goals/points in two contests, helping the Senators (19-18-9, 47 points) pick up three out of a possible four standings points. He scored his ninth goal of the season in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers Jan. 20. Karlsson then found the back of the net twice, including the game-winning tally, in a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs Jan. 21. It marked Karlsson’s seventh career multi-goal game and first since Nov. 5, 2013 (2-0—2 at CBJ). Since entering the NHL in 2009-10, only Shea Weber (9) and Mike Green (8) have more multi-goal performances among defensemen. A 24-year-old Landsbro, Sweden, native, Karlsson shares first on the Senators with 11-22—33 in 46 appearances this season. His 33 points also rank sixth among all defensemen in 2014-15.
            Parise also tied for first among all skaters with three goals/points in two outings for the Wild (20-20-6, 46 points). He notched his 17th goal of the season in a 3-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets Jan. 19. Parise then recorded two markers, helping the Wild rally from a three-goal, third-period deficit in an eventual 5-4 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings Jan. 20. The 30-year-old Minneapolis, Minn., native has found the back of the net in four consecutive games (5-1—6), his longest scoring streak since Jan. 31 – Feb. 5, 2012 (5-1—6 in 4 GP). Parise leads the Wild with 19 goals in 39 contests this season and also ranks second on the club with 36 points despite missing seven games.

(NHL Media)

Something To "Mitch" About

So much for a quiet Saturday! One minute you are doing some stuff around the house and the next minute you are getting a tweet from someone asking what the hell are the Riders doing in trading Ricky Foley. Before much longer, I received the e-mail from Riders media guru Ryan Pollock saying Shea Emry was coming here for the popular defensive end.  It took me a couple of moments to properly comprehend that deal and make sure it was a one for one before going that's a good deal for the green and white albeit at a costly price. The reasons

1. The Riders needed a MLB last year and could not find one. They have now and a damn good one at that.
2. New D-C Greg Quick would have worked with Emry in Montreal when he was there. He knows what the guy brings to the table
3. A Canadian at MLB may mean the team doesn't have to start a Canadian at free safety which may bode well in the efforts to retain Tyron Brackenridge
4. Emry is 27 while Foley is 32

Losing a player of Foley's quality does hurt, but to get quality you have to give up quality and the fact Saskatchewan isn't even giving up a pick which I thought they might because of the age difference swings this ball into the Riders corner. I don't think the salaries would differ all that much but if Emry is making less than Foley, the money saved could be used to retain Brackenridge and Dressler.

UPDATE: Ricky Foley put up a thank you on his Twitter account late Sunday night. Ricky's Twitter address is @Foley4Real and it shows you how the business can suck and how much he loved playing for the Riders. It's not just words being written in this case. You can take this one to the bank as being genuine.

Its my understanding there are three teams besides the Riders who really, really, really want to have Weston Dressler playing for them. Sadly, I think the wishes of those teams(Ottawa, Winnipeg, BC) will be unfulfilled

Its also my understanding the Calgary Stampeders would love to get their hands on Rams WR Addison Richards and are trying to trade up to get him knowing he won't be there when it comes time for them pick at the end of the 1st round. With Marc Mueller and Brett Jones likely bending the ear of John Hufnagel, this doesn't surprise me one bit. I think Richards would be a great fit for the Riders. Do you? If not, what area of the ball are you looking at when it comes time to pick 6th in the 2015 draft.

Has the league given us a date for said draft? If not, why? Its OK CFL, you can tell us,

Could former Riders QB Marcus Crandell be the replacement for Bernie Schmidt as Rams O-C? I heard that over the weekend, but I don't know if I should buy into that one or not.

A weekend without football! Guess we all have to get used to the fact that after next week's Super Bowl that is it until CFL training camps begin and that is a long ways away my friends. By the way, don't say "Scruffy, you forgot about the Pro Bowl". I said football and not some glorified game that doesn't resemble the sport. The same goes with the NHL all-star game. I didn't watch a second of the festivities. I saw Ryan Johansen and Phil Kessel went 1-2 at the draft and immediately thought the Comedy Network must have been doing the draft.

How many years has Sidney Crosby skipped the all-star game? If the game's supposed biggest star doesn't want to play in it, why are we having it?

While Sidney Crosby didn't help his popularity any, Alex Ovechkin sure did. Check this story out if you haven't seen it already. Great move by Ovi and by HONDA as well.

Another World Cup of Hockey is coming. What intrigues me about this event is the under 23 team. Who will be on that team and how well will they perform? Will we as Canadians develop a hatred for the under 23's on the night we play them.

Another enjoyable weekend at the U of R watching the Cougar basketball teams do their thing. I don't know how Dave Taylor keeps doing it with a team that is one short and one player that doesn't see a lot of court time, but they keep getting victories against quality teams. The girls knocked off Alberta twice at the CKHS this weekend and while Saturday's game became a little closer than it should have been, they were by far and away the better team. The mens team lost both of their games to the Bears, but both were close contests before it Alberta's experience came through. Steve Burrows is molding a nice team and I think next year if he gets all his returnees back, they could be very formidable,

Regina--how did you like your new toy? It sounds like the unveiling of the scoreboard at the Brandt Centre and the reaction to it was all positive. Then again, after what we've had, anything above center ice would have been an improvement. The Pats have a while until their next home game and I know I won't be able to make that one. I don't think that clock is going anywhere. I'll see it at some point.

As predicted in "This and That", Roman Reigns wins the Royal Rumble. Those in Philly watching didn't like the fact Daniel Bryan did not win, but one has to think he will beat Seth Rollins for the title somewhere down the road. I'm saying right now Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase at WrestleMania by beating Lesnar after he has beaten Reigns. We'll see. Rollins wins the move of the night category for his leap from the ring to the Spanish announce table where he decimated Lesnar begging the question. Why does the Mexican announce table always get squashed at PPVs?

Congrats to Stefanie Lawton and her rink for repeating as provincial curling champs. The Saskatoon foursome will be the home rink for the Scotties in Moose Jaw and its a nice field. Rachel Homan and Jennifer Jones should be the favourites going in, but Lawton and Alberta's Val Sweeting should be right there as well and you have to figure the Ontario rink will be strong as well. Its going to be a good week of curling in Moose Jaw.

Tell me I wasn't the only one who was shifting in the chair a little uncomfortably watching Tom Brady's press conference the other day where he kept talking about how he likes his balls and how he handles his balls. Thanks Tom! They should have brought Gisele in for that one,

Cubs royalty passed away on the weekend as Ernie Banks said goodbye to us at the age of 83. He is one of the best shortstops to ever play the game and his infectious smile and attitude will definitely be missed at Wrigley Field. He seemed to be a regular there. Major League Baseball should honor Banks by having an all-doubleheader day. That would be cool!

Finally, congrats to Mark McMorris. Regina's own (can we call him that or is he Milestone's) won a pair of gold medals at the Winter X Games. I truly don't know how that kid can do what he does. I'd be dead if I tried that now or back when I was his age.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Riders Acquire Shea Emry

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have acquired national middle linebacker Shea Emry from the Toronto Argonauts. In exchange, the Riders have sent national defensive end Ricky Foley to the Argonauts.

Emry (6’ – 228) is a seven year CFL veteran; originally selected by the Montreal Alouettes in the 1st round, seventh overall, of the 2008 Canadian Draft. The Richmond, BC native spent six seasons with the Als before signing with the Toronto Argonauts as a free agent in February, 2014.

In his only season with the Argonauts Emry led the team with 72 defensive tackles while also adding five tackles for loss, four pass knockdowns, one forced fumble and one quarterback sack in starting all 18 regular season games.

For his career, the 28-year-old Emry has recorded 333 defensive tackles, 43 special teams tackles, 19 tackles for loss, 11 quarterback sacks and four interceptions in 112 regular season games. In 2012 he was named a CFL All-Star while also being nominated as the East Divisions Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Canadian.

He is a two-time Grey Cup champion having won with the Alouettes in 2009 and 2010.

World Cup Of Hockey Returning

The World Cup of Hockey is back on the international hockey calendar, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday afternoon during a press conference at Nationwide Arena.

The next edition will take place in September 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, with more than 150 NHL players expected to take part.

The two-week tournament will feature eight teams comprised of the world's best hockey players competing in a best-on-best international hockey championship. The World Cup of Hockey is a joint effort of the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

"We are thrilled to partner with the NHLPA in planning and producing what we expect will be the world's best international hockey tournament," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "The 2016 World Cup of Hockey will highlight not only our global reach, but also the skill and passion of the world's best athletes. We would like to thank our international partners - the IIHF and their members - for their cooperation in helping to make this event a reality.

"We expect the 2016 World Cup of Hockey to be the most competitive tournament of its kind, with the world's top players and best athletes," said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. "We look forward to working with the NHL, and the IIHF and its Federations on this extraordinary event. We expect that this is the initial step in a series of events that will elevate our game over the next few years, including a World Cup in 2020."

The last World Cup of Hockey was played in 2004, with the final also in Toronto. Canada defeated Finland in the championship game. The only other World Cup of Hockey was in 1996. The United States upset Canada in a three-game final, winning the final two games in Montreal after dropping the opening game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The 2016 tournament will feature national teams from six countries: Canada, the reigning Olympic champion, the United States, the Czech Republic, Russia, Sweden and Finland. The other two teams will be new to the competition: Team Europe and Team North American Youngstars.

Team Europe will feature players from across Europe outside of the four European national teams already in the tournament. Slovakia, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany will likely provide the majority of the players on the roster, but others will likely come from countries with developing national team programs, but established NHL stars, like Slovenia (Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings) and Norway (Mats Zuccarello of the New York Rangers).

The players for Team North American Youngstars will be selected from a pool of the best young hockey players from Canada and the United States. Those players age 23 and under will be available for selection exclusively by Team North American Youngstars.

Each of the eight teams will feature 23 players, 20 skaters and three goalies. The teams will be split into two groups and play a round-robin competition before moving on to a one-game semifinal round. The final round will be a best-of-three format between the two semifinal winners. Each national association will select its own team and must announce at least 16 members of its roster, including at least two goalies, no later than March 1, 2016, with the balance of each team's roster to be announced no later than June 1, 2016.

The NHL and NHLPA will jointly name each of the management teams for Team Europe and Team North American Youngstars. Those management teams will select the rosters for those teams.

The tournament be played on NHL-sized rinks using NHL rules and officiated by NHL officials.

It is anticipated that the initial portion of training camp for each team participating in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey will begin Sunday, September 4. The training camps will be conducted in the location of each team’s choosing, with each team being permitted to host at least one exhibition game at a site of its choice. During the final days of preparation leading up to the opening of the tournament, the teams will be brought together in a more central North American location for a final pre-tournament exhibition game.

Friday, January 23, 2015

This And That

--The usual assortment of thoughts running through my muddled brain in no particular order

 --Kavis Reed is back in the CFL and as a special teams co-ordinator. I'm sorry, but the last department I would have Kavis Reed in control of is my special teams. 2009 still stings. Yeah, he fell on the sword, but did he have any other choice.

 --What do the Calgary Stampeders have in store for Drew Tate this year? There are openings for Tate in this league to be a starter and he chooses to remain the backup for Bo Levi Mitchell, Does that say something about his desire to play?

--John Hufnagel is the coach of the year in the CFL and that's no surprise considering his Stampeders won the Grey Cup, but they were favoured to do that at the start of the year, Did anyone have the Eskimos finishing 2nd in the West winning 12 games? I don't think many people did which is why my vote would have gone to Chris Jones.

--Those whining about NFL overtime in the wake of Sunday's Seattle win over Green Bay make me sick. The onus is on a defence to stop the other team from getting a touchdown on the first drive. Most times these days that means 80 yards because of touchbacks. Make the defence make a play to get the ball back where their team can score just a field goal and not a TD to win. I have no problem with the CFL or NCAA style of overtime, I just wish teams would start the ball at midfield so they have to at least work for their field goal by getting a first down or two.

--Are the Leafs trying to make a late run at Connor McDavid?

--I found out this week I will be bringing you the Sportscage from the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw at the fabulous Mosaic Place from Feb 16-20. (GULP!!)  I have no idea if the usual assortment of co-hosts will be tagging along or not. I may have to put a call into Don Duguid. Who's kidding who, I'll have a plan up my sleeve.

--Masterchef Canada has a kids program. I had to ask if Fergie Olver would make a cameo since his "Just Like Mom" show was basically like Masterchef Canada Junior. Do you remember that show with Fergie and his wife? If that show came on today, he would come off as the creepiest individual on TV today----creepier than Darrell Romuld!!!  (Shot fired Patriots fan). Then again, Ferg was creepy then too.

--This winter or lack of it has been fabulous after what we've endured the past few. I still think we've got a few more days of arctic-like conditions in front of us, but its just about the end of January and we've gotten through it with flying colours.

--The New England Patriots or "Deflatriots" as one person said they should call them on Twitter are in trouble over deflating footballs for the AFC Championship game. There is talk about what type of punishment the Patriots will get for this after getting slapped for "Spygate". If the league suspended New Orleans coach Sean Payton a year for Bountygate, I would think an 8-10 game suspension and the loss of a draft pick or two would suffice here. Talk of suspending Belichick for the Super Bowl is absurd. Was it just me though or did Belichick throw his star quarterback under the bus on Thursday morning as he spoke about the situation. Was it also just me or was Belichick more believable than Tom Brady?

--I don't mean to rub the salt in the wounds of Green Bay Packers fans, but how the hell did your team lose that game Sunday? Watching it again, the Packers didn't play very well either, but they should have won the football game and would have were it not for several dumb decisions from Mike McCarthy. What the hell was he thinkin? In watching the game again, Seattle's defence played awfully well and had to to give Russell Wilson a sniff at the end.

--The Brandt Centre and the Regina Pats unveil their new scoreclock tonight. Its also a special night because after a long time away from the broadcast booth. Rod Pedersen and Al Dumba team up tonight to do another game. RP won't admit it. but he has had a twinkle in his eye as he gets set to do play by play this weekend with Phil Andrews away on family business. Nothing against Phil. but RP is one of the best behind the mic when it comes to hockey. I will be at the U of R doing the Cougar basketball games, but I may have to turn my CKRM app on at half time and in between games to hear how it sounds. By the way, I'm looking forward to seeing some great basketball at the University this weekend as the University of Alberta comes in. Dave Taylor will have his girls ready and Steve Burrows' improving mens team will give the Bears a good fight too. If you're going to the Pats game to see the clock on Friday, come to the CKHS Saturday night.

--Tweet of the week comes from the soon to be Mrs. Jon Ryan---comedian Sarah Colonna. Sarah sent this tweet to Mrs. Tom Brady---model Gisele Bundschen.

Speaking of Jon, its been an absolute pleasure to catch up with his brother Steve and his mom Barb this week. If you do not know this family, you are missing out on something because like Jon, they are  stellar, first class individuals. They are some of the best people I know and I'm sure it must be a little tough for them to get dragged into Jon's fame at this time of year as was the case last, but they are always ready to pick up a phone and have a conversation.  Steve was mistaken for Jon in the Seahawks dressing room after the win in the NFC Championship. He politely informed reporters he wasn't who they thought he was. but those reporters still asked him some questions and he ended up being the subject of a USA Today story. LOVE IT!

--I've got Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble. John Cena will beat Brock Lesnar in the main event but Lesnar will snap on Cena when its over and that will allow Seth Rollins to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase setting up Rollins-Reigns at WrestleMania.
--Falling oil prices are great for the wallet when filling up, but not so great when the dollar falls to 80 cents American and you were planning to make a trek to Wrigley Field this year. How much longer can one wait?

--Those getting antsy about the fact we are inching closer to free agency and there hasn't been word on Tyron Brackenridge or Weston Dressler resigning in green. I am going to quote Aaron Rodgers for you.......R-E-L-A-X!

--That's all I got. Its going to be a great weekend so enjoy it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cougar Athletics This Weekend

Home Events
Women's Basketball – vs. Alberta, Friday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Hockey – vs. UBC, Friday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men's Basketball – vs. Alberta, Friday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Basketball – vs. Alberta, Saturday (6:00 p.m.) at CKHS
Women's Hockey – vs. UBC, Saturday (7:00 p.m.) at The Co-operators Centre
Men's Basketball – vs. Alberta, Saturday (8:00 p.m.) at CKHS

Away Events
Men's Wrestling – at Minot State, Thursday (7:00 p.m.) in Minot, N.D.
Men's Volleyball – at Alberta, Friday (6:00 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.
Men's Wrestling – at Dickinson State, Friday (7:00 p.m. MST) in Dickinson, N.D.
Women's Volleyball – at Alberta, Friday (7:30 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.
Men's Hockey – at UBC, Friday (7:00 p.m. PST) in Vancouver, B.C.
Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open , Friday to Saturday in Edmonton, Alta.
Women's Volleyball – at Alberta, Saturday (5:00 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.
Men's Volleyball – at Alberta, Saturday (6:30 p.m. MST) in Edmonton, Alta.
Men's Hockey – at UBC, Saturday (7:00 p.m. PST) in Vancouver, B.C.
Women's Basketball – The Cougars (10-4) saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end last weekend, as they suffered 73-56 and 63-40 road losses to No. 5-ranked Saskatchewan to fall into fourth place in the Pioneer Division. And with first through fourth place separated by just 1½ games, it'll be a pivotal series this weekend with division-leading Alberta (11-2) in town to face the Cougars. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport.
Men's Basketball – The Cougars (7-7) saw their Canada West record fall to .500 for the season with close 72-68 and 88-80 road losses to No. 9 Saskatchewan. They're now tied with Winnipeg for the seventh and final Pioneer Division postseason berth, though the Wesmen have two games in hand on the U of R. The Cougars host sixth-place Alberta (7-6) this Friday and Saturday in a huge weekend series as both teams battle for playoff position. Both games tip off at 8 p.m. at the CKHS.
Women's Hockey – The Cougars (4-6-8-2) got a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to Manitoba last Friday, but were beaten 6-1 by the second-place Bisons on Saturday. The U of R is still in possession of the sixth and final Canada West postseason spot, six points back of fifth-place Saskatchewan but 12 points up on seventh-place Mount Royal. The Cougars host UBC this Friday and Saturday at The Co-operators Centre with 7 p.m. scheduled start times on both nights.
Men's Hockey – After a home split with Manitoba last weekend that saw the Cougars (7-15-2) win 5-3 on Friday before losing by the same score on Saturday, it's off to the West Coast for the U of R this weekend. The Cougars are five points out of the final Canada West postseason spot with just four games to go, so they'll not only have to take care of business against a solid fourth-place UBC team, but will also be hoping for Manitoba victories over Saskatchewan this weekend in Winnipeg. The Cougars and UBC play at 7 p.m. (PST) on both Friday and Saturday in Vancouver.
Women's Volleyball – Chelsea Ziolkowski was named the Canada West Third Star of the Week on Tuesday after powering the Cougars (6-12) to two home wins over Saskatchewan last weekend at the CKHS. The Cougars needed all five sets in Friday's win, but swept the Huskies 25-18, 25-18, 25-18 on Saturday for their sixth conference victory of the season. Ziolkowski finished with 31 kills and 23 digs for the Cougars, who are on the road this weekend for two matches at No. 2 Alberta.
Men's Volleyball – The Cougars (1-17) were defeated twice at home by Saskatchewan last weekend. Andre Borgeaud had another ace on Saturday, and now needs just three more to surpass former Cougar setters Ryan DeCosse and Caleb Eschbach as the school's all-time leader in the category. He'll get a chance to do that this weekend as the Cougars travel to Edmonton for a pair of matches against the No. 2-ranked Alberta Golden Bears.
Wrestling (Women's CIS Ranking: No. 7 / Men's CIS Ranking: No. 9) – Kayla Brodner led the U of R's women's wrestling team with a third-place finish at 69 kg on Saturday at the Guelph Open hosted by the University of Guelph. The men's team is back in action this weekend with a pair of duals against NAIA opposition. The Cougars will face Minot State on Thursday night before squaring off with Dickinson State on Friday.  


Hufnagel Wins CFL Coach of The Year

Calgary Stampeders GM/head coach John Hufnagel ended a winning season on yet another winning note.
This time it’s as winner of the Annis Stukus Trophy as the CFL’s coach of the year. And true to form, Coach Huff immediately deflected the praise onto those around him.
“I’m honoured and proud to receive this award and I accept it on behalf of everyone in our organization who made it possible,” Hufnagel said. “The award also belongs to our owners, coaches, support staff, players and fans. They all played a major role in our success in 2014 and I thank them all.”
In his seventh year as GM/head coach of the Stamps, Hufnagel guided the Red and White to a league-best 15-3 record during the regular season and then led the Stamps to the seventh championship in franchise history with wins over the Edmonton Eskimos (43-18) in the West Final and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (20-16) in the Grey Cup game.
Hufnagel, who previously won the Annis Stukus Trophy in 2008, joins Wally Buono (the winner in 1992 and ’93) as the only Stampeders bosses to be voted as coach of the year on multiple occasions.
Tom Higgins of the Montreal Alouettes and Chris Jones of the Edmonton Eskimos were the other finalists for the award, which was determined in a vote conducted by the Football Reporters of Canada.


Sherman: Brady Started It

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady started the trash talking in the 2012 regular-season game in which Sherman walked up to Brady after Seattle's 24-23 victory and asked, "You mad, bro?"

"He was pretty much saying that we were nobodies," Sherman said Wednesday about Brady. "And we should come up to him after they got the win. He said stuff like that throughout the game. So we should just take that pretty well? Sure, can I get your autograph, too?"

The Seahawks trailed 23-10 in the game at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 14, 2012, but Seattle scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a 46-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to go. Sherman's comment to Brady was seen on national TV moments after the game ended.

For his part, Brady said Monday that he didn't recall Sherman's words.

"Truthfully, at that time, I thought he was just coming up to say 'good game.' That's all I thought it was," Brady told Boston sports radio WEEI on Monday. "It was loud after that game, so I didn't really hear anything. Then I went into the locker room after the game and ... he said he was talking trash to me. That was all a bit of a surprise to me."

Sherman said Wednesday that Brady's image doesn't necessarily match reality.

"I think people somehow get a skewed view of Tom Brady," Sherman said. "That he's just a clean-cut guy that does everything right and never says a bad word to anyone. We know him to be otherwise.

"In that moment of him being himself, he said some things and we returned the favor. Unfortunately, he apparently didn't remember what he said. I'm sure also in those moments when he's yelling at the ref, he's just saying, 'Good job. You're doing a fantastic job. Keep it up.' "

Sherman was asked if he thinks Brady will throw the ball in his direction in the Super Bowl.

"I don't care," Sherman said. "I hope so. It will give me more opportunities to get the ball. He had me in his sights before."


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oilers To Play Pre-Season Game In Saskatoon

 On Ice Management is pleased to announce the Edmonton Oilers will take on the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, September 26th, 2015 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at SaskTel Centre, as part of the 2015 NHL preseason. Game time is 4:00 PM.

This will be the Minnesota Wild’s first visit to Saskatoon, and look forward to playing against a young and exciting Edmonton Oilers.

“We are excited about the opportunity of visiting Saskatoon – one of Canada’s true hockey communities” said Chuck Fletcher, Executive VP and General Manager of the Minnesota Wild.

“The Edmonton Oilers look forward to returning to Saskatoon for a match-up against Minnesota” said Craig MacTavish the General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers. “We know we have a lot of Oiler fans in Saskatchewan and are excited to be back in Saskatoon”

“I look forward to working with the Saskatoon Blades and SaskTel Centre on another successful NHL game in Saskatoon” says John Graham.

The Saskatoon Blades season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets followed by a pre-sale where fans can buy an NHL Ticket with the Blades Home Opener ticket prior to the Saturday, January 24th 10:00am general public on-sale.

Ticket prices are $47.25 to $99.75 (plus service charges) and are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, on-line at, by calling 306-938-7800 or 1-800-970-7328.

Richie Goes To Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today are pleased to announce the appointment of long-time CFL coach Richie Hall as the club’s Defensive Coordinator.
Hall comes to Winnipeg after holding the same position with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the past four seasons. He has more than twenty years of CFL coaching experience, including 12 as a Defensive Coordinator, and two as a Head Coach.
“Richie Hall has been around our game for almost three decades,” said Head Coach Mike O’Shea. “He knows the league, he understands opposition offences, and how to adjust when needed. He’s highly respected, and brings another winning element to our organization. Acquiring him to lead our defence is major coup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.”
A three-time Grey Cup Champion (two as a Defensive Coordinator), Hall has a reputation of fielding one of the league’s top defences season after season. He coached the league’s number one ranked defence in 2013, posting a league low 398 points allowed, while leading the league with 24 interceptions, and the lowest touchdowns allowed total with 36. All of this culminated in the Riders winning the 101st Grey Cup in dominating fashion.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me as a coach and as a person,” said Hall. “For years, I have been in this league and watched from afar the passion the city and province have for the Blue Bombers. They really deserve to have a winning football team and all of us on the defensive side of the ball will do everything we can to make that happen.”
Before his extensive coaching career began, Hall spent nine years as a defensive back in the CFL with Calgary and Saskatchewan. While with the Riders, he was a key member in the club winning the 1989 Grey Cup. He was also named a division all-star four times.

Monday, January 19, 2015

CFL News

Calgary Stampeders head coach and general manager John Hufnagel is pleased to announce international quarterback Drew Tate has signed a contract extension. As per team policy, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Tate, an eight-year veteran who has spent six seasons with the Stampeders, led the CFL in 2014 with 10 rushing touchdowns. Serving as Calgary’s short-yardage quarterback, he scored two majors in the Stamps’ 20-16 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Grey Cup game.
The 30-year-old Texan made four starts during the 2014 regular season and led the Stamps to three victories including back-to-back wins over West Division rivals BC in Week 14 and Saskatchewan in Week 15.
For the season, Tate completed 66 of 111 passes for 823 yards and five touchdowns. He carried the ball 42 times for 129 yards and 10 scores.
“Drew has performed very well for us when he was on the field,” said Hufnagel. “Drew and Bo Levi Mitchell are important players for us regardless of who was named the starter and that certainly proved to be the case in 2014. It’s very important in the CFL to have quality and depth at the quarterback position and so I’m very pleased with Drew’s decision to make this commitment to the Stampeders.”
After two seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in which he did not see any action, Tate signed with the Stampeders in 2009. In 75 career regular-season games for the Stamps, he has completed 325 of 492 passes (a 66.1-per cent completion rate) for 4,093 yards and 29 touchdowns. He has 148 career rushes for 595 yards and 23 touchdowns.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to represent the white horse for the past six years and I’m very happy to have the chance to continue to do so,” said Tate. “Winning a Grey Cup with this group of guys last year was a dream come true and I am stoked to get back at it and try to do it again.”
In another transaction, the Stampeders have released international defensive lineman Shawn Lemon in order to allow him to sign a contract with a National Football League club.
Lemon was scheduled to become a free agent on Feb. 10.
“Shawn has an agreement in place with an NFL club and we are granting him his release in order to allow him to sign a contract immediately rather than waiting until February,” said Hufnagel. “We wish Shawn the best of luck and thank him for his contributions to the Stampeders.”
Lemon led the Stampeders with 13 sacks in 2014 and he tied the CFL single-season record with eight forced fumbles. He had 31 tackles, including five tackles for loss, and one interception.

(Calgary Stampeders)

The Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that Kavis Reed has been appointed the team's new special teams coordinator.
Reed, who played five seasons in the CFL between 1995 and 1999, has 13 seasons of coaching experience North of the border, including three as the Edmonton Eskimos head coach from 2011 to 2013. In his first season as the Eskimos head coach, he led the team to an 11-7 season and a second place finish as well as a Western Final berth. The team had only won seven games the previous year and Reed was named a coach of the year finalist.
"It's an honour for me to join such a storied organization that has had so much success over the years," said Reed. "I look forward to working with Jim Popp, Tom Higgins, our coaches and all the players. This team showed a lot of promise last year and we will work hard to keep pushing in that same direction."
In 2010, Reed was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive coordinator and his unit was the best in the league against the pass and second best in total defence. The previous year, he was the Saskatchewan Roughriders special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach, helping the team reach the Grey Cup.
"Having Kavis on our coaching staff is a great addition for the Alouettes," declared Alouettes head coach, Tom Higgins. "He brings fire and passion to our team, as well as plenty of experience to our staff in place. All of our coaches are excited to get to work with him."
The Georgetown, SC native began his CFL coaching career as the Toronto Argonauts special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach. Reed, who is now 41, then coached the defensive backs with the Ottawa Renegades (2002-2003) before becoming the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive coordinator (2004-2006). He was a defensive assistant coach with the Toronto Argonauts in 2007 before being named their defensive coordinator the following season.

(Montreal Alouettes)

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, Detroit Red Wings left wing Tomas Tatar and New York Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 18.
Byfuglien paced all defensemen with three goals and shared third among all skaters with six points (3-3—6) in four games to power the Jets (25-14-8, 58 points) to four straight wins. He opened the week with 2-1—3, including the game-winning goal, in an 8-2 victory over the Florida Panthers Jan. 13. It marked Byfuglien’s first multi-goal and three-point performances since March 16, 2014 (2-1—3 vs. DAL). After being held off the scoresheet in a 2-1 triumph over the Dallas Stars Jan. 15, Byfuglien collected two assists – his sixth multi-point game of the season – in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Jan. 16. He closed the week with his 12th goal of the season, tied for first among defensemen, in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Arizona Coyotes Jan. 18. The 29-year-old Roseau, Minn., native ranks seventh among blueliners with 12-19—31 in 47 appearances this season, including 4-7—11 in his past nine outings.
            Tatar shared first among all players with five goals and seven points, scoring in four straight games to propel the Red Wings (26-11-9, 61 points) to four consecutive victories. He began the week with one goal in each of his first two contests – a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 13 and a 3-2 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues Jan. 15. Tatar then set a career high with three points (2-1—3), including the game-winning goal, in a 5-2 triumph over the Nashville Predators Jan. 17. He capped the week with 1-1—2, his seventh multi-point game of the season, in a 6-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 18. The 24-year-old Ilava, Slovakia, native shares seventh in the NHL and paces the Red Wings with 21 goals in 46 contests this season. He also is tied for third on the club with 34 points, including 9-3—12 in his past 12 appearances.
            Okposo shared the League lead with five goals and tied for third with six points (5-1—6) in three outings to help the Islanders (30-14-1, 61 points) gain four of a possible six standings points. After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers Jan. 13, Okposo set a career high with four goals, including a natural hat trick and the game-winning marker in the third period, in a 6-3 comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Jan. 16. He became the first Islanders player to post four goals in one game since Dec. 3, 2011 (Matt Moulson) and the first to do so at home since April 15, 1992 (Steve Thomas). Okposo then closed the week with 1-1—2, his 11th multi-point performance of the season, in a 6-4 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 17. The 26-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native ranks second on the Islanders with 14-29—43 in 45 contests this season, including 7-9—16 in his past 13 games.

(NHL Media)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Something To "Mitch" About

--In the words of the legendary sportscaster Jack Buck "I don't believe what I just saw" and as his son Joe so eloquently says at the end of this "Seattle is going back to the Super Bowl".

 I'm not going to lie, like some of those who left CenturyLink Field early, I thought it was over with 4 minutes to go and the Seahawks down 19-7 after Russell Wilson threw his 4th INT of the game. However, Seattle found a way and thanks to the brick-like hands of Packer tight end Brandon Bostick, the Seahawks got the game to overtime where they won it on the first possession much to the chagrin of those who hate NFL overtime the way it stands now. Did Seattle deserve to win? NOPE! Did they win or did Green Bay lose it? I'll argue the latter.

 Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy made one mistake after another in this game starting in the first quarter. They had a 4th and goal at the 1 and a 4th and 1 at the 2 in the first quarter and decided each time to eschew the TD for a FG. WRONG!! McCarthy showed no faith in his potent offence and MVP quarterback in decisions that came back to bite him in the you know where.

McCarthy should also be quizzed about why the Packers at no time challenged all-world defensive back Richard Sherman when it was obvious he was not 100 percent. McCarthy had to test Sherman out by throwing one towards Jordy Nelson. He did not!

Arguably the play of the game came from one of our own. How about the fake field goal with Jon Ryan hoisting one to a wide open Garry Gilliam for a TD. It perhaps has spawned an early candidate for photo of the year.

That arguably was the play that turned this game around and it may be a play that ends up with Seattle winning back to back titles. Jon can kick, catch and he can throw it too. Yes, the guy is more than just a punter. What I want to know was did that play cause an earthquake --RYANQUAKE, PUNTERQUAKE, CANADIANQUAKE???
It will be Seattle against New England for the Vince. The game has an early 'pick-em' for the spread.  New England looked at the top of their game in clubbing Indianapolis. Tom Brady versus the Legion of Boom. Can't wait!
Thanks to George Yannitsos at the Four Seasons for looking after me during yesterday's Seahawks game. There was never any worry George. OK, maybe a little.

--The University of Regina did not handle the Bernie Schmidt situation well. The long-time offensive co-ordinator of the Rams was told his services were no longer needed last week, The word didn't come down from new coach Mike Gibson, it came down from the University. What's wrong is that there was no notice of this. Schmidt deserves much more than that. Much more! No release, no nothing for someone who like Frank McCrystal spent many years with the Rams. There should be some red-faces at the U of R for handling the situation poorly. As for Bernie, I am not saying he should move over because Stefan Endsin is doing a fine job with the Thunder, but someone of Bernie's ilk would make the Thunder a better team.

--Speaking of handling things badly, Eskimos GM Ed Hervey in the release which announced the Fred Stamps trade said " Fred's on-field accomplishments are well-documented. We thank him for his contributions to the organization and wish him the best." Did Fred get fired? I think his time in Edmonton deserved a little more than that. That trade is an interesting one considering Stamps will be a free agent in a short time. The Alouettes are gambling by making this move, but they aren't giving up a lot for Stamps. This would seem to indicate SJ Green's days in Montreal are over.

--Congrats to the Regina Capitals for being named the host team of the 2016 Keystone Cup "Junior B" Western Canadian Championship. There's no junior A team in town because the SJHL is afraid to come into the big city so this is the next biggest team behind the Pats. Self-admittedly, I have maybe been to one or two Junior B games in my existence, but I'm told its good hockey and if you have the champs of all the Western provinces and northwestern Ontario coming, it should be something you'll want to watch.

--The Saskatchewan Hockey Association named a huge group including Wendel Clark, the 2002-03 Humboldt Broncos and Tiger Williams  as its 2015 Hall of Fame inductees.  Congrats to all, but a question for the S-H-A. With the CAMECO Hockey Day in Saskatchewan festivities happening in Carnduff, why not make that announcement there as well instead of Saskatoon?

--Granted the team they were playing isn't exactly a major draw with their record, but was there anyone at Saturday's Oilers-Panthers game in Florida? How can the league keep this team in Miami when there are markets that would actually go out and watch the club play.

--The Blue Jays say it is not intentional, but they could start the season with three Canadians starting at their respective positions--Russell Martin at catcher, Michael Saunders in left and rookie Dalton Pompey in center. With all Jays games on TV in Canada, this will surely spark a huge increase in kids playing the game. It worked with basketball and kids watching Vince Carter play for the Raptors and now we are seeing that with the amount of Canadian players in the NBA. I'm certainly OK with this.

--Analytics in hockey. The Leafs, Oilers and Devils were the three teams in the NHL that had it at the start of the season and all three have fired their head coaches. Hmmmmmm!!

--A great discussion was had on the Dan Patrick show this week. Tom Brady has never constantly had great receivers to throw to and yet the Patriots continue to win. If Brady is the best ever QB to have a lack of talent at receivers, than who is the best receiver to not have great quarterbacks to get the ball to him. The argument ended at Larry Fitzgerald, but I wonder who that distinction would go to in the CFL. Would Don Narcisse fit in there? He had Kent Austin throwing to him in 1989, but after that it was a dogs breakfast.

--I almost forgot. Rams receiver Addison Richards showed he can play with the big boys Saturday in St, Pete's Florida. Richards caught a pair of passes in the game for 19 yards and saw a lot of action in the first quarter. He also got some praise as did the Rams from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock. It would be nice to see Richards get an NFL opportunity and I'm sure he spoke or will speak with several teams.

--If you are a UFC fan and you stayed up late Sunday night, you saw Conor McGregor destroy Dennis Siver in their featherweight bout with the feisty Irishman then hopping the octagon and getting in the face of champ Jose Aldo. McGregor is one tough little leprechaun and Aldo will be in tough in what should be a classic cage matchup.

--That's all I got. Have a great week and yes that includes you Cheezheads!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Eskimos Trade Fred Stamps To Montreal

The Montreal Alouettes announced on Friday that the club has acquired international all-star slotback Fred Stamps in return for international receiver Kenny Stafford. The eight-year CFL veteran is coming to Montreal following an already highly productive career.
Stamps (6'00'', 188 lbs.) spent his entire CFL-career in an Edmonton Eskimos uniform. The New-Orleans, LA native made his way into the Eskimos' record book as he ranks third with 496 career-receptions as well as second all-time with 7,932 receiving yards.
"Fred Stamps has been one of the top receivers in the CFL over the last 5 years," declared Alouettes General Manager, Jim Popp. "This addition adds strength, character, and another high level performer to our solid receiving core."
In only 12 outings last season, the 33-year-old receiver recorded 545 receiving-yards on 33 catches, while scoring two touchdowns. He was named the Eskimos' most outstanding player in 2009, 2010 and 2013. In Montreal, he will join his former teammate with the Louisiana-Lafayette University Ragin' Cajuns, Kyries Hebert.
From 2009 to 2013, Stamps registered five straight 1,000-plus receiving-yards seasons. That stellar streak allowed him to be named on the CFL's all-star team four times (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013). He topped the CFL in receiving yards in 2009 and 2013 with gains of 1,402 and 1,259 yards respectively.
Before making the leap into the CFL, Stamps had joined the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 2004. He also suited up for the Baltimore Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

(Alouettes Football Club)