Friday, July 29, 2016

Depth Charts For Riders-Alouettes Game

Kickoff is at 5. 620 CKRM's game-day coverage starts at 2

This And That

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

--ITS GAMENIGHT!!  The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Montreal Alouettes will battle it out in Friday Night Football in a 5 PM start. Who's leaving work early today? The Alouettes just played on Monday, and it is somewhat unfair they should have to strap it on again on Thursday, but they agreed to it when the CFL schedule came out so let's go.  Mitchell Gale will start for the Riders, and I am sure Montreal has some things to look at when it comes to the graduate of Abilene Christian who looked good in the win over Ottawa. What worries me going into this game is the Riders o-line. Brendon Labatte, Dan Clark, and Xavier Fulton are out. GULP!! I am guessing John Bowman, Chip Cox, Bear Woods and the rest of that front seven must be smiling like Hugh Hefner at a pool party.  It is safe to say Josiah St. John, Andrew Jones, Kennedy Estelle and others will be tested and tested big-time.  Get the ball out of your hands quick Mitch and maybe run the ball a few times too to keep that front seven on their heels. On the other side of the ball, this defense seems to be getting better snap by snap so they could make it difficult for Kevin Glenn. I don't see a lot of points being scored in this game, but I see the Riders getting more points. Let's go with a 25-16 win.

--What CFL team hasn't thrown an INT this year? If you guessed the green-and-white, you would b right. Darian Durant had thrown 6 TD's before he went down to injury and Gale has thrown 2. If typing out this stat results in 3-4 INT's being thrown tonight, please blame it on Rob Vanstone. It's what I would do. It refreshes the soul. It really does.

--Ben Cahoon is getting his jersey retired tonight. Is it just me or do teams do these kinds of things when the Riders visit? Then again, the Lions are putting Jason Clermont on their Wall of Fame when Hamilton visits next month so maybe its just me. By the way, congrats to JC on that honour. 

--Going into Week 6, 70 TD passes had been thrown in the CFL. Does this mean the game is more exciting? The product is better now than it was a couple of years ago when it was tough to watch a Rider game or any game, but I still find the amount of penalties, reviews and challenges to be taking away from the entertainment value a CFL game should have. Do you like the game as it stands right now?

--A question for Toronto Blue Jays fans.  By the way, if you are a Blue Jays fan since July 1, 2015, you can sit down because this doesn't apply to you. Who is the greatest Jay of all time? I would think the answer would have to be Roberto Alomar, but where do you place Josh Donaldson? He has to be top 5 and maybe even top 2. If Donaldson can get the Jays back to where they were in Alomar's hey-day and win another MVP trophy, the mantle may be his for the taking.

--I haven't missed him one bit, but where has Buck Martinez gone? Matt Devlin has done a fantastic job taking over for Martinez in the broadcast booth and has shown once again he is more than just a basketball guy. I don't know if there are any personal reasons attached to Buck's absence, but I can't help but wonder how a baseball play-by-play guy gets two weeks off in the middle of the season. That would be like giving Rod Pedersen time off right now and Phil Andrews time off in January during the middle of the Pats season. Martinez has from October until March to take holidays. It seems a little odd to me.

--NFL training camps are starting. That brings a smile to my face

--A hearty congratulations to Barb Ryan. The mother of Steve, Jill and their brother Jon. She was named the 2016 Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year by the Red Cross this week and will be honored at a dinner in October.  Those who know Barb know what type of individual she is, those who don't know her don't know what they are missing.  You do not find much better in this city or this province than Barb. Those who know her agree 100 percent.

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

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Canada West Football Back on Shaw/Access

For a 10th consecutive season Canada West football will air on Shaw TV, as the conference released its 2016 regular season TV schedule Wednesday.
The upcoming season marks a decade of Krown Produce Canada West Football on Shaw TV, with Canada’s future professional stars set to be showcased across the country on local Shaw TV, Shaw Direct 299, Shaw HD where available, and Access Communications’ channel 7/70.
A total of 11 Canada West regular season games will be televised, including a pair of games both Weeks 1 and 2.
The conference opener on Thursday, September 1 between the Calgary Dinos and Manitoba Bisons in Winnipeg kicks off the television schedule, while the Regina Rams and Saskatchewan Huskies game also hits the airwaves Week 1 when the Wheat Province rivals meet on Friday, September 2 at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon.
Week 2 features two more games with the Rams hosting the Bisons on Thursday, September 8, and one of the premier games across all of CIS football, as the defending Vanier Cup Champions, the UBC Thunderbirds, take on the Calgary Dinos on Friday, September 9 in a rematch of the 79th Hardy Cup.
Along with these highlights, Week 5’s matchup between the Huskies and Rams will be a game to circle on your calendar, as the rivals will play in an historic game at Regina’s new Mosaic Stadium.
The Huskies and Rams will be the first squads to take the field of the new $278 million facility, where a new Canada West attendance record is expected to be set, with 16,500 seats available for the much anticipated opening of the new venue.
In addition to viewing the conference’s 11 regular season televised games on Shaw TV and Access, the games can also be seen live on – the conference’s official streaming site. All non-televised games are also available on with football viewing passes on sale beginning August 22 and early bird pricing for both multi- and single-sport passes available until September 9.

Week 1
Thursday, September 1 / Calgary Dinos vs. Manitoba Bisons / 7:00 p.m. CT
Friday, September 2 / Regina Rams vs. Saskatchewan Huskies / 7:00 p.m. SK
Week 2
Thursday, September 8 / Manitoba Bisons vs. Regina Rams / 7:00 p.m. SK
Friday, September 9 / UBC Thunderbirds vs. Calgary Dinos / 5:30 p.m. MT
Week 3
Friday, September 16 / Calgary Dinos vs. Saskatchewan Huskies / 7:00 p.m. SK
Week 4
Friday, September 23 / Calgary Dinos vs. Regina Rams / 7:00 p.m. SK
Week 5
Saturday, October 1 / Saskatchewan Huskies vs. Regina Rams / 2:00 p.m. SK
Week 6
Friday, October 14 / Manitoba Bisons vs. Calgary Dinos / 7:00 p.m. MT
Week 7
Friday, October 21 / UBC Thunderbirds vs. Regina Rams / 7:00 p.m. SK
*An additional game, determined by playoff races, will also be televised this week.
Week 8
*One game, determined by playoff races, will be televised this week.

(Canada West Communications) 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Draftkings Week 6 CFL Picks

Is it really Week 6 of the CFL season already? I don't know if I would have been in the money last week, but when Trevor Harris went down in the first series, my weekly donation was just that---a donation.

Time to get back to the pay window in Week 6.


With quarterbacks going down in rapid numbers again this season, it is moreso of a gamble when picking your signal-caller. Reilly is throwing for just under 400 yards a game this season, and at home against a Winnipeg defense that goes in without some regulars in the secondary, one has to think if he can stay healthy, the Edmonton quarterback will have another big week. If you think Mitchell Gale has it in him again, remember he takes on an Alouettes team that just played Monday and hasn't had a lot of rest.


No one is running the football. When will that trend change? While Andrew Harris is the top RB on the Draftkings roster at 7200, I just don't see Harris getting a lot of action on the ground.  As I said last week, Messam is the best bet on short yardage to get the ball in the endzone so I will once again go with him.  Anthony Allen and Nic Grigsby are also solid bets.


I don't think you can say the Rider receiver is flying under the radar, but at 8800, he is still relatively cheap. Speaking of cheap, while Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker are making catches in Edmonton, so is Cory Watson. Watson is also finding his way in the endzone as he has caught a pair of TD's.  If you can get Watson and Walker or Bowman in your lineup, I like your chances.


I am not sold on Matt Nichols starting for Winnipeg. That Eskimo defence also has to be seething after letting a huge lead get away at home against the Ti-Cats. It might be time for the Eskimos defence to either show they have something or that the absence of Chris Jones has left them a little less dangerous than what they have been. I can see Edmonton's d getting a few sacks and about 3-4 turnovers against a Bombers offence that will be pressing.  I also like Ottawa at home against a Ricky Ray-less Argos squad.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stanley Cup in Regina Tuesday Afternoon

If you have never seen the Stanley Cup before, today is your chance if you are in Regina.
Chris Kunitz is getting his day with the trophy, and he is going to have it in City Square Plaza from 330-530.
People can get their picture taken with the Cup, and the Regina native will be signing autographs as some limited edition photos will be available.
Money raised from today's event will go to the Allan Blair Cancer Centre.

Madani: CFL Says Riders Can't Have Greg Hardy's Neg Rights

Greg Hardy does not yet have a NFL home, and for now even his status in the Canadian Football League remains unclear.

Sportsnet has learned that the CFL has blocked the Saskatchewan Roughriders from adding Greg Hardy to the team’s exclusive negotiation list. Sources indicated the league office is now deciding whether or not to allow the Riders to obtain the rights to the former Pro Bowl defensive end.

Hardy is a free agent who, after fulfilling a four-game NFL suspension, played most of the 2015 season with the Dallas Cowboys. He remains unsigned south of the border, although he did visit Jacksonville last week, going through a two-day workout and interview session with the Jaguars.

While adding Hardy to a CFL negotiation list would not mean the player would sign a contract in Canada, that the league office has blocked him is significant. The CFL prevented teams from adding Ray Rice in 2014, but Rice has not played a professional game since. Hardy has.

When asked specifically about the Riders attempting to add Hardy to their negotiation list, and the league halting it, CFL spokesman Paulo Senra said: “We don’t have any comment.”

Even with a league-wide domestic violence policy, the CFL has permitted Justin Cox to sign, and play, in Saskatchewan, where he is now a starting defensive back with the Roughriders. Just last July, he was arrested for aggravated domestic violence, burglary of a residence and trespassing. Only nine months prior, he had been charged with burglary and aggravated domestic violence in a separate incident.

Sources say the Riders are waiting to hear from the league with regards to Hardy.

Back in 2014, Hardy was charged and found guilty of assaulting a female, ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder, and communicating threats – domestic violence. The victim clamed the six-foot-five, 280-pound lineman threw her in the bathtub, then dragged her into a bedroom, choked her and tossed her onto a couch covered with guns before threatening to kill her.

“He looked me in the eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I was so scared I wanted to die,” Holder testified.

After playing in Week 1, Hardy was placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List for what turned out to be the remainder of the 2014 NFL season.

Hardy’s return to the NFL was mixed last season. He played the final 12 games, and while productive (35 tackles, six sacks, one forced fumble and one interception), he was not without controversy. In one standout incident, Hardy got into a shouting match with Dez Bryant and knocked a clipboard away from an assistant coach. (

In the spring, the CFL was asked if the league would allow any of its teams to sign players who have allegations of domestic violence like Hardy and Cox. Matt Maychak, Vice President Communications and Public Affairs responded with:

“With any player with a history of violence, or any player who has faced allegations of violence, we would look to the team to assess the player, not just on his football skills, but on what he brings to the team, including assessing how he has moved forward since the violence or allegation of violence. We have experts in the field willing to help in this regard. Simply having a past would not eliminate a player from the CFL. However, if an assessment revealed or concluded that his behaviour or attitudes had not changed, and those pose a risk of future violence, then the league would expect teams to treat that as a very serious concern. The policy puts an emphasis on awareness, training and prevention, as well as ensuring those hurt by violence and abuse get help. While it contemplates potential penalties up to and including a lifetime ban for repeat offenders, it is really focused on working to prevent violence, and working to help ensure it stop if it has occurred.”

Hardy was selected 175th overall in the sixth round by the Carolina Panthers in the 2010 NFL Draft. He’s recorded 238 tackles, 40 sacks – 33 quarterback take downs in his last 44 games – 16 passes defended, eight forced fumbles and one interception through a six-year NFL career.


Single Game Tickets For Rams-Huskies At New Mosaic Go On Sale Tuesday Morning

SaskTel Fall Classic

Single-game tickets go on sale Tuesday morning for the SaskTel Fall Classic, a Canada West clash between the University of Regina Rams and the Saskatchewan Huskies on Oct. 1 that will be the first football game played at the new Mosaic Stadium.

Tickets will be available beginning on Tuesday at 10 a.m. through, the Rams administration office (306-585-5480),,, and in person or via phone through the Saskatchewan Roughriders box office (1-888-4-RIDERS).

“There’s been a lot of interest in both flex packages and single-game tickets for this game,” said Chris Briltz, director for the Rams. “With attendance limited to 16,500 for this game, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to be a part of history at the first game in the new stadium.”

The Rams are extremely pleased to have SaskTel recently come aboard as the major sponsor for the game.

“SaskTel is a long-time supporter of both the University of Regina Rams and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, so we are especially pleased to be able to be the title sponsor for the SaskTel Fall Classic,” said Darcee MacFarlane, SaskTel’s vice president of corporate relations.

Flex packages remain on sale at $80 each and include five adult tickets (one exclusively for the SaskTel Fall Classic and four which can be used interchangeably for any of the other three home games), eight child tickets (can be used for any of the Sept. 8, Sept. 23, or Oct. 21 home games), entry into the Football Dream Trip draw, and the immediate ability to purchase up to three additional tickets for the SaskTel Fall Classic.

Single-game ticket prices for the SaskTel Fall Classic will be $22.50 for adults, $15 for students, and $10 for children aged three through 12. U of R students get in for free at the Sept. 8, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21 games.

The game is part of the overall Regina Revitalization Initiative Stadium Project, and is designed to test the construction of the building including washrooms, public address systems, and elevators. Operational plans that will support the stadium will also be tested, including access and egress, transportation, parking, and security.

NOTES: The anticipated sellout would set a new Canada West attendance record, breaking the previous mark of 10,199 set at a University of Manitoba game during the 2013 season ... the Rams’ other three home games – Sept. 8, Sept. 23, and Oct. 21 – will all be played at the old stadium.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Something To "Mitch" About

THERE'S A "1" IN THE WIN COLUMN  - Ladies and gentlemen, its Game On when it comes to the green-and-white. I didn't think they would beat the Ottawa REDBLACKS on Friday, and I believe a majority of the 30-thousand who wandered into the grand old lady on 10th Avenue just north of downtown Regina were likely thinking the same thing. I just hope no one was injured leaving the game as that monkey that had been on the backs of the green and white escaped to no one's dismay.

As I said on Friday, the Riders don't win this game on paper, but we all know you don't play the game on paper and with a break here, and a bounce there, it could happen. Those breaks and bounces came. Trevor Harris was injured putting the high-flying Ottawa offence in the hands of Brock Jensen. I knew more about Brock Lesnar than Brock Jensen, and the Riders defense may have been in the same boat. The kid looked good, but he was out-duelled by Mitchell Gale,

With family in the stands. the 26 year old from Alva, Oklahoma got the job done in his first pro start.  A pro start where he didn't have two of his starting receivers (John Chiles and Shawmaud Chambers) and two of his starting offensive linemen (Brendon Labatte and Dan Clark---add Chris Best to that mix if you want too.) All Gale did was throw for 354 yards and 1 TD in what was a pretty good performance. He will still be the back-up when Darian Durant returns, but I think Rider Nation is a little more at ease with number 4 on the sidelines right now than what they were last year.  While some out there are trying to plant the seeds for a quarterback controversy, forget about it. It isn't going to happen. 

Should we have been surprised at how Gale ran the Rider offence? You are not supposed to do that in your first CFL start, but this is a guy who has worked with Scott Milanovich in Toronto and has worked with Ricky Ray, Zach Collaros and Trevor Harris,  Learning under those three will teach you some things and we saw that Friday.  Like 98 percent of you, I hope to see Durant back under center in Montreal, but if he isn't, I'm a lot more confident than I was last year. Maybe all of those who whined, bitched, moaned and complained because they got a Shawn Lemon jersey should just take the nametag off and put Gale's on. 

Other thoughts on Friday----in no particular order. 

1, Can I just say again "How the h-e hockey sticks did Corey Chamblin and Brendan Taman get away with starting Jamel Richardson and Taj Smith ahead of Naaman Roosevelt. Everyone knew the Riders had themselves a player, but we had to wait and wait and wait to see it. Roosevelt scratched the surface with what he could do last year, and predictions of him having a huge year this season are coming to fruition. 42 catches for 477 yards and a touchdown in four games is what he has. Roosevelt isn't in the Chris Williams-Adarius Bowman category, but he may be there before too long. 

2. The Riders took a lot of heat last season when soon to be free agent Jerome Messam was traded to Calgary for Tyler Crapigna. The cry of "Jeremy O'Day traded the best Canadian RB in the CFL to a Western rival for a kicker?" was heard loudly in this province. Who's laughing now?  We knew Messam wasn't coming back here as a free agent, and O'Day went out and got a stepping stone to help build the future. Crapigna is 15 for 17 this year and his 53 yard game winner was the season's biggest play this season.  That kick and the ensuing hold by the defence showed this young team they can win, and they can win without their leader. I don't think confidence was waning any in that room, but you know that team was pressing for a "W". They have it now, so let's see what they do with a win under their belt going into Montreal 

3. Many will say the Riders won this game because Trevor Harris didn't play. That's fine. The Riders beat BC if Darian Durant remained in the game. It all evens out in the end doesn't it. 

4. While the score would indicate a good old-fashioned CFL game, the reality is the game was not a classic and the reason for that was the performance of Al Bradbury and company. Horrible doesn't start to describe their effort.  The game has become over-run with challenges and reviews.  The lack of consistency is maddening, and there is no flow to the game.  Global TV's Taylor Shire brought up a great point in the press box while watching Bradbury's crew stumble along. In the 4th quarter, Jensen was called for intentional grounding.  The ref stood over Jensen for a good 4-5 seconds before he finally threw his flag. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? As Taylor mentioned, you would never see a guy get hauled down on a breakaway with the referee standing over the forward and defenceman for 4-5 seconds before pointing to center ice or calling a penalty. Make the damn call! Make the right call so we don't need reviews. Yes, the coaches challenge is a little ridiculous too. (Cmon Rick Campbell, you didn't think that was pass interference on Roosevelt late in the 4th??)Yes, you are allowed to grasp at straws, but that was ridiculous.  Yes, it was interference on Chris Williams by Buddy Jackson late in the 4th, but again there was mysteriously no flag. I'm not even sure if the Command Centre are watching games or "How I Met Your Mother" re-runs.  When fans say it is time to spin the wheel of justice, they may be right, 

Perhaps TSN needs to get Kate Beirness doing her best Vanna White imitation when a call goes to the command center so Kate can spin the wheel so all of Canada can see if a call will be upheld or overturned.  This endless string of reviews and challenges has to stop.  Chris Jones says we have to abide by the rules the league sets out, and at the end of the day he is right, but it is killing the CFL.  There is a spot for instant replay, but it has to be done correctly and the CFL isn't doing that. At least, not in my books.  Yes, the stripes are getting a bad rap for this, but I can't defend them when the inconsistency is there. 

As someone mentioned Saturday, the Riders are within 13 seconds of beating both of last year's Grey Cup teams. How can you not feel optimistic about the future?

LOSEIPEG - Rider fans are optimistic about the future, but down the road in Winnipeg, I have to wonder if Bomber fans are starting to count down the days until they can pile into the MTS Centre to watch Patrick Laine, Mark Schiefele, Blake Wheeler and the Winnipeg Jets.  The Bombers performance against Calgary was absolutely horrible-----again! How much longer does Mike O'Shea have? If they lose to the Eskimos this coming week is that it?  I have been on record since he was hired as saying Paul Lapolice will be coaching the Bombers by Labour Day, but even Lapo's offence isn't getting it done.  After their loss to the Stamps, former Bomber Milt Stegall was bemoaning the fact the team doesn't have a deep threat. WRONG!! Darvin Adams can be that deep threat if someone can get him the ball and right now Drew Willy can't.  It's sad when Bo Levi Mitchell has won as many games at Investors Group Field as Willy if you're a supporter of the Double Blue. On Sunday, the Bombers had Matt Nichols taking first team reps as he takes over for Drew Willy. The Bombers will  battle an Edmonton team whose head must be spinning after an epic collapse Saturday at Commonwealth.  I don't think that's the answer. 

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL---CFL STYLE  -  The Alouettes and Argos finish off the CFL week with a game at BMO Field. The last game at the Argos new home was a disaster attendance-wise after an opening nite filled with glitz and glamour. The Toronto Indy was said to be a deterrent for those attending the last game, but what will the excuse be tonight? Will the Toronto football fan show up for Monday night football? I am skeptical. I am hoping I'm wrong, but I don't think I will be. 

QB CAROUSEL KEEPS SPINNING - 2015 was a bad year for QB's in the CFL as many starters missed a considerable amount of time. The same story is starting to emerge this year. Darian Durant, Henry Burris and Trevor Harris have all been hurt, Zach Collaros is still recuperating from last year's injury and Kevin Glenn missed a game albeit it wasn't for something that happened on the field. One can only hope this comes to a stop in a big hurry as the CFL needs its marquee players under center. 

CMON GRAHAM - Many of us in the 306/637 who are fans of golf have more than just a passing interest into the performance of Graham DeLaet on a week-to-week basis.  The Weyburn native took time off the PGA circuit this year to try and get a chipping problem under control, but on Thursday at the Canadian Open, he looked like me trying to chip and folks, if that's happening, its not good!  DeLaet has always shown he has the tools to win on the tour, but something trips him up in each event he is contending in. With the Olympics coming up, it would be beyond huge to see him emerge as a medallist, but he has to find a way to get this case of the yips under control.  His career could be riding on overcoming this problem, A province is pulling for you Graham. 

HE DID WHAT?? -  Baseball's trade deadline is at the end of the  month, and one pitcher contending teams are looking at is White Sox hurler Chris Sale. He may have been scheduled to make his last start for Chicago on Saturday night, but now he may have already made his last appearance in a Sox uniform after what might be one of the most bizarre stories of the year.  The White Sox sent him home after he apparently refused to don the 1976 throwback uniforms the team was supposed to wear, saying they were uncomfortable. result, Sale reportedly cut up the jerseys during batting practice and was "upset that, in his view, PR and jersey sales were more important. 

This is what those 76 unis looked like,  I can't believe a pro athlete would actually do this. Then again, if the Seattle Seahawks ever came out in these babies again, I might Fed Ex a pair of garden shears to Jon Ryan in hopes he would possibly do the same thing.  

WORST UNI EVER!!! And yes, that includes the Canucks yellow V jerseys. Sorry Vancouver fans!!

ROLLING THE DICE - The Regina Pats are taking a gamble, but it is one you couldn't afford to pass up. Getting Dawson Leedahl from the Everett Silvertips for a 4th round pick and forward Sean Richards is a good deal for the Queen City Kids. The Saskatoon native fills out their crop of overagers. The question now is can they somehow lure Tyson Jost to Regina. The Canadian Junior A player of the year is committed to North Dakota. You can't blame the kid seeing they are the defending NCAA champs and have had the likes of Toews, Oshie and Parise play there. If the Colorado Avalanche would like him to play major junior, his rights would be owned by the Pats. If he came, chances are the kid wouldn't disappoint. Add him to the likes of Brooks, Steel, Wagner and the rapidly improving Jake Leschyshyn and this team will be ready to make some noise at the Brandt Centre this winter. I am guessing if Jost comes, the "conditional" picks will be high. If he doesn't, they won't be. It is a good deal IMO even if Jost doesn't show up. 

JUNIOR -  Ken Griffey Junior is where he belongs. The Baseball Hall of Fame!

In an era where guys were hitting homers while "juiced", the Seattle Mariners/Cincinnati Reds outfielder was just getting it done naturally with the glove and the bat. (Of course, he did drink too much of something to get elephantiasis in what may be the greatest Simpsons episode ever, but I digress) He finished the game with 630 career homers. If he hadn't endured injury problems, there is no doubt in my mind the guy with the best swing baseball has ever seen would have been baseball's all time HR king. In his prime, there was nobody better! 

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

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pats Acquire Rights To NHL First Round Pick From Everett

Tyson Jost picture courtesy BCHL

Regina Pats General Manager and Head Coach John Paddock announced today the team acquired over-age forward Dawson Leedahl (’96) and the WHL playing rights to forward Tyson Jost (’98) from the Everett Silvertips. The Pats traded forward Sean Richards (’98), Red Deer’s fourth round pick in the 2017 WHL Bantam Draft as well as conditional draft picks to Everett.

Dawson Leedahl (6’1”, 200 lbs) is a veteran of 226 WHL games over four seasons with the Silvertips.  In that time, Leedahl posted 101 points (37G, 64A) to go with 266 penalty minutes.  In 2015-16, the Saskatoon, SK product tallied 27 points (12G, 15A) in 48 games to go with a career high 88 penalty minutes.  In eight playoff games, Leedahl registered five points (3G, 2A) and 37 penalty minutes.  He also served as the Silvertips captain, earning the team’s ‘Unsung Hero’ award the past two seasons.  The former second round bantam pick of the Silvertips was a member of the 2012 SMAAAHL Champion Saskatoon Contacts and captured a bronze medal at the Telus Cup.

“Any time you can acquire a player that has been a captain of a team, you are eager to do it,” commented John Paddock.  “In Dawson, we are really excited about adding an experienced, big forward to our group who has been playing in a winning program.”

Tyson Jost (5’11”, 191 lbs) was selected 10th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.  The St. Albert, AB native played 94 games for the Penticton Vees of the BCHL the past two seasons while totaling 149 points (65G, 84A).  Last season, Jost posted 104 points (42G, 62A) in 48 games and was named the BCHL and CJHL Most Valuable Player.  Jost captained Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF U-18 World Championship in Grand Forks, North Dakota where he led the tournament with 15 points (6G, 9A) in seven games.  Jost has committed to the University of North Dakota (NCHC) for this upcoming fall.  He was the Silvertips’ seventh overall selection in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.

“We fully know what Tyson’s desires are and we respect that immensely,” continued Paddock.  “At some point we will have a conversation with his representatives and him about what we think of him as a player.”

Sean Richards (5’11”, 180 lbs) joined the Pats last October when he was called up from the Olds Grizzlys.  The St. Albert, AB native played in 54 games for the Blue and White, totaling 18 points (3G, 15A) and 58 penalty minutes.  In the 2016 WHL Playoffs, Richards posted three points (1G, 2A) and was a +3 plus/minus rating in twelve games. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Depth Charts for Riders-REDBLACKS Game

Game time at Mosaic Stadium is 7 o'clock. 620 CKRM's game-day coverage starts at 4. 

This And That

Its Friday, so here are the thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always, they are in no particular order.

--Is anyone giving the Riders a chance this weekend?  On paper, there is no way they should be able to beat the high-flying Ottawa REDBLACKS considering the fact Trevor Harris is the hottest thing in the CFL right now, Darian Durant is out and the Rider "D" is having some problems as they continue to adjust to one another.  Yes, there is a reason they don't play the games on paper.  A break here and a bounce there and you just never know in the good old CFL.  Mitchell Gale had some success against BC and he has had a full week to take starters reps and the defence is going to get better. Can they pull off a 180 in just six days?  Win or lose, I am expecting a good tilt and not a one-sided affair.

--Many Rider fans feel the season is over because of Darian's absence. I understand that sentiment seeing they haven't won much when he isn't in the lineup. This team has to show to themselves and everyone they can win games without their leader.  Yes, he has become a little injury-prone over the last three seasons, but when he is on the top of his game, he is one of the best and when he gets back which thankfully will be soon, they will be fine. To those who are suggesting Durant should hang it up because of this latest injury, just stop it! Your wishes will not be answered.

--Could this be Henry Burris' last visit to Mosaic Stadium? Even though he is the back-up, will he be serenaded as he has been so many times in the past by the Rider faithful around the Ottawa bench? By the way, Ottawa has proven they can win without the league's MOP last season! Yes, this problem can be traced back to the previous regime. #jennings #cato #sighhhhhh

--As we near closer to the opening of new Mosaic Stadium, I am wondering if those at the University of Regina have thought about hosting a Vanier Cup.  It wouldn't be something immediate as the football team is trying to regain its identity after a horrid 2015 campaign.  If the Rams weren't in the game, would it be a disaster.  14-thousand people turned up on a frigid day to watch the Huskies and Laval in the 2006 Vanier Cup at Griffiths Stadium. That would happen in Regina if the Rams were playing, but there is no guarantee of that.  It would be a great way to showcase the new Mosaic for something other than the Riders.

--Former Riders running back Kory Sheets was given a nice honour this week as he was named to Purdue's all-Century team (players playing since 2000) joining Drew Brees, Matt Light, Ryan Kerrigan and Cliff Avril. Nice!

--The CFL says ratings are up 12 percent this year. Can that be challenged or reviewed?

--TSN's Sara Orlesky is right up there if not above all the female sideline reporters used in the U-S. ESPN could throw her on a US college football sideline and she would be better than many currently used.  The same could be said for the pro game.

--Are the Toronto Blue Jays going to trade Jose Bautista? They are playing well without the outfielder in the lineup. If they could get a pitcher they have control of over for 3-4 years, I would do it. There is talk about trading him to the Dodgers for Yasiel Puig, but the Blue Jays do not need a bat. They need arm(s). It would be a highly unpopular move short term, but it would pay off long-term.

--It is starting to get near crunch-time in the majors as the race for playoff spots are about to heat up. No doubt Toronto is in that race, but there are several teams in the American League and National League who are very good right now. Texas, Cleveland, Toronto, Baltimore, Boston and Houston have to be talked about in the American League while the Cubs will be challenged by the Giants, Nationals, Mets and Dodgers coming down the stretch. It is going to be great and oh so agonizing over the final couple of months.

--Congrats to Cougar ladies hockey players Alexis Larson, Kylie Gavelin and Jaycee Magwood as they have been invited to a Hockey Canada development camp.  The three are trying to earn a spot for Canada's team at the World University Games in Kazahkstan next January.

--Canada's flag-bearer in Rio will be Rosie McLennan. She won Canada's only gold in London in 2012 in trampoline.  If I went through downtown Regina and asked people who Rosie McLennan is, who Christine Sinclair is, who Adam Van Koeverden is or who Brianne Theissen-Eaton is and you wouldn't get many people knowing who McLennan is. Good for her, but personally I think a more marquee Canadian could have been selected.

--How many things from Edmonton can this province steal? The Rush, Chris Jones and now the CFR Rodeo. At this rate, Connor MacDavid will be a Moose Jaw Warrior or Swift Current Bronco next year!

--Good luck to all athletes competing at the Saskatchewan Summer Games that start this weekend in Estevan.

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

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Draftkings Week 5 CFL Picks

It is the 5th week of action, and I've gotten a "Congratulations" e-mail from the fine folks at Draftkings twice. Last week was not one of them,  YUKKKKK!!! Time to put last week in the rear-view mirror and look forward to this week. 


He is the top player in the CFL this year, and he goes up against a Rider defence that is giving up big yards in the air. This is a no-brainer. 


Teams aren't running the football, so taking a RB is a tough decision. Messam is that horse that will be able to get it in on short yardage plays. At this point, you need a running back who can get the ball in the endzone. Brandon Whitaker and John White are good picks as well, but I'm going with Messam 


It is hard not to take Chris Williams here, but Ellingson was the guy last week and one has to think Chris Jones will look to stop Williams thus giving Ellingson opportunities. Ellingson is also cheaper, so it may allow you to take a more expensive threat like a Derel Walker or a Darvin Adams. Naaman Roosevelt and Ricky Collins could get you some nice numbers late in the game as well when it is expected the Riders will be throwing the ball.


It is tempting to take Edmonton or Calgary here, but one has to think the REDBLACKS will make life miserable for Mitchell Gale as he makes his first pro start.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Something To "Mitch" About

OY VAY -- It took three games. The honeymoon is over, the knives are out.  The Rider Nation is furious after Saturday night's loss to the BC Lions. They have every right to be, but some need to eat a Snickers bar because they aren't themselves.

This blogger thought it was time for the Riders to get into the win column. After tough losses to Toronto and Edmonton, I truly believed this team was ready to go out and spank the Lions. Many others believed that as well. However, on a night where the 1966 Grey Cup champions were saluted by a crowd of 30-thousand, it didn't happen and now this team is temporarily in the same boat where it was last year and for the last half of 2014---without its leader.

My phone was buzzing in the 4th quarter from people wanting to know what the h-e double hockeysticks was going on. "This team sucks!" "Did Durant break his ankle?" "What happened to Labatte?",  "Our o-line is a joke.", "Here we go again",  "Pick up some cold beer on the way home"...and from someone in Edmonton " I bet Ed Hervey's grin is wider than it was on Grey Cup Sunday." In the words of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers when his team was struggling last season....R-E-L-A-X!

Would this game have been any different had Durant and others been on the field? Absolutely. Chris Jones stated at the end of the game injuries did not lose this game for the team, and he is right, but it had a major effect on the final outcome. The Riders lost a huge deal of leadership on the offensive side of the football in losing Durant, Labatte and Shawmaud Chambers.  While Mitchell Gale came in and looked good in his first appearance in green, you could see things weren't operating with the same efficiency it was when those three were in the game.  Yes, those three wouldn't be on the field when Jonathon Jennings torched the defence with several long throws, but I am guessing there might have been some sustained drives coming out of the second half to quell the momentum BC was building.

The blocks are there to build this team back to respectability. The process is going slower than it should. Perhaps the resume of Chris Jones gave some of us (me included) false expectations, but that team you saw on the field and the team you have seen the first three games is better than their record indicates. If there is no straying from the plan, that will be evident. They have not had the breaks. When this team gets their feet underneath them, they will be fine and when they move a couple of Josh Bartel punts west to their new digs in 2017, they will be a team that can start competing for a championship.  The last couple of years have been painful, and with Ottawa, back to backs against Calgary and a trip to Hamiton in the future---all without Durant, it makes one want to perhaps put a blindfold on because it may not be pretty over the next few weeks. Speaking of which, why is it this team folds its tent once Durant goes down. Yes, I understand what he means to the team, but does he mean more to them than what we think?

Where else do we go from that one?  Let's start with Mitchell Gale. Ti-Cats QB Zach Collaros was watching the game and he saw Gale playing pretty well in Durant's absence which didn't surprise him.  In a tweet he sent out at  halftime, Collaros said I tried telling people Saskatchewan picked up a stud. He looked good going 17/30 for 247 yards, and I think his play had many going Brett who?

Defensively, the numbers aren't pretty but guys like Newsome, Eguavoen and Cox are fitting in and will get better as time goes on. Add them to vets like Foster, McDonald and Jones and it is better than it seems. If they can just rid themselves of these brain cramps, it will be a different story,

MICHAEL BROOKS - This guy comes in as #2 as the most hated person in Saskatchewan this weekend (Number 1 is the unknown toiletscum who thought it would be a good idea to light a kitten on fire at Craven) for what he did to Durant. Was the hit dirty? Yup! Should the league do anything considering he took not one, not two, but three roughing the passer calls in the game. Yup! Will they? NOPE! You can cry about supplemental discipline all you want, but you know the CFL has no teeth when it comes to that as all he will get is a fine. The CFL could show its backbone isn't sponsored by Jello in this case, but they won't and you know it.

JONATHON JENNINGS  - I think it is safe to say the previous regime screwed up with this guy. How they let him get away is a little mystifying. The Riders would certainly be in better shape at the QB position had this guy stuck around.

RETROS -  I know it is a plea that will fall on deaf ears, but like many others I wish the Riders would come out for every home game in the uniforms they had on Sunday. How can you not love that look!

66 REUNION - It looked like the members of the 1966 team that won the Grey Cup had a great time at their 50 year reunion. The Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame and the practice field was very busy as fans got autographs from heroes or players they were told young to see in their prime, but have been told what they were all about and what they mean to the great history of the football club. The only thing missing was Ron Lancaster. To see Ron's daughter Lana Mueller come in wearing the jersey of her father and the Grey Cup was a Mosaic Moment.

PHIL VS HENRIK - How about that? In a day and age where the game is starting to become known for up and coming young stars of the game, two guys in their 40's gave us a Sunday to remember, Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickleson gave golf fans a Sunday morning to remember at the British Open as they went head-to-head in what might be one of the greatest final rounds ever. Mickleson shot a six under 65 in the final 18 and it wasn't good enough. It wasn't good enough! Phil has been guilty of losing tournaments in the past, but you can't say that about this one because Stenson won it with a brilliant 8 under 63.

DOC AND DARRYL -  ESPN's latest "30 for 30" is a look at the lives of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. It is fascinating. Both became stars at too young an age in a city where temptation got the better of them as they battled drugs and other demons.

  Both had outstanding careeers, but one wonders where their careers would have taken them had they stayed out of trouble. I am guessing both would be in Cooperstown.

BENN CASHES IN -  Maybe I shouldn't be, but I was stunned to see Jamie Benn get an 8 year contract from the Dallas Stars worth 76 million dollars. Stunned because Steve Stamkos got the same term at just 68 million dollars. Take nothing away from Benn, but I think Stamkos is a better all-around player.

NARROWING THE GOALPOSTS -  The NFL is supposedly going to use technology during the pre-season to see  how far inside the uprights all successful field goals and extra points have been kicked. The idea is there are rumblings to narrow the goalposts to make kicking tougher. Can we just not play the game and quit screwing around with it on both sides of the border, What would Chris Milo think about narrowing the goalposts. Could he hit them with the same accuracy he does now?

BLUE JAYS - All I am hearing is the Jays want another bat at the trade deadline? Ummm, there's nothing wrong with the offence, its the pitching that once again needs help. Either find a starter to drop Aaron Sanchez into the bullpen or find a guy that can get you to Roberto Osuna the way Mark Lowe could last year. I don't know how much Toronto has left in the system to give away, but the division is once again there for the taking. Boston has already shown they want to make a run for it, so let's see how aggressive new GM Ross Atkins is.

BALL HOCKEY IS BACK - Did you know Toronto city council actually had a bylaw banning street hockey? I didn't until the news came out this week it had been repealed. How could you actually have such a bylaw? To quote John Lynch "How Dumb Can Ya Be??".  Are Regina kids playing ball hockey? If so, where? Back when I was a kid, we loved playing ball hockey whether it be in the schoolyard, the driveway or yes, the street. More kids are interested these days in NHL17 or some other video game and now Pokemon,  Put the controllers down and get out on the street kids. There's nothin like it!

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

Friday, July 15, 2016

Depth Chart for Saturday's Lions-Riders Game

Media preview

620 CKRM's game-day coverage begins at 2  o'clock Saturday afternoon with the play-by-play at 5

Winnipeg Jets Announce Hall of Fame --- Bobby Hull, Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg First Inductees

The Winnipeg Jets™ Hockey Club announced today that Anders Hedberg, Bobby Hull and Ulf Nilsson will be the first inductees into a newly created Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame. The three players were members of the prolific ‘Hot Line’, which, as a trio, led the Winnipeg Jets to two World Hockey Association (WHA) championships in 1976 and 1978, and remains one of the most potent lines in professional hockey history. Members of Hot Line will be honoured in the inaugural Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at the MTS Centre when the Winnipeg Jets play the Toronto Maple Leafs®.

The new Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame is being created to honour the impact and accomplishments of the team’s hockey legends and celebrate the rich history of professional hockey in the city. The Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame officially marks the Winnipeg Jets’ commitment to recognize and showcase its alumni on an ongoing basis. “Given the Hot Line’s enormous accomplishments and what they did to put Winnipeg on the international hockey map, it is an obvious choice to honour Anders, Bobby, and Ulf for our first induction ceremony,” says Mark Chipman, governor of the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club. “The Hot Line’s contributions showcased Winnipeg as an exciting hockey market and paved the way for other great players to come to our city including Dale Hawerchuk and Teemu Selanne.”

Anders Hedberg, from Ornskoldsdvik, Sweden, played with the WHA’s Jets from 1974-78. In his four seasons with the Jets, he scored 100 points or more in each season, amassing 458 points (236G, 222A) in 286 games with Winnipeg and was named WHA rookie of the year in 1975. He would also play seven seasons in the NHL® with the New York Rangers® before retiring from playing in 1985. Hedberg has previously been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, IIHF Hall of Fame and the Swedish Hockey Hall of Fame.

“I'm extremely proud to be first in line with the Hot Line to be inducted into the Jets Hall of Fame. It wasn't just the line that was good, we had a team that was good. Winnipeg and the Jets opened their arms for me and made me part of a changing hockey world that is today much more international. We lived in Winnipeg for only four years, but I still to a certain extent, feel like a Winnipegger.”

Bobby Hull, the signature signing of the WHA’s Winnipeg Jets in 1972, is one of hockey’s all-time greatest players. An inductee of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, he had a 15-year career in the NHL, playing over 1000 games for the Chicago Blackhawks®, winning the Stanley Cup® Championship in in 1961. He led the NHL in goals 13 times, won the Hart Trophy twice and was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team 10 times. Hull would play 411 WHA games, all with Winnipeg, scoring 638 points (303G, 335A) and was named WHA MVP twice, in 1973 and 1975. Hull, who was born in Point Anne, Ont., won the Canada Cup in 1976.

“It was so fabulous playing here, but to be remembered and honoured, it is quite an accomplishment that I am thankful for,” says Hull. “I have held my friendship with Anders and Ulf in such high esteem. Going back over the years when we played together, it was one of the happiest times of my life.”

Ulf Nilsson played for the Winnipeg Jets from 1974-78 averaging an astounding 121 points a season in his four years playing in the WHA. Nilsson amassed 484 points (140G, 344A) in 300 games in Winnipeg, winning the playoff MVP in 1976. Following his time as a Jet, Nilsson spent four seasons in the NHL with the New York Rangers. Nilsson, who hails from Nynashamn, Sweden represented his country in two IIHF World Championships and the 1981 Canada Cup.

“It’s such an honour to be recognized. I will probably be very emotional during the ceremony, it’s so nice to come back to Winnipeg,” says Nilsson. “I probably had four of my best years in this city, it was amazing to play with Bobby and Anders and I am so happy Winnipeg has a team back. It’s a great place to play hockey.”

All three members of the Hot Line will attend the induction ceremony as well as the Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame Luncheon presented by MTS, taking place on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at The Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg. The event will be hosted by Scott Oake with a keynote speech from Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice. Tickets are $72 each for a seat or $720 for a table of 10 and will be available for purchase in early August.

The Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame induction ceremony and luncheon will be the team’s kick-off to the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ festivities being held all weekend in Winnipeg. The NHL Heritage Classic™ Alumni Game on Saturday, October 22, 2016 will feature many former Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers® stars including team captains Dale Hawerchuk and Wayne Gretzky (rosters subject to change). Then the current Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers will face off on Sunday, October 23, 2016 in the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ game at Investors Group Field.

The Winnipeg Jets Hall of Fame plans to host its induction ceremony for player alumni on an annual basis as well as other special events. Look for more information coming soon about the hall of fame on its new website:

This And That

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

--I know I'm not the only one out there who thinks the BC Lions could go back to Vancouver with their tail between their legs after getting a whuppin from the Saskatchewan Roughriders. I get the feeling the /=S=/ are going to beat the BC Lions and beat them by double digits at Mosaic Stadium tomorrow night. I feel after the first two games, this team is ready to break out and hang one on the Lions. Time will tell my friends, time will tell.

--A belated congratulations to Darian Durant. His touchdown pass to Rob Bagg in Edmonton last Friday night put him over the 25-thousand career yards mark. Within a couple of weeks, he should pass Kent Austin as the #2 all-time Rider quarterbacks when it comes to yards as Austin had 26,626 yards during his glorious career in green. One would have to assume Durant has some good years in front of him and should be close to 40-thousand yards by the time he finally calls it a career. The question is where does that put him not only in Rider lore, but CFL lore. If he can find a way to quarterback this team to another Grey Cup championship, he would have to go down as one of the CFL's all time best would he not?

--How many Rider fans have bought Jonathan Newsome jerseys? If so, it is a great short-term investment. I say that because I think Newsome is here for a short time, and will have NFL employment once he can return south of the border. He has shown us what he is all about in just two games. We know he made Shawn Lemon expendable, and we are seeing what he can do. I am sure he will introduce himself to Jonathan Jennings at some point Saturday

--How many Rider fans have bought Ricky Collins jerseys? That also is a solid investment.. As one person told me this week, it would have been a lot easier had he worn 7 and not Justin Capiccotti. I fully understand what is being said, but let's remember there is only one 7 when it comes to the Riders, and with all due respect it's not Justin.

--I thought moving to BMO Field was going to revive the Toronto Argonauts? It would seem as if Toronto football fans didn't get the memo---at least on Wednesday. Yes, the Toronto Indy meant getting to the park wasn't the easiest, but that crowd for their game against Ottawa was pathetic. That isn't what you want to show people as you are trying to become relevant again. I thought the Argos weren't supposed to get these odd nights for home games when they left the Rogers Centre. It would appear as if they have. It's very disappointing to see, and I'm hoping its just a blip on the radar.

--I wonder if the CFL suits will ever decide one day not to tinker with the rules of the game with what can and can't be challenged and sy to themselves "Why do we have games that end in ties?" I have said in the past I think CFL overtime needs to have the ball placed further back so that teams have to get at least one first down before they are in scoring position, but the league also needs to find a way to stop games from ending in ties. Make them go for two at a certain point.  Ties aren't supposed to happen in professional sport anymore.

--Is Adarius Bowman the best receiver in the CFL? If not, who is? 

--There is a lot of hue and cry over the fact the game's best golfers aren't going to Rio. 1) Golfers don't win any money by competing 2) Golfers don't want to take the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes and getting sick and 3) and perhaps most important--golfers don't want to get drug tested seeing the PGA has none. Let's think about it for just a second!

--Graham DeLaet is competing this week in "The Barbasol Championship". Should someone who carries as awesome a beard as the Weyburn native be competing in an event put on by a shaving cream company? I am guessing he will be giving away any product received to family and friends.

--I can't be the only one who would have loved to seen both Rougned Odor and Jose Bautista on the American League All-Star team this week. What an "interesting" dynamic that would have been!

--I am guessing the Tenors may have a problem playing a small-town Saskatchewan sports day. I had no idea who the Tenors or the clown who thought the all-star game was a great place to voice his personal agenda. All I know is you do not screw around with our anthem or our flag in the manner that he did. Let's hope this jackwagon (thanks Brad Wall) doesn't even get his 15 minutes of fame!

--This Pokémon phemonenon which is going on is SOOOOOOOO 1990's. ENOUGH! If you are going to do anything, bring back TECMO Bowl.

--The Frog Lake First Nation-Lloydminster/WHL story is an interesting one. Word is WHL commish Ron Robison has been in contact with the First Nation about their plans. Is Lloydminster a worthy home for a WHL franchise though? Location wise, the answer is yes. That can't be argued. What can be argued is the league's vision for the future. Nanaimo would like to get back in the league, and I still think if the right option was there, Winnipeg would like to get in. Both of those centres are bigger than Lloyd. However, the league is running successful franchises in Swift Current, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw. Once this facility gets built, we will hear a lot more about this plan, but until then, keep it on the backburner. 

--Congratulations to Daniel Fink. The Regina Pats director of media/communications is doing what so many junior hockey players dream of doing---he is moving to the pros. Daniel took a job with the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose this week, and I couldn't be happier for him. I  met Daniel for the first time when I was working for the SJHL and he was the P x P voice of the Credit Union Cup champion La Ronge Ice Wolves. I was fortunate enough to work with some great radio guys during my term with the league and to see guys like Daniel, Dan O'Connor (now with the Prince George Cougars) and Gino DePaoli (now with the Alberta Junior League's Okotoks Oilers) doing well in the business, and moving up the ladder is something that makes me smile. Best of luck in Winnipeg Finker. If I need tickets to a Moose game, I know who to call.  Thanks for all your help in both leagues. You are truly going from the Mel (Mel Hegland Arena in La Ronge) to the Moose.

--After Wednesday's CFL game, I tuned in the West Coast airing of the ESPY's on ABC Seattle. Once again, the network came through in flying colours. The ESPY's celebrate the best in sports, and the game's biggest names are in attendance. It is the other things the ESPY's do that make the show so good. The opening piece featuring Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul talking about the recent gun violence in the U-S, and how it has to stop was powerful and very well-done, My only complaint was that instead of four basketball players, there should have been some representing all four major leagues in the U-S.

 The segments where the Pat Tillman service  and Arthur Ashe courage awards are handed out are riveting television and the speech by NBA on TNT analyst Craig Sager who is battling leukemia and won't let it stop him from what he was doing was inspiring and motivating. Cancer has touched all of us in some fashion. To see what Sager goes through every day is amazing, but he isn't the only one doing it. I don't know if I could be as positive about life when it is slowly draining away as he is. Frankly, I don't want to find out either.

All in all, the ESPY's reminded us what is great about sports----it isn't just the athletes and what they do on their court of choice, it is the stories about people who remind us of the fact that behind adversity there is good out there, and a lot of it. WWE superstar John Cena also had the line of the night when talking about the Cleveland Cavaliers victory celebrations. Cena said "1.3 million people in Cleveland, and yet they still can't find a quarterback."

--If you're at Craven, enjoy and behave. You might want to try cleaning up before you leave too. Just sayin!

That's all I got. GO RIDERS!!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Riders Announce Three More Founding Partners

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today the addition of three Founding Partners: AGT Foods, Molson Coors, and Viterra.

This select group of corporate partners receive lifelong recognition within the new facility and the ability to secure exclusive multi-year sponsorship and partnership assets, naming rights and other activation opportunities with our fans.

Founding Partners will also have access to premium hospitality areas, including suites and lounges that will provide an exclusive environment for building relationships with clients, vendors and preferred customers.

AGT Foods’ headquarters are located in Regina, Saskatchewan — the heart of Canada's largest production area for pulse crops, and operates 40+ production facilities in the center of the pulse growing regions of Canada, the United States, Turkey, Australia, China and South Africa. From a location that accounts for more than 96% of the pulse growing areas of some of the world's top producing origins, AGT's merchandising activities reach producers in these key growing regions and markets all over the world.

"The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a symbol that unites the entire province of Saskatchewan and are part of the fabric of the local culture of the province. They personify the work ethic and the sense of community spirit that we enjoy,” stated AGT Foods President & CEO, Murad Al-Katib. “It is an honour for AGT to show its long term commitment to the Riders and community through new Mosaic Stadium as 2017 marks the beginning of a new chapter for our province. We are proud to be part of this generational opportunity.”

Molson Coors Canada, founded in 1786 by John Molson in Montreal on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, is North America’s oldest brewer. John Molson was a tenacious entrepreneur and a passionate innovator. He developed his own strain of yeast for brewing and built the first entirely Canadian-made steamboat. The pride of craftsmanship instilled by John Molson over 230 years ago is what makes Molson’s leading beer brands, including Molson Canadian, Coors Light, and Old Style Pilsner, so popular with consumers. Molson Coors is a leading Canadian Brewery with over 2,300 employees in Canada, and is proud to source all of its Canadian Barley from the prairies, with a significant amount coming from right here in Saskatchewan.  

“Molson Coors Canada is thrilled to extend our partnership with the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club,” stated Greg Hutchings, Director of Sales, Saskatchewan & Manitoba. “As a founding partner, we are dedicated to supporting our community alongside the City of Regina, the Province of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Roughriders.”

Viterra is Canada's grain industry leader, supported by the expertise of its people, a superior network of assets, and unrivalled connections to world markets. Headquartered in Regina, Saskatchewan, Viterra’s commitment to agriculture goes back over 100 years, partnering with farmers to market and move their crops to areas of need around the world. A continued focus on operational excellence throughout North America allows them to efficiently handle, process, distribute and transport grains and oilseeds. Viterra provides further value to their partners through a wide variety of contracting and risk management tools to help realize the full potential of crops.

“We’re pleased to be strengthening our longstanding partnership with the Riders, and play an important role in a new chapter in the history of the city and the province,” said Kyle Jeworski, Viterra’s President and CEO for North America. “This landmark facility will support one of the best fan bases in the CFL, along with many other shows, events and special occasions that will create an outstanding legacy for the community. As a Founding Partner, we look forward to celebrating many milestone moments at the new stadium with the people of Saskatchewan.”

AGT Foods, Molson Coors, and Viterra bring the Founding Partners total to seven after the Riders originally introduced The Mosaic Company, SaskTel, Harvard Broadcasting, and Capital Automotive Group on May 25, 2015.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

CFL Draftkings Picks for Week 4

Three weeks in and I have gone to the pay window twice. I'm going to do a little gambling this week as I am confident in the Riders so here we go.


Durant is the 3rd highest QB playing this week behind Trevor Harris and Mike Reilly which is completely understandable. Durant is coming off a 300 yard, four touchdown performance against the Eskimos as he goes into a home game against the Lions. It may be a little unrealistic to think Durant can toss four more against a BC team that admittedly has baffled me a little, but I think Darian can go for another 300 and two scores at minimum.  With both Reilly and Harris costing you over 10-thousand dollars, go with Durant, save some money and grab an Edmonton or Ottawa receiver.


I think it is safe to say Durant has healed 100 percent from his Achilles injury, and I think the same can be said for John White. He is running hard, and he is running well. He goes up against a Winnipeg team that will likely be concentrating its efforts defensively on stopping a very good Edmonton passing game. That should create some opportunities for White who leads the CFL with two touchdowns on the ground.  You also can't go wrong with Jerome Messam


You can't shy away from the hottest receiver in the league. Williams has hauled in 6 TD passes in the first three weeks and has gone over 100 yards receiving in each game. How can you not go with him? If you like a really cheap option, take the Riders Ricky Collins at just 4100.


I will admit it, there is no rhyme or reason to this pick other than the fact I have a hunch the Riders D is going to come up with a huge game against Jonathan Jennings or Travis Lulay. I see some sacks, some INT's and maybe a TD as well.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Could Lloydminster Get WHL Franchise??

The voice of the Saskatoon Blades, and all-around good guy Les Lazaruk, has unearthed an interesting little piece of information regarding Lloydminster and the Western Hockey League.

Lazaruk says the Frog Lake First Nation is looking at building a facility that would house a WHL team,

The article can be found here

Monday, July 11, 2016

Riders Release Bryant Moniz

The Riders had Monday off. They will start getting ready for Saturday's home game against the BC Lions on Tuesday at Mosaic Stadium. 

When the team gets back to practicing, Bryant Moniz will not be with them as the quarterback has been released.

Moniz took two snaps for the team this year and fumbled both of them. 

Something To "Mitch" About

ARRRRRGHHHHHH!!!!!! --Is it safe to say this is what a majority of Rider Nation was doing Friday night around 1130??

Football is a game of inches and for the Riders it came down to this as you well know. 

Whether or not the Riders would have scored a TD to win it or force a FG to extend overtime where god knows what might have happened is not known, but at the end of the day, short yardage execution killed the green and white. 

Correct me if I am wrong, but the Riders botched 3 3rd and short plays in this game along with the one resulting in the Toronto touchdown in their first game. That's 4 in 2 weeks! Most teams won't have 4 in a season or 3 or 2 for that matter. The question being asked by everyone is how can you not get a yard in a league where the defenders have to give you a yard at the line of scrimmage. Where is that surge by the o-linemen. I can understand this happening once, but four times?  It is obvious where work needs to be done. Hey, at least Chris Jones kept Darian Durant in to run the short yardage offence instead of having the 3rd string QB come in cold off the bench. 

As for the call itself, I was OK with it. A touchdown and the Riders win the game. It was a chance to win and Jones went for it with some aggressive play-calling both in OT and down the stretch---until the final 19 seconds.

It isn't the first time it has happened in the CFL and it won't be the last, but the decision to play so soft in the final few seconds allowing Edmonton to kick a 51 year old field goal to tie it had many exasperated and for good reason. The game was over. Play some tighter D and you are coming home with a 1-1 record.  Jones took full credit for that faux-pas when it was over, Other coaches wouldn't have done the same thing in the same spot.

All in all, this team heads into its game against BC on Saturday with a record of 0-2, but I think they are on the right path. A win over the Lions at Mosaic will validate that thought.

--WEEK 3 THOUGHTS  -- The CFL thinks it is fixing its game, but they are wrong. Watching games this weekend, it is challenge after challenge after challenge after challenge. There is no flow to the game and fans are once again becoming disenchanted.  It is time for the CFL to start penalizing teams when challenges go the wrong way.  If you want to challenge a pass interference or a roughing the passer or something that isn't turnover or scoring related, it should cost you 10 yards if you are wrong.  Glen Johnson can sit there and say the game is better, but its not. Agree or disagree?

Other thoughts

--Is Toronto's o-line that bad, or is Ricky Ray slower?
--Are the Argos really as good as their 2-1 record indicates?
--Is the return of Zach Collaros the thing the Ti-Cats need to turn things around or is there a deeper problem in Hamilton?
--Bo Levi Mitchell doesn't look as sharp as he did last season to me. Yes, it is early
--Winnipeg did win a game, but did they win it or did Hamilton give it to them?
--Will Henry Burris see the field again in Ottawa? Trevor Harris has been incredible in his 2 1.2 games of work.
--Did anyone else forget Anthony Allen was the back-up running back in BC. After seeing Chris Rainey in that role in the Week 1 win over Calgary, I thought Rainey would be the starter with Jeremiah Johnson out. Uhhhhh no!

--MASTERFUL MURRAY -- I didn't see all of the mens final at Wimbledon between Andy Murray and Milos Raonic, but when I sat down to start watching midway through the second set, you knew how this was going to end. Raonic performed well, but Murray was at the top of his game answering everything the Canadian had,  Try and try as he might, Milos had no answer losing in straight sets.  Genie Bouchard's career took a downturn after losing the Wimbledon final a few years ago, but I don't see the same for Milos.

--UFC 200 -- For all the hype given to UFC 200, it was a snorefest.  Yes, Anderson Silva only had about 48 hours for his match with Daniel Cormier, but that might have been one of the worst UFC matches I have ever seen. Cormier was content with laying down on Silva for much of the match. YAAAAWWWWNNNNN!!!.  I guess we shouldn't be surprised seeing that is Cormier's M-O, but there is no doubt Jon Jones would have lit him up had that fight gone ahead.  As for Brock Lesnar-Mark Hunt, this was definitely the highlight....

By the way, Bruce Buffer did apologize in a Tweet for mis-pronouncing Regina.  It was very cool to hear that.  I'm just glad he didn't come down to the octagon with "Last Saskatchewan Pirate". That might have been it for me.  Some on Twitter said he should come down to a Colter Wall tune, and that would have been tremendous. In the end, he came down to "Enter Sandman" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that either.  Joe Rogan says he has "built a compound" in the province of Saskatchewan. Can anyone in the Maryfield area confirm this? 

DUSTY SHUTS DOWN THE JAYS -- I didn't see him do his thing Sunday at Rogers Centre as I was doing the webcast for the Regina Red Sox game, but there was quite the buzz at Currie Field over the performance of Dustin Molleken. The 31 year old is showing he belongs in the bigs as he went 2 2/3 innings allowing 3 hits, and striking out 3. More importantly, he keptToronto off the scoreboard even though the Jays took the final game before the all-star break by a score of 6-1.  With baseball at the break, I would expect the Tigers to send him back to Triple A so he can get some work in this week, but will they call him back up? I would certainly hope so, because he deserves it after his first two outings, but if they don't, I am guessing he will be a September call-up.

WE'RE NUMBER 1 -- I am guessing former CKRM announcer now salesman Perry Nyhus will be strutting around the station with a smile on his face this morning. Perry's son Mason was a quarterback on the Canadian team which won gold at the Under 19 Football Championships as they beat the U-S in the final 24-6. Besides Nyhus, there were 9 other players from Saskatchewan on the 38 man team. 10 of 38!! We are doing something right in Saskatchewan it would seem. There are many coaches out there who should be very proud of this accomplishment because from minor football right through to high school, they have done a tremendous job as have the players representing this fine nation. 

That's all I got. Have a great week! 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Riders Get DL Cedric McKinley From Edmonton

Edmonton traded international defensive tackle Cedric McKinley and a negotiation list player to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in exchange for an eighth round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft and a negotiation list player.

McKinley signed with the Eskimos in 2014. The Alabama native made 12 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble in 15 CFL games.

The 29-year-old won his first Grey Cup in 2015 with the Eskimos, and was on the field Friday for the Eskimos overtime win over Saskatchewan. 

Lesnar Wants More Octagon Appearances

"Let's get one thing straight: Brock Lesnar's gonna do what Brock Lesnar wants to do."

That's how the former UFC heavyewight champion fresh off his first victory in six years opened his press conference on Saturday night.

It was in response to a question about his future with WWE and UFC and whether he could make a full-time comeback to the latter, but it's a quote that also applies to Lesnar when in action. He did as he pleased with Mark Hunt on Saturday's co-main event, throwing the top-10 heavyweight to the mat with ease and taking him down via unanimous decision after three rounds.

And if it pleases Lesnar to keep fighting in UFC events, you can bet he'll find a way to make that happen.

Lesnar's five-year absence from the Octagon didn't seem to bother him as the WWE superstar was able to dominate Hunt with his ground and pound attack to earn a win at UFC 200.

His performance sparked plenty of chatter about his future, and in his post-fight press conference, he did not clarify the situation at all, though he most certainly left the door open for more mixed martial arts fights.

For the second time this week, Lesnar said "never say never" when asked about making a heavyweight title run. He was also in great spirits after the win, saying he "hadn't had that much fun" in a long time and that he felt great after the three-round bout. The former heavyweight champion looked good and was able to shake off the nerves and rust that follow a five year layoff with an impressive performance.

Lesnar's next appearance will come with WWE at SummerSlam in an August match with Randy Orton. Lesnar signed what is believed to be a lucrative multi-year contract with WWE about 15 months ago when he decided to give up on returning to the Octagon for good just days before WrestleMania 31.

That has obviously changed, due in large part to WWE chairman Vince McMahon agreeing to allow Lesnar to fight at UFC 200 while still under WWE contract. (Promotions for Lesnar's SummerSlam match and the WWE 2K17 game featuring Lesnar on its cover could be seen during the UFC 200 broadcast, likely a give-back from Dana White to McMahon.)

Now Lesnar's future with UFC is hazy at best, but the idea that there may even be a future in UFC for the 39-year-old Lesnar is incredible. He admitted that age is a consideration and that "the big 4-0 is coming;" he'll be realistic, but the possibility does exist for a comeback.

As for a potential opponent should he return, Lesnar was asked about facing Cain Velasquez, who won his fight after a long layoff of his own in impressive fashion against Travis Browne. Lesnar's response? "Sure, absolutely."

Lesnar's overly positive attitude after the fight was impossible not to recognize, in large part due to its rarity. He was clearly extremely happy to be back in competitive fighting. A return to UFC for Lesnar obviously requires further coordination between WWE and UFC. How willing and able McMahon and White are to work together is unknown, though a once somewhat-contentions relationship between the two has eased significantly over the years with the two men even meeting at least once in Stamford, Connecticut, a few years back.

The optimistic view is that they were able to make UFC 200 work for all parties -- UFC got a star for its card, WWE raked in some unscheduled promotion -- so why not make other mutually beneficial deals in the future.

Then again, considering the ever-defiant nature of Brock Lesnar, The Beast is likely to follow whatever path he so chooses.