Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jeff Knox Junior GIven Release By Riders

Image result for jeff knox jr

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have released international linebacker Jeff Knox Jr. so he can pursue an NFL opportunity.

Knox spent the last three seasons with the Riders after originally signing with the Green and White in May, 2015. Following his second season with the Riders, Knox signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he played three pre-season games. He rejoined the Riders in September, 2017.

Through his three seasons in Saskatchewan, Knox picked up 202 defensive tackles, 37 special-teams tackles, one interception and two quarterback sacks in 43 regular-season games. He added four defensive tackles and two special-teams tackles during last year’s playoffs.

Knox was named the Riders’ Most Outstanding Player, Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and Most Outstanding Rookie in 2015 after setting a franchise single-season record with 114 defensive tackles.

Knox was scheduled to be a free agent February 13th.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Randy's Road Trip Coming To a CFL City Near You

Image result for randy ambrosie

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie is ready to speak with fans across the country.

Starting Thursday in Montreal, Ambrosie will be travelling across Canada making 10 stops in all to meet with fans and discuss issues they deem as important. 

The CFL announced Tuesday Ambrosie will travel across Canada to meet with fans in all its markets in February. Ambrosie's first stop is Thursday in Montreal before heading to Ottawa the following day.

“Our fans are very much part of the hierarchy of this league: they make everything we do possible,” Ambrosie said in a statement. “I want to hear what’s on their minds and get their feedback on some of our plans.

"It is really important for us to be accessible, and accountable, to our fans.”

Ambrosie's other destinations will include Toronto (Monday); Calgary (Feb. 6); Vancouver (Feb. 8); Regina (Feb. 10); Winnipeg (Feb. 12); Edmonton (Feb. 13); and Hamilton (Feb. 22).

Monday, January 29, 2018

CFL Issues Statement On Potential Name For Halifax Franchise

A week after a fan social media account generated excitement over a potential 10th franchise with several logo, name and uniform concepts, the Canadian Football League issued a statement on Monday.

The account, CFLinHalifax, had fans dreaming of the possibilities — however, the league has clarified that it has no affiliation with the account:

“We want to make it clear that the Canadian Football League has no affiliation with the social media accounts identifying themselves as CFLinHalifax. While we appreciate the excitement and enthusiasm of the fans behind these accounts, even if some of their suggestions are far more appropriate than others, it is premature to discuss a name for a franchise that has not been awarded. We have been advised by the potential ownership group for Halifax that it also has no affiliation with these fan accounts.”

The CFL confirmed back in November that discussions have taken place with an ownership group that is interested in bringing an expansion team to the city of Halifax. However, the league has maintained that a very thorough process of due diligence will be required.

On Monday, Anthony LeBlanc, Partner, Maritime Football Limited, echoed the CFL’s statement:

“While we love the enthusiasm and some of the creativity being shown by the CFLinHalifax series of social media sites, it is not one that is managed by the potential ownership group.  As we have mentioned before, we do like and are considering a name the team contest, however we are not ready to start that process as of yet.  We continue to work diligently and expeditiously with the league, various levels of government and local stakeholders, and expect an update to be delivered in the not too distant future.”

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser, Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel and Buffalo Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner have been named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the week ending Jan. 28.

Boeser earned MVP honors at Sunday's 2018 Honda NHL All-Star Game, won Saturday's Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting competition and also scored two goals in two contests earlier in the week with the Canucks (19-24-6, 44 points). Participating as the only rookie in the weekend festivities at AMALIE Arena, Boeser recorded the winning goal in the Pacific Division's 5-2 semifinal victory against the Central Division and added 1-1-2 in a 5-2 triumph over the Atlantic Division in the final. He became the second rookie to win NHL All-Star Game MVP honors, following Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux in 1985. Prior to that, Boeser won Saturday's Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting competition and $25,000 by hitting all five targets in 11.136 seconds. Earlier in the week, he scored two goals in Vancouver's 6-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings Jan. 23 before being held off the scoresheet in a 4-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres Jan. 25. The 20-year-old Burnsville, Minn., native leads all rookies and shares seventh overall with 24 goals in 46 games this season (24-19-43).

Eichel led the NHL with 2-3-5 in three outings to power the Sabres (14-26-9, 37 points) to a perfect week. He scored his third career overtime goal in a 2-1 triumph over the Calgary Flames Jan. 22. Eichel then posted 1-3-4, his third career four-point performance, in a 5-0 win against the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 23 before being held without a point in a 4 0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 25. The 21-year-old North Chelmsford, Mass., native - who added 1-2-3 (2 GP) Sunday in his NHL All-Star Game debut - paces Buffalo with 20-29-49 through 49 contests this season. He is the fourth player in Sabres history to reach the 20-goal milestone in each of his first three seasons, joining Gilbert Perreault, Richard Martin and Thomas Vanek.

Lehner registered shutouts in each of his two appearances, stopping all 63 shots he faced to help the Sabres complete their first three-game winning streak since Feb. 14-18, 2017 (3-0-0). He made 33 saves in earning his seventh career shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers Jan. 23. Lehner then denied all 30 shots against in a 4-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 25. In doing so, he became the first Buffalo goaltender to post consecutive shutouts since Feb. 29 - March 1, 2012 (Ryan Miller). The 26-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden, native owns an 11-18-6 record with a 2.87 goals-against average, .912 save percentage and three shutouts in 37 outings this season.

Something To "Mitch" About

--What an uneventful weekend!  Not a lot to discuss from the sports world with the NHL on its break, the NFL getting ready for Super Bowl and the tap running dry from the CFL after the situation in Toronto.   However, some things do change and some things do stay the same as Saskatchewan got a new Premier in Scott Moe and Calgary fell to 0-2 in games where they have a problem with the visiting team's mascot.  Looks good on ya really does! Especially when you bitch and moan because you didn't like the fact the RUSH were going to put the Hulk fist on their uniform as a sign of support. Can we be more petty?

--When we talk about Tom Brady and Michael Jordan being the "GOAT" for their respective careers, we forget about Roger Federer.  Federer won the Australian Open on Sunday for his 20th Slam win. He has won more major tennis titles than any man, including a record-equaling six in Melbourne.

--Justice got served in Louisiana,  and I truthfully did not know if it would.  I don't think I am alone in making that statement. Ronald Gasser is going to jail for the shooting death of Joe McKnight. That case sparked a lot of racial tension because Gasser is white and McKnight was black.  The Riders running back obviously helped intensify the situation that led to his life being taken, but the jurors in the case made the right call. I can only imagine what would have happened if they hadn't.  The facts were right there.  There was no debating Gasser knew exactly what he was doing and his reasoning was as flimsy as could be.

--This little tidbit of info from the SUN's Steve Simmons made me cringe a little.  With the right kind of drafting and without a trade or two made, the Edmonton Oilers could have a defence of Morgan Rielly, Charlie McAvoy, Josh Morrissey and Ryan Ellis and an offence that includes Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Gabriel Landeskog, Matthew Barzal or Brock Boeser. And that was possible. That hurts just a little. Can't lie!

--Gary Bettman's 25th anniversary as NHL Commissioner comes on February 1.  Let that sink in for just a moment!

--While speaking at the all-star game, Bettman said a conversation has been had on goaltender interference. GOOD!  Goaltender interference is as confusing in the NHL as what constitutes a catch in the NFL.  Ryan Kesler could pry the pads of Cam Talbot open in last year's playoff with the goal counting, but Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews brush the goalie as many players have done in the past and the goal is taken away.  I'm still for instant replay, but we can't slow it down frame-by-frame.  If a team wants to challenge for goaltender interference and it fails, why aren't they penalized. Wouldn't this cut down on challenges when teams making them having no repercussion against them when it fails.

--Saturday night was a special one at the University as the Cougar basketball teams honoured their 5th year players with six in total being recognized by Dave Taylor and Steve Burrows this year.  "Seniors night" is always special as you find out a little bit more about the players who are representing the Cougars while trying to forge their future and how busy they are in life.   When you've been doing public address as long as this cowboy, you also start feeling old as you remember players like Brandon Tull, Charlotte Kot and Caitlin Zacharias when they started.  Some have asked in the past what connection I have with Cougar athletics and in particular the basketball program.  Some are stunned when they discover I have zero and didn't even go to the U of R.  It's nights like Saturday when I realize why I do.  Hope to be a part of many more-----and maybe a celebration at this year's Nationals.

-Ronda Rousey in the WWE!!  We knew it was coming and it did as she made her appearance at the end of the Royal Rumble PPV.  One that I don't think really surprised anyone with the end results. I know Vinnie Mac and the rest of the WWE wanted to showcase the first ever women's battle royal, but having it as the last match after the triple-threat match was a mistake as the buzz was seemingly gone.  That and bringing back wayyyyy too many from the past.  That's what you get though when you don't have enough on your roster to fill out the 30 you were looking for.

--Are the Pats improved enough to beat Moose Jaw or Swift Current? The early returns would suggest no as they are 0-3 against the top two teams in the East since the trade deadline. Time will tell! Speaking of the Broncos, there aren't many junior hockey jerseys that are sharper than the whites they wore at the Brandt Centre on Sunday.

--I know Curling Canada wants to include every province and territory without eliminating everyone as was the case at the last couple of years, but is it really good for the sport when Jennifer Jones is beating the Yukon 14-1 and the team from Nunavut has been pasted twice in three tries?  The same thing is expected when the Brier hits Regina.  I guess if the World Juniors is going to have a couple of free spots on the bingo card we should expect this here too, but is it really what the sport wants or needs?

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

Friday, January 26, 2018

Another Argo Sounds Off Over His Contract

Image result for victor butler

James Wilder Junior has set the CFL abuzz with his decision this week not to play this year saying the Argos will not let him out of his contract and pursue NFL opportunities. Teammate Victor Butler is now throwing gas on the fire saying the same thing is happening with him.  Butler has written a piece for  You can read that statement here

CFL/CFLPA At Odds On Bonuses

The CFL has drawn the ire of the CFL Players' Association by directing its teams to stop paying players off-season bonuses until a new collective bargaining agreement is reached next year, a tactic the union says has driven a wedge between the two sides before contract talks have even begun.

Many CFL players now receive up-front money, in the form of either a signing or roster bonus, as part of their contracts. But the league has directed clubs to refrain from doing so this off-season until after a new agreement is ratified.

The current deal expires May 15, 2019. Players can sign contracts this off-season but won't receive any signing bonuses until after a new CBA is reached.

"I think everyone agrees we're looking for a fair agreement at the next bargaining session for everybody but this widens that gap prior to even sitting down," said Brian Ramsay, executive director of the CFLPA . "If the thought process is it's meant to speed up or assist bargaining, we vehemently disagree with that."

Former commissioner Jeffrey Orridge issued the directive in early 2017 and it's since been supported his successor Randy Ambrosie. A former CFL player and CFLPA secretary, Ambrosie has worked closely with the union since his appointment last summer and in September the two sides agreed to eliminate in-season full contact padded practices and move to a longer, 21-week schedule to enhance player safety.

"I don't think there's anything particularly nefarious about this," Ambrosie said of the directive. "I wasn't here when that decision was made but I respect its intent.

"We've just said we want everybody at the table with the same fundamental imperative that we have to get a deal done and not at the table with one party advantaged over the other. None of us, this league and the players, can afford a work stoppage."

But the directive is a contentious issue for the union.

"The action itself speaks so loud," said Ramsay. "It's an extremely aggressive tactic trying to circumvent the relationships that have been built.

"We don't see that being an equal playing field. That's the first discussion about bargaining, that positioning by them."

Traditionally, general managers have looked to re-sign players heading into the final year of their contracts or free agency to new deals that could include five- or six-figure bonuses. CFL contracts aren't fully guaranteed but players can keep bonus money even if released afterwards.

There's no financial benefit for teams as all cash paid to players counts against the salary cap. But if franchises have cap space at season's end, some GMs use it to pay bonuses and help reduce their cap hit the following year.

The ability to offer bonuses also allows GMs to sweeten the pot for their top players and help prevent losing them to another team. Often in CFL free agency there's very little difference between competing offers so up-front money becomes a powerful negotiating tool.

Not all CFL GMs are fans of off-season bonuses because in the past, players have taken the money and then retired with no obligation to pay back the money. Some general managers prefer having players report to camp and pass a physical before receiving their bonus.

Contract talks between the CFL and CFLPA were tumultuous in 2014. Negotiations broke down several times and there was a threat of a players' strike before both sides hammered out a five-year deal.

Ambrosie said if the CFLPA has concerns, the two sides should discuss them.

"If we're going to disagree we should do it behind closed doors and talk it through," he said. "I do want the guys (CFLPA executive and players) to know I'll do everything I can to have a respectful relationship with them.

"Agree to agree where we can, agree to disagree where we need to but fundamentally never lose sight of the big prize . . . a better, bigger, stronger CFL where everyone benefits."

Ramsay agreed that some conversations should be private.

"When it comes to the details of finding a solution and working on the relationship, that should be done behind closed doors," he said.

Some of the CFL's biggest names are scheduled to become free agents this off-season, including quarterbacks Mike Reilly of Edmonton, Calgary's Bo Levi Mitchell and Saskatchewan's Zach Collaros. The bonus moratorium and an uncertain 2019 salary cap are two challenges GMs and player agents will face.

The CFL and CFLPA won't have to worry about the resurrection of the XFL during contract talks. World Wrestling Entertainment boss Vince McMahon announced Thursday he's reviving the renegade spring league to resume play in 2020.

The XFL died in 2001 after one year of operation.

"Anytime you have another hungry mouth to feed . . . . I think you have to say, of course, it could affect us," Ambrosie said. "He (McMahon) has been in this sport before, he's a big visionary but quite frankly I think it's time for us to have a bigger vision than his.

"Think about our game as a 12-month business where we have six months of football and six months of everything else revolving around our great athletes. If we can do that, I'm confident our players will be happy and the league will be stronger."

(Dan Ralph/Canadian Press)

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.

--The Calgary Roughnecks lacrosse team should be embarrassed with themselves.  In a move that reeks like the Stampeders not allowing Gainer into McMahon Stadium, the Roughnecks were not going to allow RushHulk (super fan Kelvin Ooms) into the Saddledome wearing his costume for Saturday's game.  This despite the fact they will allow Roughnecks fans to wear the costume of their favourite "Star Wars" character.

The excuses the Roughnecks have given are all hysterical and have quickly been shot down.  C'mon Calgary.  Why are you letting your petty jealousy for Saskatchewan get in the way of a good time! We know you hate it when our football teams play in your stadium because your fan base gets embarrassed by those who show up in green ----those who have a great time win or lose.  We're now going to extend that jealousy to our lacrosse teams?  Take the stick out of your derriere and enjoy life fellas!  Oh yeah, I guess I shouldn't be surprised to learn the Stampeders and Roughnecks are owned by the same group.   The team then came out and said he could wear his costume, but not behave like a mascot and that he had made demands. Where was that when the story first broke? Make that statement originally, and people might understand.  Sorry Roughnecks, you come off as real bad in this story.

--I wasn't surprised to see Duron Carter sign a contract with the Riders before free agency in a couple of weeks.  Carter wants to be here. You can see that.  He adds one of the reasons why he wants to be here is Chris Jones.  But, but I thought Jones was a bad guy??? (sarcasm off).   As for the coach and GM, he just continues to put the pieces in place for what should be a very good football team in 2018. There is still some work to be done, but this team will be challenging Calgary and Edmonton for first in the West if they stay healthy.   Some tweaks are still coming, but I don't think they will be drastic tweaks.  One of the few things needed is maybe some help on the defensive line.  With guys still out there like Zack Evans and Ted Laurent, I am confident the guys will be found.  If Keith Shologan still has something left in the tank and can come at the right price,could he find his way to Saskatchewan for a second stint?

--Getting back to Jones.  Why is it he was crucified by so many for telling a TSN cameraman to get the you know what out of the way while he was relaying signals during the East semi-final with comments of "no class", "ignorant" and other words being thrown his way yet when Tom Brady tells a cameraman to do the same thing as he is walking onto the field for the AFC Championship, he gets nothing in the line of criticism.  Double standard boys and girls???

--Speaking of teams that should be ashamed of themselves, the Toronto Argonauts are in the wrong with James Wilder Junior. If he is seeking a release to have an attempt at the NFL, why hold him back especially when you are paying him peanuts.  Now to be fair, Wilder did sign a deal at a relatively low price knowing full well what his family situation was like back home so he can't use that as an excuse to get more money. The Argos need to sit down with Wilder and either A) give him an out or B) sign him to a contract which is agreeable to both.  I think either can be done and done in relatively quick fashion.   With a new CBA needing to be drawn up, this situation will certainly have players saying the minimum salary needs to be bumped up from its current figure. He has put the league in a real dicey situation with this move.

--Believe it or not, the XFL is coming back. Vince McMahon is going to try it again with play scheduled to start in 2020 after the Super Bowl.  We know there will be eight cities, but we don't know what those cities will be.  I am guessing they will be warm weather ones with San Diego being one to alleviate the loss of the Chargers. Where else does he go and what will he do this time knowing the first time didn't work because of the some of the stunts he tried.  Where and how will the public experience these games as well.  Questions, questions, questions.  What impact will this have on the CFL? Time will tell!

--Had a great time chatting Allan Cup Senior Hockey with Keegan McAvoy of the Rosetown Red Wings on Thursday's Sportscage.  Senior hockey is something that thrives in small-town Saskatchewan. How can you not love it?  The Allan Cup is happening in Rosetown this year. That place will go nuts when the tournament is on. 

--The NHL all-star game is this weekend in Tampa. Please tell me when it's over.

--Many are squawking about goaltender interference after some debatable calls over the past few days.  I am guessing Jake Ireland is now working for the NHL. It's the only way that some of those calls can be explained.  Perhaps the NHL needs to look at that during the all-star break. 

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

The XFL Returns!

Image result for XFL

WWE chairman Vince McMahon is bringing back the XFL

McMahon, who rushed the original XFL into existence without so much as a full slate of offseason practices to prepare for the league's inaugural year, said he learned his lesson from one of the XFL's biggest initial mistakes.

"The new XFL is an exciting opportunity to reimagine America's favorite sport," said McMahon in a statement. "As we move towards kickoff, we look forward to listening and implementing innovative ideas from players, coaches, medical experts, technology executives, the media and most importantly football fans."

There had been unsubstantiated talk about the XFL making a return late in 2017, but Brad Shepard first reported in mid-December that McMahon, WWE's chairman, was planning to make such an announcement on Jan. 25.

WWE clarified at that time of the initial reports that it was not going back into the football business but McMahon will rather be doing so on his own. McMahon, who will continue in his role as chairman and CEO of WWE, has created Alpha Entertainment separate from WWE and recently sold 3.34 million shares of WWE stock (about $100 million worth) in order to help fund the company. Alpha Entertainment also acquired five XFL trademarks that WWE abandoned between 2002 and 2005.

McMahon confirmed Thursday that he would solely fund the venture with the aforementioned $100 million. Furthermore, the new XFL will not have any attachment to WWE financially or otherwise, unlike the previous incarnation of the league which featured WWE superstars promoting the product and even WWE announcers calling the action.

The company released this mission statement following the announcement.

This is the future. This is not the past. This is the future. And the future moves fast. This is quicker, simpler. Rules, reformed. This is your game safer. This is football reborn. This is gaming and fantasy, this is padded roulette. Make a trade, make a team, make a move, make a bet. This is fans above all. This is maximum action. Less stall more ball. Fewer infractions. This begins in 2020. The future is near. More access. More everyone. More everything here. This is our moment, our story to tell. This is history begun. This is the XFL.

Though details were scarce, McMahon confirmed the XFL would be a single-entity structure consisting of eight league-owned teams in cities that have not yet been determined. He does not plan to play a front-and-center role with the league as a figurehead or otherwise. Current plans account for a 10-game regular season beginning in late January or early February followed by a postseason consisting of two semifinal games and a championship game. Active rosters will consist of approximately 40 players with winning incentivized.

Furthermore, he wants games to be sped up and played perhaps in as quick as two hours. "Sitting and watching a three, three-and-a-half hour game is laborious sometimes," McMahon said, a statement that surely made WWE fans that have to sit through a three-hour Monday Night Raw each week smile.

McMahon also made it clear he does not want any political affiliation or social controversy to surround the league, which he said will have rules put in place that everyone must abide by. He wants fan input and integration to be a major part of developing the league over the next two years, from rules and team locations to everything in between. 

The original incarnation of the XFL was a joint venture between WWE (then-WWF) and NBC with McMahon and former NBC executive Dick Ebersol spearheading the project. ESPN produced a fantastic "30 for 30" documentary on the successes and failures of the XFL that is a must-watch for any sports fan, but the long and short of it is that the league attempted to do too much -- too extreme -- too fast. NBC got uncomfortable, and once it pulled its support, McMahon's baby was dead in the water. (Ironically enough, the end of the doc features McMahon and Ebersol musing about whether the XFL would work today and lessons learned from the venture.)

I've long maintained that the XFL has actually received too much grief from those looking back on its failures years later. It had some ratings successes, the football improved drastically as the season went on (it was rushed into existence and teams did not get an opportunity to truly practice ahead of the season), and some of the game's innovations (sky cam) still used to this day were adopted by the NFL and other networks. The XFL failed in large part due to a confluence of misfortunes including technical difficulties, miscast announcers, changing the rules during the season, and McMahon's decision to go to the extreme by bringing adult themes into the game -- such as overtly sexualizing the cheerleaders.

The XFL of old would have been tough for any network to stomach in 2018 and beyond, which is why McMahon and Alpha Entertainment will take the new league in a family-friendly direction. Aside from the concept surrounding the cheerleaders, the old XFL placed a heavy emphasis on old-school, no-holds-barred football. Considering CTE concerns and increasing attention to other health risks players face, that's an obvious issue to centering a league around such an extreme brand of football. Back in the day, the XFL even trashed the opening coin toss for the "opening scramble," which featured players running and diving for a football at midfield. One player famously separated his shoulder on the first scramble of the season and missed the rest of the year.

McMahon promises toned-down version of the XFL more akin to the NFL and college football but with enough unique elements that will set it apart from the pack.

It will be instrumental for McMahon to find a broadcast partner from the get go, and it will be interesting to see if he went straight for a popular streaming service considering the success he's had with the WWE Network.

(CBS Sports)

This Week In Cougar Athletics

Image result for university of regina cougars

This Week in Cougar Athletics

Friday – Home Events
Women’s Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, 6:00 PM (CKHS)
Women’s Hockey – vs. Manitoba, 7:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, 8:00 PM (CKHS)

Saturday – Home Events
Women’s Hockey – vs. Manitoba, 3:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, 6:00 PM (CKHS)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Winnipeg, 8:00 PM (CKHS)

Friday – Away Events
Men’s Hockey – at Manitoba, 7:00 PM (Winnipeg, Man.)
Women’s Volleyball – at MacEwan, 6:00 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Volleyball – at MacEwan, 7:30 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Track & Field – at Knights of Columbus Indoor Games, Day 1 (Saskatoon, Sask.)

Saturday – Away Events
Men’s Hockey – at Manitoba, 1:00 PM (Winnipeg, Man.)
Women’s Volleyball – at MacEwan, 5:00 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Volleyball – at MacEwan, 6:30 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Track & Field – at Knights of Columbus Indoor Games, Day 2 (Saskatoon, Sask.)

Sunday – Away Events
Wrestling – at Cascades Classic (Abbotsford, B.C.)

Women’s Basketball (U SPORTS Ranking: No. 2) – The Cougars jump up one spot in the national rankings this week after extending their winning streak to 10 games courtesy of a dominant home sweep over Brandon. Regina (15-1) set a program record for most points in a game on Friday in a 118-51 win over the Bobcats, then won 92-73 over the Bobcats on Saturday. The Cougars will host another team riding a 10-game winning streak this weekend at the CKHS, as Winnipeg (12-4) will be here for games on Friday and Saturday night. Both games will tip off at 6:00.

Men’s Basketball – Brian Ofori was named the Canada West Third Star of the Week on Tuesday after helping the Cougars to a weekend split with Brandon at the CKHS. Regina (9-7) lost 106-97 to the Bobcats on Friday, but recovered for an 83-75 win on Saturday night. The Cougars are back at home at the CKHS this weekend, hosting Winnipeg (7-9) on both Friday and Saturday with 8:00 PM start times.

Women’s Hockey – The Cougars return home for the second consecutive weekend after dropping a pair of home games to No. 1-ranked Alberta on Friday and Saturday, losing 3-0 and 5-0 to the visiting Pandas. Regina (6-12-1-3) still holds the sixth and final Canada West playoff spot and will enter this weekend’s series three points up on seventh-place Calgary. The Cougars and Manitoba meet on Friday night (7:00) and Saturday afternoon (3:00) at The Co-operators Centre.

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (9-9) picked up a big road split with Trinity Western, winning in five sets over the No. 9-ranked Spartans on Friday before falling in four sets on Saturday. The Cougars come out of the weekend the same way they went into it – in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Canada West standings with Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Cougars will now prepare for another vital conference series, again on the road as they’ll travel to Edmonton for Friday and Saturday matches against MacEwan (2-14).

Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars lost twice to No. 1-ranked Trinity Western on Friday and Saturday in Langley, B.C. Regina (1-17) is back on the road this weekend with two games against MacEwan (1-15) in Edmonton. The Cougars and the Griffins are scheduled to start at 6:00 (MST) on Friday night and 5:00 (MST) on Saturday night.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars took on top-ranked Alberta on the road in Edmonton last weekend, losing 9-3 on Friday and 4-2 on Saturday in a contest that featured rookie netminder Brandon Holtby making 49 saves in his first career Canada West game. Regina (3-17-2) will head to Winnipeg this weekend to face off against the third-place Manitoba Bisons this Friday and Saturday.

Wrestling (Women’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 2 / Men’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 9) – Maeghan Wild and Miki Rowbottom travelled east to represent the U of R at the highly competitive Guelph Open last Sunday. This weekend, both teams will head to the West Coast to compete at the Cascades Classic hosted by the University of the Fraser Valley on Sunday.

Track & Field – Four University of Regina records fell at the Golden Bear Open last weekend in Edmonton, including two individual records as Alex Eiswerth broke his own mark in the 1000-metre run (2:28.05) and Greg Hetterley set a new standard in the 1500-metre run (3:54.89). The 4x800-metre relay teams set new school records on both the men’s side (7:41.31) and the women’s side (9:23.05). The Cougars will send a small contingent of athletes to the Knights of Columbus Indoor Games this weekend in Saskatoon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hockey Day In Saskatchewan Is A Success

Balcarres turned Cameco Hockey Day in Saskatchewan into a week-long celebration of hockey and community spirit.

When the final buzzer sounded Sunday, the host organizing committee announced a profit of $67,295 to help cover renovations to their 51-year-old facility. Cameco Hockey Day in Saskatchewan travels to a different community each year to help raise funds for the local arena. The event is a partnership between Cameco, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association (SHA) and the host community.

Balcarres succeeded on the strength of local volunteers and sponsors from throughout the region, said Craig Geisler, head of the local organizing committee.

“It wasn’t just the rink board and minor hockey that did this,” he said, applauding the dance club and mixed martial arts studio also housed in the arena. “Everyone in the community has stepped up to do this for the youth in Balcarres and it’s been a huge success.”

Weekend highlights included a banquet featuring five-time Stanley Cup champ Grant Fuhr and long-time NHL scout Barry Trapp of Balcarres; a youth skills clinic conducted by the SJHL’s Melville Millionaires; an SJHL showdown between Melville and Battlefords; plus midget AAA, junior B and senior action.

“The rink is definitely the hub for Balcarres in the wintertime,” added Geisler. “With all of the youth groups that use it, I couldn’t imagine if we didn’t have the rink here. There’d probably be no youth in the community and if you don’t have youth in your community, you’re definitely not going to succeed.”

Cameco and the SHA spent eight months working closely with the organizing committee. On-site volunteers in Balcarres included Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel who made himself at home behind the grill.

Monday, January 22, 2018

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon, Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and Boston Bruinsleft wing Brad Marchand have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 21.

MacKinnon registered 4-2—6, including a pair of game-winning goals, in three contests to power the Avalanche (26-16-3, 55 points) to a perfect week and their ninth straight victory, the longest such streak in the NHL this season. He scored the decisive goal in a 3-1 triumph over the Anaheim Ducks Jan. 15. MacKinnon then posted 2‑1—3, his eighth three-point performance of the season, in a 5-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks Jan. 18. He closed the week with 1-1—2, including the winning goal, in a 3-1 triumph over the New York Rangers Jan. 20. The 22-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who will make his second All-Star Game appearance this week – shares the League lead with seven game-winning goals and ranks second overall with 23-36—59 in 45 outings this season. That includes an NHL-best 15-16—31 in 22 contests since the start of December, highlighted by points in all nine games during Colorado’s current winning streak (8-11—19) and goals in five straight (6-4—10).

Hellebuyck stopped 59 of 60 shots against, compiling a 2-0-0 record with a 0.48 goals-against average, .983 save percentage and one shutout to lift the Jets (28-13-7, 63 points) back atop the Central Division standings. He made 30 saves through overtime and denied both shootout attempts he faced in a 2-1 victory against the Calgary Flames Jan. 20. Hellebuyck then earned his 10th career shutout with 29 saves in a 1-0 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Jan. 21. The 24-year-old Commerce, Mich., native – who will make his All-Star Game debut this week – ranks in the top 10 in the NHL this season in wins (2nd; 25), shutouts (t-2nd; 4), goals-against average (7th; 2.29) and save percentage (7th; .926) through 39 appearances. That includes a League-best 17 victories in 20 outings on home ice (17-1-1, 2.06 GAA, .931 SV%, 3 SO).

Marchand led the NHL with 2-5—7 in four games to guide the Bruins (27-10-8, 62 points) to a 3-0-1 week, helping the team extend its point streak to 16 contests dating to Dec. 16 (12-0-4). After being held off the scoresheet in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars Jan. 15, Marchand bounced back with three straight multi-point outings: 1‑1—2 in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens Jan. 17, 1-2—3 in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders Jan. 18 and 0-2—2 in a 4-1 triumph over the Canadiens Jan. 20. The 29-year-old Halifax, N.S., native – who will play in his second All-Star Game this week – shares the League lead with a +24 rating through 37 contests this season. He also paces Boston with 20-28—48, marking his seventh 20-goal campaign.

(NHL Media) 

Duron Carter Signs One Year Extension With Riders

Image result for duron carter saskatchewan

Like him or not, Duron Carter will be back in a Riders uniform next season. 

The football club announced Carter has signed a one-year contract extension with the club,

His first year in Saskatchewan was an eventful one as he had 73 catches for over 1000 yards and eight touchdowns with some of those catches being highlight reel material including what was the catch of the year during a game against Toronto.

Carter also may have had the moment of the year when while playing defensive back in Calgary, he intercepted Bo Levi Mitchell and took it back for a touchdown in a Riders victory.

Carter had some NFL interest, but he decided to spurn that interest and return north of the border for at least one more season.

*Chris Jones also announced former Rider and Stampeders receiver Travis Moore is the new receivers coach.

Something To "Mitch" About

--Quarterback competition or quarterback controversy? As soon as the salary of new Rider QB Zach Collaros was made public, you could hear the buzz start.  Is he worth the money? Why are the Riders paying him so much? They should have just made Brandon Bridge the starter.  You could hear it from some factions of the always-divided fan base.

Bridge didn't help the matter when he went to Twitter saying he was upset now upon hearing what Collaros signed for and said he learned a lesson. Yes he did learn a lesson, and it is a hard one to take but one that he will learn from.

I was not the only one surprised when Bridge signed before free agency. He was seen at the end of the season as one of the more attractive players out there going to free agency. Why wouldn't he be after the way he played in 2017.  He's a guy who is an up and comer, and while I don't think he is starting material yet, he is close.  He needs just a little more seasoning with an experienced quarterback in front of him.   That is what he had last year and that is what he will have this year.

While it is seemingly the case every year in these parts, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on Collaros to succeed. Bridge is the flavour of the week. He is the back-up quarterback and that back-up is always the most popular man in Saskatchewan.  For years, it has been give  (insert backup quarterback name) here a chance. He has shown he can do the job.   As soon as Collaros starts to struggle, which I am sure he will at some point as most quarterbacks do, the calls will be out and they will get louder and louder.

The quarterback tandem we have is fine.  Bridge could be one snap away from being the starter just like Vernon Adams Junior could be one snap away from being the backup.  If Bridge is upset over what has gone down, come into training camp with a mindset you are going to win this job and make the coaches decision a tough one.

--Labour Day Weekend has the potential to be more salacious than usual with the Darian Durant signing in Winnipeg.  Rider Nation will go ballistic if for some reason Durant plays and has a big game with Weston Dressler.  One can only imagine.

--The New England Patriots were down 10 in the 4th quarter. They didn't have Rob Gronkowski in the lineup thanks to a concussion and they had the ball 3rd and 18 in their own territory.  In other words, they had Jacksonville right where they wanted them.  When Tom Brady hit Danny Amendola for 21 yards and a first down, you knew what was going to happen. You have seen it so many times in the past.  New England went down and scored a few plays later and then got the winning touchdown late to beat a plucky Jaguars squad that probably deserved better. 

--Wasted miracle!  We all may owe an apology to Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles.  After a bad start, they destroyed the Vikings from pillar to post in a game that shocked me.  The pick six by Patrick Robinson changed that game around completely. I didn't see Philly doing that.  I don't think a lot of people did.  It sets up an Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl.  Philly wasn't supposed to beat Atlanta, they weren't supposed to beat the Vikings and not many will take them to beat the Patriots.  Maybe they have New England right where they want them.

--The Vegas Golden Knights are the number one team in the NHL on January 22nd?  Amazing!  They can't be considered as a serious contender for the Stanley Cup can they?  Yes they can!

--I believe it was Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada who threw it out there that Jets forward Blake Wheeler should be in the conversation for Hart Trophy winner. I can't disagree.  Since Mark Schiefele got hurt, Wheeler has taken his game to another level.   Is anyone talking about Nathan McKinnon as an MVP candidate? If not, they should!

--Its not back to square one for the Pats, but losses to Moose Jaw and Saskatoon on the weekend has brought the team down to earth somewhat after some solid play coming out of the trade deadline.  John Paddock's statements following Friday's game against the Warriors were very accurate.  Moose Jaw came out with a message to send and they sent it.  The Pats see where they have to be if they are to beat their Highway 1 rivals.  They will see them again a few times before the season is over, and they will be more in sync as a unit.   Whoever gets out of the East will have a lot of work to do and will have to rid themselves of two teams that will be tough outs.  Playoffs start when?

--The Cougar women's basketball did the expected on the weekend rolling over Brandon twice including putting up a school record 118 on Friday.  The men's team split with a pretty cocky Bobcats squad who once again don't have a single home-grown on the roster.  The quality of high school hoops in the city must be pretty bad if there is not one player on the roster from Brandon. What a tremendous way to grow the sport. That tradition still is alive and well it would seem even though the wins and national championship appearances have declined over the years.   By the way, after Saturday's game. the women's team had an autograph session just outside the gym.  I had no idea how many would kids would go to meet Dave Taylor's squad. The answer was many!

There was a solid lineup with wayyyyy more people than I thought coming over. It's my understanding it was the same for the men's session which was held during the women's game. That is helping grow the sport boys and girls!  There were a lot of kids there who want to be the next Christina McCusker, Michaela Kleisinger, Ben Hillis or Brayden Kuski.  Having a chance to rub elbows with them and watch them play is a great thing.  Well done!

--Is Stipe Miocic the greatest heavyweight fighter the UFC has ever seen? That was the talk after his win over a what we found out was a very much out-of-shape Francis Ngannou. That guy is about as well-conditioned as this blogger.  I thought he would rip Stipe's head off. Nope!  Instead it looked like he just wanted to curl up and take a nap inside the octagon.  Opportunity wasted!  As for Miocic, I have been watching UFC for quite a few years, but I am in no position to say if he is the best ever big man the sport has seen.

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

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Durant Signs In Winnipeg

RICK ELVIN / THE CANADIAN PRESS FILES</p><p>Darian Durant played for the Montreal Alouettes last season and spent a decade with Saskatchewan Roughriders. "In many facets, it’s a great addition for us, and we welcome Darian to the Bomber organization," says Bomber GM Kyle Walters.</p>

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today announce the club has agreed to terms with veteran quarterback Darian Durant on a one-year contract.

The 12-year CFL veteran spent last season with the Montreal Alouettes and and previously with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, posting career totals of 31,740 yards and 167 touchdowns in 174 games (128 starts). Durant is currently 14th all-time in CFL passing yards, and has had 38 300-plus yard games, with seven 400-yard plus passing games. He’s also added 24 rushing touchdowns throughout his career.

“One of our objectives this offseason was to solidify depth at the quarterback position behind Matt Nichols,” said General Manager Kyle Walters. “Not only is Darian a veteran player in our league, but he brings a wealth of experience to our quarterback room and our locker room. In many facets, it’s a great addition for us, and we welcome Darian to the Bomber organization.”

Durant led the Riders to three Grey Cup appearances (2009, 2010 and 2013), winning the 101st Grey Cup in 2013. Durant was also the backup quarterback for Saskatchewan in the 95th Grey Cup in 2007. He played collegiate football at North Carolina, setting multiple school records, and finished as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in Tar Heels history with 68 passing touchdowns and 8,755 passing yards.

(Winnipeg Blue Bombers) 

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Seattle Rainiers?

Related image

Whether or not Seattle lands the 32nd NHL franchise, as many are predicting, the group vying for the expansion team reportedly already has a list of team nicknames registered for Internet domains.

If you like outside-the-box names, there's the Seattle Kraken, in honor of the mythical sea creature. For local flavor, it's hard to beat the Seattle Rainiers, for the majestic mountain that is visible from the city.

Those are just two of the 13 domain names recently registered by a person familiar with the expansion effort, according to Clark Rasmussen of Rasmussen broke similar news before the NHL's most recent expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights, chose its nickname.

According to Rasmussen, 38 domains for 13 different names recently were registered in the name of an attorney with Oak View Group, the group that last month won the bid to redevelop Seattle’s KeyArena.

That redevelopment, expected to be complete by 2020, is central to Seattle's bid to land an NHL team. Commissioner Gary Bettman announced last month that the league's Board of Governors has agreed to accept and/or consider an expansion application from Seattle and allow billionaire David Bonderman, filmmaker Jerry Bruckheimer and a group of investors to conduct a season-ticket drive.

Most of the other possible NHL team names, notably Emeralds, Evergreens, Sockeyes and Totems, are heavy on symbolism from the Pacific Northwest.

Cougars, Eagles and Seals are all names used by NHL teams in the distant past, while the name "Whales" conjures images of the Whalers franchise that played in Hartford, before moving to North Carolina and becoming the Hurricanes in 1997.

The other domain names registered were for the Seattle Firebirds, Seattle Renegades and Seattle Sea Lions.

Of course, a good team name is critical in merchandise sales, and the ownership group will have plenty of expenses to recoup if it earns the franchise. The expansion fee is $650 million, a sharp increase from the $500 million the Golden Knights paid in 2016.

However, Bettman made it clear last month the league is not actively conducting an expansion effort but merely letting the Seattle group gauge interest.

"It does not mean that we are opening a new expansion process. We will let them make a case and if they also want to try to do a study for selling season tickets, they can," Bettman said.

(Sporting News)

Riders Make It Official -- Zach Collaros Signs New Contract

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have announced international quarterback Zach Collaros has agreed to a new contract for the 2018 season. 

The Riders recently acquired Collaros in a trade with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

The 29-year-old University of Cincinnati product is a veteran of six CFL seasons. After spending his first two years with the Toronto Argonauts, Collaros signed with Hamilton in January, 2014 as a free agent.

Over the last four seasons with the Ti-Cats, Collaros has completed 930 of 1,396 passes (66.6%) for 11,342 yards and 66 touchdowns in starting 43 of 53 regular-season games. He also started two playoff games and the 2014 Grey Cup. 

Collaros was named the Tiger-Cats’ nominee as Most Outstanding Player in 2014 and 2015.     

He won his first career Grey Cup in 2012 as a backup quarterback with Toronto.

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.

--First off, best of wishes to former Rider Don Narcisse after word he has been diagnosed with Stage 1 of Prostate Cancer.  We are all pulling for you and hope this can be put in the rear-view mirror a-s-a-p. Rider Nation is behind you Narco!

--Was anyone surprised to see Kevin Glenn land on his feet?  Say what you will about KG, but he showed people last year he can still play.  The question now is can he stay afloat in the CFL until the Atlantic Schooners come on board seeing he has completed the CFL circle? I say Kevin has had a hall-of-fame career and will get there.  In baseball, you go in wearing a team's cap.  If KG had that, what team would he take?   My guess is Winnipeg! Would it be safe to say Glenn is the only athlete to have accomplished playing for every team in a professional league.  Considering the CFL doesn't have the teams the other pro leagues have, the answer would have to be yes!

--I wonder what a sit-down would be like between Kevin Glenn and Mike Sillinger.  It's not as if both wouldn't have stories about travelling from team to team. Sillinger would probably look at him and say you ain't done nothin compared to me kid.

-- Was anyone surprised to see Darian Durant get released by Montreal?  I think we all knew what choice Darian would make after getting a take it or leave it ultimatum from the Alouettes.  In all honesty, Darian likely wanted out and to get away from that tire-fire as quickly as possible.  Does he have a CFL home though?

Darian will have to eat some humble pie and realize his days as a full-time starter are likely done and with that comes the big salary as well.  I'm guessing he could still command a six-figure salary, but it would be nowhere near the six figures he was making.  Winnipeg would appear to be the best landing spot for him and I'm sure he wouldn't mind the opportunity to throw to Weston Dressler and be in a Paul Lapolice offence again.  I still think though if Ricky Ray retires that he ends up in Toronto backing up an unproven James Franklin and working with someone who has gotten older QB's like Anthony Calvillo and Ray to have a renaissance in their careers---and that is Marc Trestman.

--Tell me there isn't excitement for tonight's tilt at the Brandt Centre between the Warriors and Pats.  The new-look Pats want to send a message to Moose Jaw.  The Warriors want to let the Pats know that rebuilding their team meant squat as far as they are concerned.  It should be to quote the great Ed Whalen "a ring-a-ding-dong dandy"!

--The Regina Pats solidified their hockey operations staff with the multi-year contract extensions signed by John Paddock, Dave Struch and Brad Herauf.  What these three have done for the organization simply can't be measured in wins and losses.  They have helped make this organization the envy of many in the Western Hockey League and one of the flagship franchises.   This trio have worked together to devise a plan and vision for this team which is being met.  Yes, part of that plan was winning a championship---one they were oh so close to last year, but being oh so close was better than not having a sniff at one as we had seen for the last many years.  This is nothing but good news for Regina hockey fans. 

--Will WHL fans be able to enjoy playoff hockey this year?  Thanks to the bone-headed decision by those at SHAW to get rid of sports programming, will we be able to watch the battle for the Ed Chynoweth Cup play itself out in our living rooms as it has for the past number of years.. Access has picked up the ball by having many Pats games, but will they want to go to Swift Current or Moose Jaw if that is where the final is this year and would they send a crew to whatever Western Conference team is playing.  It may happen in the East, but not in the West.  Here's hoping someone steps in to fill the void because as we have seen over the years, the WHL final and the entire playoffs is must-see hockey.

--I don't see the New England Patriots losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars at home on Sunday in the AFC Championship, but the Patriots will be dealing with their Kryptonite in a way. The man that beat them twice in the Super Bowl--Tom Coughlin-- is the executive director of football operations for the Jags. He knows how to win, and he knows how to beat the Patriots. Do you think he has been sharing some nuggets of wisdom with the team this week.

For what it's worth, this Jags D reminds me a lot of the young Seahawks D when they were starting to enter their prime.  Remember Richard Sherman coming up to Tom Brady after the Seahawks beat the Patriots in Seattle and said " Why you so mad Bro?".  That's when guys like Sherman, Earl Thomas and Bobby Wagner were just starting to become household names.  Jalen Ramsey is the new Richard Sherman. He is as loquacious and as brash as Sherman and he is just as good as are several other members of that Jacksonville D.  Can they pull off an upset. It wouldn't surprise me, but I still have New England by a touchdown.

--There is no way the Vikings game can be as exciting as last week's.  They should have no problem in beating the Eagles right? That's what we said about Atlanta!  The Eagles will have a distinct homefield advantage.  If the Nick Foles that beat Atlanta comes out again, Philly could very well ruin the after-effects of the Minneapolis Miracle.   I will take the Vikings though.

--If Pats hockey isn't on your Friday night agenda, may I suggest U of R Cougars basketball?  They will be home to Brandon starting with the ladies game at 6 followed by men.   If that doesn't interest you, the stars of High Impact Wrestling are doing their thing at the Hungarian Club.  It's been a long time since I've been to Gronkville. Too long!

--Have a great weekend! I know I will!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Pats Extend Contracts Of Paddock, Struch and Herauf

 The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce they have signed Head Coach and GM John Paddock, Assistant Coach and Assistant GM Dave Struch and Assistant Coach Brad Herauf to multi-year contract extensions.

 Paddock joined the Pats ahead of the 2014-15 season as Head Coach and General Manager. He has guided the Pats to a record of 149-83-19-12 in three plus seasons. The club has reached at least the second round of the playoffs in each of those three years, including a trip to the 2017 WHL Championship Series. In 2016-17, Paddock led the Pats to a franchise record 52 win season and the Scotty Munro Memorial Trophy as regular season champions. Twice in the last three years, Paddock has been named WHL Coach of the Year and in 2017 also received Executive of the Year honours.

 “We are very excited to extend the contracts of the leaders of our hockey club,” said Pats President Todd Lumbard. “The track record of our team both on and off the ice over the last three and a half years speaks for itself.  Their hard work, knowledge and care for our players and our community bodes well for the future of the Regina Pats.”

Paddock is a member of the American Hockey League Hall of Fame, he has won three Calder Cups as a coach and two as a player in the league. Paddock played in 87 NHL games, scoring eight goals and 22 points, he also played in 462 games in the AHL, amassing 282 points and 1235 penalty minutes.

 “It’s an honour to work here in Regina,” said Paddock. “We have the best ownership group in the league and I am excited to continue the work that was started four seasons ago.”

 Struch, also joined the Pats ahead of the 2014-15 season and has played an integral part in building the club into a contending team in the Western Hockey League. Struch is in his 12th year of coaching in the WHL, his fourth with the Pats.

 “I am very honoured and privileged to remain a part of the Pats family,” said Struch. “My family and I have been treated very well here and we look forward to the future.”

 Struch was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft and appeared in four games. Struch played 13 seasons of pro hockey in North America, Italy, Germany and Austria.

Brad Herauf joined the coaching staff before the 2015-16 season and is in his third year with the Pats. Previously he was the head coach of the Regina Pat Canadians, leading them to a Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League Championship in 2015 and a bronze medal at the Telus Cup.

 “I am excited and honoured to stay with the Pats going forward,” said Herauf. “I grew up watching this team and getting the opportunity to coach here means a lot to my family and I.”

Herauf played eight seasons of pro hockey in the AHL and ECHL. In 148 game in the American Hockey League he had 22 points and 464 penalty minutes.

This Week In Cougar Athletics

Home Events – Friday
Women’s Basketball – vs. Brandon, 6:00 PM (CKHS)
Women’s Hockey – vs. Alberta, 7:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Brandon, 8:00 PM (CKHS)

Home Events – Saturday
Women’s Hockey – vs. Alberta, 3:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Women’s Basketball – vs. Brandon, 6:00 PM (CKHS)
Men’s Basketball – vs. Brandon, 8:00 PM (CKHS)

Away Events – Friday
Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open, Day 1 (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Volleyball – at Trinity Western, 6:00 PM PST (Langley, B.C.)
Men’s Hockey – at Alberta, 7:00 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Volleyball – at Trinity Western, 8:00 PM PST (Langley, B.C.)

Away Events – Saturday
Track & Field – at Golden Bear Open, Day 2 (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women’s Volleyball – at Trinity Western, 5:00 PM PST (Langley, B.C.)
Men’s Hockey – at Alberta, 5:00 PM MST (Edmonton, Alta.)
Men’s Volleyball – at Trinity Western, 7:00 PM PST (Langley, B.C.)

Away Events – Sunday
Women’s Wrestling – at Guelph Open (Guelph, Ont.)

Women’s Basketball (U SPORTS Ranking: No. 3) – The Cougars collected a nice road sweep over Alberta, defeating the Pandas by scores of 74-55 and 65-46 in Edmonton to improve to 13-1 on the season. The Cougars remain tied with Saskatchewan for top spot in the Canada West standings and are in a virtual tie for first in conference RPI, checking in with a .6483 RPI compared to .6488 for the Huskies. The Cougars are back at home this weekend for games against Brandon on Friday and Saturday night at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Start time is set for 6:00 both nights.

Women’s Hockey – The Cougars (6-10-1-3) will take to home ice for the first time in 2018 this weekend, as the third-place Alberta Pandas are in town for a pair of games. Regina is coming off a pair of losses against the first-place UBC Thunderbirds, stretching the team’s losing streak to five straight Canada West contests. The Cougars will look to bounce back as they fight for playoff positioning on Friday (7:00 PM) and Saturday (3:00 PM) at The Co-operators Centre.

Men’s Basketball – Though Regina made a strong bid on Friday to become just the second team to defeat Alberta in a conference game this season, the Cougars fell just short and are now 8-6 after a pair of road losses to the Golden Bears. The Cougars (8-6) are now at home for four consecutive games, starting this Friday and Saturday against Brandon. Game time is scheduled for 8:00 at the CKHS on both nights.

Wrestling (Women’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 2 / Men’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 7) – The women’s team took top spot in the team standings at the Golden Bear Invitational hosted by the University of Alberta last weekend, as Amber Wiebe and Inga Hammer won their divisions. The men’s team finished fifth overall, and will take this weekend off before returning to action in the Cascades Classic at the end of January. The women’s squad will travel to Guelph this weekend for the Guelph Open.

Women’s Volleyball – The Cougars (8-8) earned a critical weekend sweep at the CKHS over Thompson Rivers, defeating the WolfPack in five sets on Friday and following that up with a four-set victory on Saturday. Regina and TRU entered the weekend tied in the Canada West standings, but the two wins vaulted the Cougars up into a four-way tie for fifth place in the conference with three other teams also with .500 records on the season. The Cougars will hit the road this weekend for two matches against a Trinity Western team that’s currently ranked No. 9 in the country.

Men’s Hockey – The Cougars will head to Edmonton this weekend for a pair of Canada West matchups against the first-place Alberta Golden Bears. Regina (3-15-2) has lost six consecutive games after 3-1 and 6-1 defeats against UBC at home last weekend. Regina took on the Golden Bears at home at the end of October, losing 4-3 and 4-1.

Men’s Volleyball – The Cougars were swept at home by Thompson Rivers last weekend, losing in straight sets on Friday and in four sets on Saturday to fall to 1-15 on the season. Regina will travel to the West Coast this weekend for matches against Trinity Western, which currently holds the No. 1 ranking in the nation.

Track & Field – Greg Hetterley led the Cougars at the Downtown Lions Sled Dog Meet in Saskatoon over the weekend with first-place finishes in both the 1000-metre run and the 1500-metre run at the meet. Hetterley put up a time of 2:29.43 to win the 1000 on Friday night, then followed that up on Saturday afternoon with a winning time of 3:57.71 in the 1500. Reagan Fedak had a first-place finish for the women’s team, winning the weight throw with a top toss of 15.60 metres. The Cougars will be back in action this weekend at the Golden Bear Open in Edmonton.

Swimming (Women’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 7 / Men’s U SPORTS Ranking: No. 8) – Brian Palaschuk had the top result for the Cougars as five members of the men’s team competed at the TYR Pro Swim Series event held in Austin, Texas over the weekend. Palaschuk finished second in the B final in the 400-metre individual medley, registering a time of 4:29.46 on the long course to place 10th overall in the event. The Cougars will return to the pool at the Mountain edition of the Colleges Cup on Feb. 2 and Feb. 3 in Calgary.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Memorial Cup Ticket Sales Start Thursday

Image result for 100th Memorial Cup

The Regina Pats 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Organizing Committee, together with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), is pleased to announce that ticket packages for the 100th anniversary Mastercard Memorial Cup championship will be made available for sale to Regina Pats season-ticket holders January 18, 2018.

“We’re thrilled to announce this ticket offering,” says Shaun Semple, President and CEO of the Brandt Group of Companies and chair of the Host Organizing Committee. “Our plans for the Memorial Cup event will make the 100th anniversary edition unique in the history of the championship and we’re very proud that it all happens right here in Regina; Canada’s hockey capital!”

Ticket packages for the ten-day event will include eight guaranteed games (plus a tie-breaker if needed), with season-ticket holder pricing set at $695.00 for Centennial-level seating and $645.00 for Festival-level seating. Regina Pats season-ticket holders will also enjoy an exclusive ticket presale opportunity from January 18-26, but are not guaranteed their current seat for the ten-day event.

Following presale, tickets will be released to the general public on January 30. Non-season-ticket holders interested in reserving ticket packages can do so at, starting January 19th.  A four-installment payment plan will be available to all ticket package purchasers. Brandt Centre suite holders will have the opportunity to reserve their suites by contacting Evraz Place.

There will be numerous additional entertainment opportunities for fans to enjoy at this unique hockey event.

The Centennial Celebration Zone, located in the EventPlex at Evraz Place, will be open daily in conjunction with Memorial Cup game times and will feature full food and beverage services. Daily entertainment will feature bands such as Loverboy, Emerald City Band and Emerson Drive, with more acts and venues to be announced in the coming weeks.

Demand for tickets to the Regina Pats Foundation Honours gala, Memorial Cup opening ceremonies and Eagles concert has been strong and the team is anticipating that they will sell out well in advance.

The Pats are anticipating strong demand for ticket packages and are urging hockey fans to act quickly to avoid disappointment. Fans planning to attend this 100th anniversary championship can purchase their packages by visiting, clicking on ‘Tickets’ and following the purchase instructions.

(Regina Pats Hockey Club) 

Don Narcisse Reveals He Is Suffering From Prostate Cancer

Image result for don narcisse riders

One of the most popular players to ever wear a Rider uniform is letting everyone know of a health scare.

Don Narcisse went to Facebook Wednesday morning to announce he  is battling prostate cancer.  "Narco" says he has been diagnosed with the first stage of the disease and is thankful doctors in Texas caught it early.

While Narcisse lives in Regina, he was back in his home state when the cancer was discovered.

The 52-year-old says he will be starting treatment in a very short time.

Since making the post, Narcisse has been bombarded with positive wishes from many fans of both himself and the club.

Narcisse played with the Riders for 13 seasons and was part of their Grey Cup winning team in 1989.  He was named to the CFL Hall of Fame in 2010.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Adam Brooks --- Loving It As A Marlie, But Fondly Remembering His Time As A Pat

After seeing his WHL career end last year, Adam Brooks is at the next step in his hockey career as he is with the AHL's Toronto Marlies.   Brooks speaks about his time in Regina and how life as a Marlie is going in this video from the club.

Roster for Pats Homecoming Classic Announced

The Regina Pats Hockey Club is pleased to announce the 41 former NHL players who will play in the Regina Pats Centennial Salute All-Star Celebrity Classic on February 17 at the Brandt Centre.

The list includes Hockey Hall of Famers Clark Gillies, Brian Trottier, Mark Howe and Scott Niedermayer.

“We are really excited for this star studded lineup,” said Pats Chief Operating Officer Stacey Cattell. “This game will be a great day of celebrating 100 years of hockey in Regina.”

There are a total of 10 former Pats who will take part in the game. Clark Gillies, Barret Jackman, Dale Derkatch, Ed Staniowski, Garth Butcher, Jamie Heward, Mike Sillinger, Mark Janssens, Jock Callander  and Stu Grimson.

The Pats are also auctioning a chance to step on the ice with the all-stars. Two lucky individuals will get a chance to be treated just like the NHL alumni and get to experience everything they do over Homecoming Weekend.

There are two player and two coaching positions up for grabs. Details of what you will get are in the auction item description. The positions are open to the highest bidder and available for bid now by visiting  Bidding closes January 31st.

All proceeds from the auction go towards the Regina Pats Community Foundation which supports the WHL Scholarship Program as well as youth initiatives focused on health, wellness and education.

Homecoming Weekend will kick off on Friday February 16 with the first ever Pats Community Foundation Honours Dinner and Auction. The club will salute our country’s military and the NHL alumni will be in attendance.

Here is the full All-Star Celebrity Classic Roster:
Barett Jackman (St. Louis Blues)Brian Propp (Philadelphia Flyers)
Brian Skrudland (Montreal Canadiens)Clarke Wilm (Calgary Flames)
Cliff Ronning (Vancouver Canucks)Colby Armstrong (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Curtis Leschyshyn (Colorado Avalanche)Dale Derkatch (Edmonton Oilers)
Darcy Tucker (Toronto Maple Leafs)Ed Staniowski (St. Louis Blues)
Eric Brewer (St. Louis Blues)Garth Butcher (Vancouver Canucks)
Gary Leeman (Toronto Maple Leafs)Geoff Courtnall ( St. Louis Blues)
Glen Wesley (Carolina Hurricanes)Jamie Heward (Washington Capitals)
Jarret Stoll (L.A. Kings)Kelly Chase (St. Louis Blues)
Mark Janssens (Hartford Whalers)Mike Keane (Montreal Canadiens)
Mike Sillinger (St. Louis Blues)Pat Elyniuk (Winnipeg Jets)
Rich Pilon (New York Islanders)Robert Brown (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Rob Dimaio (Boston Bruins)Scott Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)
Sheldon Souray (Montreal Canadiens)Stu Grimson (Chicago Blackhawks)
Tiger Williams (Toronto Maple Leafs)Tim Cheveldae (Detroit Red Wings)
Wendel Clark (Toronto Maple Leafs)Bryan Trottier (New York Islanders)
Clark Gillies (New York Islanders)Brian Sutter (St. Louis Blues)
Darryl Sutter (Los Angeles Kings)Mark Howe (Detroit Red Wings)
Derek Dorsett (Vancouver Canucks)Jock Callander (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Robyn Regehr (Calgary Flames)Rob Niedermayer (Anaheim Ducks)