Friday, February 9, 2018
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.
--We are on the cusp of CFL free agency. While the Riders have done a lot in keeping the "core" guys like Duron Carter, Willie Jefferson, and Brandon Bridge who I think would have been the top 3 going in, one has to wonder about some other guys and their future. Yes, a lot can happen between now and the time free agency officially starts (11 AM SK time) on February 13, and some may have already put their name on the dotted line with an announcement to come, but there are some what I feel quality FA's that can help this team moving forward.
Will Bruce Campbell be back? How about Dan Clark? Rider fans have to be wondering about whether or not DL Esa Mrabure and AC Leonard will be back after showing what they have. If they don't come back, what is the gameplan? Who is on the shopping list and how much can they afford to spend? Questions, questions, questions. With Collaros and Hughes getting some big contracts, it likely means a high-priced veteran could and likely will be told his services are no longer needed.
As I look across the league, there are some good players out there. Players who very well not make it to free agency as well. Players like Zack Evans, Ted Laurent, Tommie Campbell and Jermaine Gabriel shoot off the list right off the bat. So do names like Phillip Blake and Travis Bond. At the end of the day, I don't see the Riders being a major player in free agency, but I do expect some additions to be made at the right price. There is maybe room for a high-profile signing, but not a lot because of some big contracts already there. At the end of the day, one has to like what is in the cupboard so far, so let's see.
--Charleston Hughes told Regina reporters on Wednesday that the Riders are a "Grey Cup contending team". If anyone should know what a Grey Cup contending team looks like, it is the former Calgary Stampeder. By the way, did anyone ask him if he is looking forward to "introducing" himself to Bo Levi Mitchell. Somehow I get the feeling he wants to do that a few times. Could you blame him?
--Question for ya Rider Nation. Who is the more popular #7 in these parts these days. Is it Weston Dressler or Willie Jefferson? There are still a LOT of Dressler fans out there!
--A CFL player has "anonymously" said that players have lost faith in Commissioner Randy Ambrosie because of his stance towards players getting jobs in the off-season. Sorry, if you are going to make that statement, you better say who you are. You might even want to confidentially reach out to Ambrosie. Putting that out there under the "anonymous" moniker is like being a blog commenter who does his or her thing anonymously. It doesn't really hold a lot of water.
--Patrik Laine is getting credit for saying he loves Winnipeg. What is the Jets forward supposed to say? If he were to say he hates it there, he would be crucified. The same could be said for Connor McDavid in Edmonton and any superstar in the NHL. Laine will likely be signing a mammoth deal to stay in Winnipeg for a long time so it is smart for him to make comments like that. Let's not paint the guy as Mr. Winnipeg. Then again, would anyone want that distinction?
--The Olympics are underway. I don't know if its just the fact that most of these events are live during the middle of the night or if its something else, but I have very little interest in the goings-on in Pyongchang. Some have asked about the fact I could care less about Olympic hockey to which I respond "If I am not watching or caring about the Spengler Cup, why would I watch this?". Do you watch the Spengler Cup? If so, good on you.
--There are concerns about the "cold"in Pyongchang for the opening ceremonies. With the windchill it is supposed to feel like minus 23. Many of us in Saskatchewan have no sympathy for this! None!
--What I did see that had an Olympic theme to it was the Mark McMorris story. What a story it was and what a great documentary it was on the Regina (Milestone) snowboarder who just about killed himself and the journey he has taken to hopefully get back on the medal podium in Pyongchang. I don't know if there is a way to see it if you didn't catch it Wednesday, but I suggest you try to find a way.
--The Oilers have been god-awful this season, but they have beaten Vegas twice and Tampa once winning those games by a total score of 17-5. They turn around after blasting the Lightning and get blasted themselves in L-A by a Kings team that really isn't that good in my mind. I just don't understand.
--Did the Kings really do Austin Wagner a favour by not sending him back to the Pats? The Kings sent Wagner to their AHL team where he has 6 points in 26 games. He would have had much more ice time and been a top guy here than what he is currently getting. I'm sure this is a question John Paddock is asking as well. Boston saw the light by sending Jesse Gabrielle back to junior, but its too late now for Wagner. At the end of the day, it either would have been one or the other and nothing against Jesse, but I think the Pats would have welcomed Wagner back with open arms.
--It is safe to assume Josh McDaniels will be Bill Belichick's replacement once he steps down as head coach of the Patriots? He better be because I am guessing his reputation is mud after telling the Colts to keep looking for a head coach after saying he would take the job. One has to wonder just what Belichick and Robert Kraft told him to make him change his mind and leave Indy hanging. Say what you like about it, it was a pretty d-bag move to make.
--The Cougar men's basketball team are headed to Lethbridge for a Canada West quarterfinal series after a convincing win Thursday over Thompson Rivers at the CKHS. It was the best effort of the year for Steve Burrows' squad on their home floor. Sadly, it was likely their last appearance on their home floor as some upsets will have to occur for them to play at home again.
That's all I got. Enjoy the weekend!