Saturday, March 31, 2018

What Did You Miss on Friday?

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--The Pats will go onto Brandt Centre ice facing elimination Saturday night.  Tyler Steenbergen's hat-trick led the Broncos to a 5-2 win over Regina giving Swift Current a 3-2 lead in the best of seven series.   In Medicine Hat, the Wheat Kings beat the Tigers 5-2. At one point, Medicine Hat led the series 2-0, but they now trail 3-2.

--Auston Matthews scored his 31st goal late in the 3rd period to give Toronto a 5-4 win over the Islanders. The win gives Toronto 101 points on the season.  Its the 4th time in franchise history Toronto has had a 100 point season.

--The San Francisco Giants beat the LA Dodgers 1-0 for the 2nd straight time to open the baseball season.  For the 2nd straight game, the only run of the game came from San Francisco's Joe Panik on a homerun. He is the first player in major league history to homer in consecutive games giving his team a 1-0 win according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

--The Blue Jays announced Saturday Troy Tulowitzki will undergo surgery Monday to correct bone spurs in both heels. The hope is he will be back on the field in eight weeks. GM Ross Atkins added the both bone spurs are attached to Tulowitzki’s Achilles tendons. The surgery will remove the spurs and leave the tendons intact.
Tulowitzki hasn’t played since sustaining a right ankle injury last July after his foot landed on Angels first baseman C.J. Cron’s heel at the bag.
The 33-year-old was bothered by the bone spurs after rehabilitating the initial injury.

--Former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien is opening up about his mental health conditions, which he says have been brought about by injuries he suffered playing football.  Speaking to a Spokane TV station, Rypien  revealed he has tried to kill himself, doesn't remember a domestic violence incident, and more broadly speaking, has "been down dark places." He considers the cause to be brain injuries suffered during his football career. He said that his life is "all a blur."

Friday, March 30, 2018

John Chick Retires

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John Chick is hanging up the helmet.

The three-time CFL all-star and the league's best defensive player in 2009 made the announcement on Friday.

"It has been an absolute privilege to football at all levels and an amazing honour to have been part of the CFL and its history," Chick said in a release. " I have always given football my all as it should be given nothing less and regardless of what stage of life I'm in, I will continue to do so.

Most of Chick's CFL career was spent in Saskatchewan as he played for six years with the green-and-white.  The 35 year old  also spent three seasons in the NFL and finished off his career in Edmonton after a trade with Hamilton late last season.  

The Utah State product will end his CFL career with 240 tackles and 72 sacks in 125 career games.

Two Game Ticket Packages For Mastercard Memorial Cup Made Available

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee, together with the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), is pleased to announce four unique two-game ticket packages for the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup championship, to be released for sale to the general public on March 31st.

“These new ticket packages present an outstanding opportunity for hockey fans to purchase multiple seats and get in on the action,” says Shaun Semple, Chair of the Host Organizing Committee. “Since each of the round robin-level packages gives purchasers the opportunity to see all four teams in action, it couldn’t be easier to enjoy a slice of the best junior hockey in the world!”

The committee is offering a range of different package options, all of which give purchasers the opportunity to choose their seat from the remaining available seats at the Brandt Centre:

Package 1 – Regina Pats vs OHL Friday May 18 and WHL vs QMJHL Saturday May 19 – $186 (taxes/fees incl.)
Package 2 – Regina Pats vs QMJHL Sunday May 20 and WHL vs OHL Monday May 21 – $186 (taxes/fees incl.)
Package 3 – OHL vs QMJHL Tuesday May 22 and WHL vs Regina Pats Saturday May 23 – $186 (taxes/fees incl.)
Package 4 – Semi-Final Friday May 25 and Mastercard Memorial Cup Final May 27 – $274 (taxes/fees incl.)

There will be numerous additional entertainment opportunities for fans to enjoy at this unique hockey event. The Centennial Celebration Zone, located at 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 the Sheepdogs, Loverboy and Emerson Drive, with more acts to be announced in the coming weeks.

The Host Committee is anticipating strong demand for these new ticket packages and is urging hockey fans to act quickly to avoid disappointment. Fans planning to attend the event can purchase their packages by visiting, clicking on ‘Tickets’ and following the purchase instructions.

This and That

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

--From a best of 7 to a best of 3.  The Pats-Broncos series shouldn't be surprising anyone for the way it has gone. Is it safe to say that whoever gets the first goal in Game 5 will be the winner with the same story playing itself out in 6 and perhaps 7? The other question going into the 5th game is have the Pats once again gotten into Stuart Skinner's head. The Swift Current goalie couldn't beat the Pats as a member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the last two years come playoff time including last year's Eastern Conference championship  It seemed as if the magic Skinner had been performing in the first 3 and a bit games vanished when he whiffed on Jared Legien's shot in the 2nd period of Game 4.  Let's see what tonight brings.

--Will the day ever come that those going to an event at the Brandt Centre get out in a timely fashion. As you know, I usually leave Pats games midway through the third to avoid the stupidity that is getting out of the lot.  After Game 4, I stuck around after the game and it was a good 20-25 minutes after the final buzzer that I left.  As I stepped outside, it was once again a traffic shmozz in both directions. Why?

Part of the blame goes on those at the game. The notion of an easy merge is just something that is as lost on people as it is using their turn signal.  They refuse to do it and let anyone in once they have gotten in that path.  Again...why? It would be a lot easier if people were co-operative and courteous with one another, but that doesn't happen.

 The idea was floated out on the Sportscage this week about having transit do for Pats games what they do for Rider games.  I think that's a tremendous idea. You wouldn't need as many buses since you're not dealing with as many people as you are at a Rider game, but the plan would be the same. It is something that really should be investigated for the Memorial Cup.  There was transit service to hotels at the Brier. It can be done! 

--It looks like the PA Raiders will soon be packing up and going home for the summer. The Warriors have a 3-1 lead in their best of seven which isn't surprising, but one has to think the Raiders feel like Charlie Brown when Lucy pulls the football away from him.  After winning Game 1, they lose Game 2 in overtime. They have a two goal lead with two minutes to play in Game 3 and forget about the final 120 seconds allowing Moose Jaw to tie it and then win it in overtime before getting blanked in Game 4. It could easily be the Raiders on the verge of a mammoth first round upset.  They will have that to chew on all summer if they can't win the next three against the Warriors.  It could happen, but I don't see that coming to fruition as well as PA has played. 

--Who gets CFL Week in 2019?  Several cities want it and Regina is one of them. Sorry Riders, you have to learn to share.  The event deserves to be in other places before it comes back here.  The Eskimos want it, but they have the Grey Cup so no to Edmonton.  How about Ottawa? How about Halifax?  If the league grants a conditional franchise to Anthony Leblanc and company, what better way to showcase the league to football-crazed fans in the Maritimes.  Someone said this week Maritime football fans are no different than Rider Nation except they are surrounded by water. I think Halifax and the Maritimes would be a tremendous host IF they get their conditional franchise.

--It was great to have baseball back on Thursday with opening day. Why isn't opening day a national holiday? Do I talk to Premier Moe or Prime Minister Trudeau about that.  If it's the latter, I'll get a message through to Ralph Goodale.  Safe to say if the first game is any indication that Giancarlo Stanton won't have any problems adapting to American League pitching.  As for a prediction, let's just say I see the NLCS being contested between the Dodgers and the Cubs with the Yankees  and Indians meeting in the ALCS.  I think you can take it from there. 

--Lebron James said he would vote himself as the NBA MVP this week. Would you ever hear Connor McDavid, Nathan McKinnon, Evgeni Malkin or any other Hart Trophy candidate utter something like that? Nope!

--Carey Price says he won't play for Canada at the World Hockey Championship in Denmark. That's OK. There are more than enough candidates to fill his skates. I have more interest in the Worlds than I do the Olympics because the NHL's involvement will be front and center.  The Canadian team could be stacked.  Connor McDavid has said he will be playing.  Others on non-playoff teams who could suit up include John Tavares, Jordan Eberle, Jonathan Toews, Mike Hoffman, Aaron Ekblad and Tyler Seguin.  The American team would look pretty good as well with the likes of Jack Eichel, Ben Bishop, Patrick Kane and Kevin Shattenkirk to name a few. I'll be watching!

--Genie Bouchard is taking heat for putting soy sauce on pizza.  Why not?  We ruin enough pizzas as it is putting things like pineapple and mushrooms on it so why not soy sauce!  I'd rather do that than pineapple and mushrooms!

--Vote for Lafleche to be the winner of the Kraft Hockeyville Contest. You can do so from 10 o'clock Friday morning until 4:30 Saturday afternoon.  Go to and cast your vote.  How is it Saskatchewan has not won this thing in the 11 years of existence. When you think Saskatchewan, you think hockey.  Cmon people, do the right thing and spend 10 minutes on your computer or more voting for Lafleche.

--Snagged some tickets to Letterkenny Live at Casino Regina on Thursday night.  Thanks to RP for getting that done.  While the three title characters did their thing (Wayne, Daryl and Dan),  Reilly, Jonesy and Katy were missing which was too bad as they are just as important to that show as the others.  The show also had some comedians who had some bits that made me howl----especially when it came to cutting down Winnipeg.  Its funny because its true.  What wasn't funny because it's true is that spring seemingly has forgotten about Saskatchewan or else we had it earlier this week.  There shouldn't be any hockey playoffs after the long weekend in May and the snow should just about be gone or gone by April 1. SIGHHH!!!

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

What Did You Miss on Thursday?


--The 2018 MLB season is underway and it got started with a bang. On the first pitch of the season, Miami's Jose Urena grooved one over the plate with Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ drilling it over the right-field wall.  The Cubs went on to win the game 8-4.  In other Opening Day accomplishments, Giancarlo Stanton's career as a New York Yankee started well as he homered twice in a 6-1 win over Toronto and Chicago White Sox 3rd baseman Matt Davidson homered three times in a 14-7 victory over Kansas City. 

--All hail Scott Foster.  played the final 14 minutes after Chicago lost both Anton Forsberg and Collin Delia  to injuries, closing out the Blackhawks' 6-2 victory over Winnipeg. It was Foster's first competitive action since 20 minutes in relief with Western Michigan University in the 2005-06 season. Backed by chants of "Foster! Foster!" and more loud ovations down the stretch, he finished with seven stops against the playoff-bound Jets, who had won six in a row.  Another game saw Weyburn's Derrick Pouliot get the winner as Vancouver beat Edmonton 2-1.

--The Tri-Cities Americans are off to Round 2 of the WHL playoffs.  The Americans became the first team to scan their barcode into the next round as they completed a four-game sweep of Kelowna with a 5-3 win. Moose Jaw will try to end Prince Albert's season tonight at Mosaic Place as they lead the Raiders 3-1 while the Broncos and Pats meet in Swift Current with the winner taking a 3-2 advantage in the best of seven.  When Swift Current blueliner Josh Anderson steps on the ice, he will do so with an NHL contract in his equipment bag. Anderson signed a three-year entry level deal with the Avalanche on Thursday.

--Calgary will have to hold a public vote to qualify for provincial funding in the next step toward a possible bid for the 2026 Winter Games.

The federal and provincial governments are promising Calgary $20.5 million for the creation of a bid corporation. Ottawa will kick in $10.5 million, with the province adding $10 million.

The International Olympic Committee has set a March 31 deadline, this Saturday, for cities interested in entering the dialogue stage of the bid process to submit a notice of intent.

On Thursday, the Italian Olympic Committee sent its letter of intent, which would see Milan and Turin as co-hosts of the 2026 Games. Stockholm, Sion (Switzerland) and Sapporo have also expressed a preliminary interest.

The IOC is expected to invite interested cities to proceed to the 2026 candidature stage in October.

--She won the Canadian senior curling championship in 2017 and she did it again this year. Saskatoon's Sherry Anderson, who also represented the province at the Scotties, won the Canadian title in an extra end as she beat Nova Scotia's Mary Mattattall 7-6

Thursday, March 29, 2018

What Did You Miss on Wednesday?

--The Pats-Broncos series is now a best of 3.  Regina beat Swift Current 6-3 in Game 4 of the series as Jake Leschyshyn scored twice including one into an empty-net. Game 5 will go on Friday. Other winners in the East were Moose Jaw, Brandon and Red Deer while Portland and Tri-Cities won out West

--Break up the Coyotes.  After beating the Eastern Conference's top team---the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1 this week, Arizona walked into Vegas and beat the Knights 3-2.  Vegas is 3rd in the Western Conference behind Nashville and Winnipeg.

--The National Hockey League's last overall team will have better odds of winning the draft lottery next month. The league confirmed Wednesday, the team with the worst point total this season will have an 18.5 per cent chance of winning the annual draw, which will take place on Saturday, April 28.

The full breakdown of percentages for non-playoff teams for the 2018 Draft Lottery are as follows:

Rk - % Chance
 1 - 18.5
 2 - 13.5
 3 - 11.5
 4 - 9.5
 5 - 8.5
 6 - 7.5
 7 - 6.5
 8 - 6.0
 9 - 5.0
10 - 3.5
11 - 3.0
12 - 2.5
13 - 2.0
14 - 1.5
15 - 1.0

--Play Ball!!!  The 2018 Major League Baseball season opens Thursday with the first game going in Miami as the Marlins entertain the Cubs.  The Blue Jays will honour Roy Halladay and retire his number 32 jersey before getting the season started against the New York Yankees.

--Johnny Manziel spoke with TSN's Dave Naylor on Thursday. He says he followed the CFL last year and that he has friends that play in the league. He says it's not the NFL, but it is not a slouch gimmick league.  He says everything is going to work itself out and he is ready to put the work in

To see Manziel's interview with Naylor, click here

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What Did You Miss on Tuesday?

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--Sad news from the CFL.  The BC Lions announced the death of  Hall-of-Fame defensive lineman James "Quick" Parker Tuesday night.  Parker won three Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos (1980, 1981, 1982) and again with the Lions in 1985.

He was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player three times, while also earning five all-star selections.  He holds the CFL single-season sack record with 26.5 set in 1984 with BC.  Parker was 60.

--It looked like the PA Raiders were going to take a 2-1 series lead on Moose Jaw as they led 4-2 with 2 minutes to play.  However, Josh Brook and Brett Howden scored with the extra attacker to tie it and then Brayden Burke scored 19 seconds into Period 4 to give Moose Jaw a 5-4 win and a 2-1 series lead. Elsewhere, Brandon got back into their series with Medicine Hat with a 5-3 win and Lethbridge took a 3-0 lead in their series with a 5-4 win in overtime.

--TSN's Chris Cuthbert hinted that the two teams could meet again this spring. Would you be surprised if Boston played Winnipeg in the Cup final.  The Jets beat the Bruins 5-4 in a shootout in a battle of two 100 point plus teams

--Dan Marrazza is out of work. You probably don't know who that is, but if I told you he was the guy behind the Vegas Golden Knights Twitter account you would.  While it is not known why he left, it would seem as if he got the pink slip as the Knights have given him the age-old " We are appreciative of his efforts and service and wish him the best in his future endeavors" line. 

--The NFL catch rules will be simpler beginning with the 2018 season.

NFL teams unanimously voted Tuesday to modify the rules on what constitutes a catch at the annual league meetings in Orlando, Fla.

The new rules governing what constitutes a catch:

Control of the ball
Two feet down or another body part
A football move, such as:
o A third step
o Reaching/extending for the line-to-gain
o Or the ability to perform such an act

The biggest change in the new rule-set is the "going to the ground" factor, which has caused controversy over the past few seasons. The best examples of non-catches that would be reversed under the new rules are Dez Bryant's catch against the Packers in the 2014 playoffs and Jesse James' touchdown catch against the Patriots last season being reversed.

--A storybook ending for Vladimir Guerrero Junior, He hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th to give the Jays a 1-0 win over the Cardinals at Olympic Stadium.  Yes, his dad was in the crowd to see it happen. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Trent Richardson Seeking Another NFL Shot

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Former Alabama All-American Trent Richardson still has hopes of playing in the NFL again. But he thinks if the Cleveland Browns hadn't traded him, he wouldn't be on the outside looking in now.

Richardson talked about his football future and his time in Cleveland on Tuesday afternoon during an appearance on "Bull and Fox" on WKRK-FM in Cleveland.

"I am doing everything and anything to get back in the NFL," Richardson said. "I just need a tryout. I just need a shot. And I know when I get that shot, the team will not be sorry for giving me that opportunity. It'll be one of the best stories ever, one of the best comebacks ever."
Richardson hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since Dec. 28, 2014. After his third NFL season, the Indianapolis Colts released him.

Richardson went to training camp with the Oakland Raiders in 2015, but he didn't make the team. Richardson got a chance with the Baltimore Ravens in 2016, but a hamstring problem and arthroscopic knee surgery kept him sidelined, and he was waived before he ever got on the field during training camp.

Last season, Richardson played in four games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

Richardson ran for 20 yards on five carries in a 27-24 victory over the Toronto Argonauts on Oct. 8, 60 yards on 14 carries in a 33-32 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks on Oct. 13 and 52 yards on nine carries in a 30-7 victory over the Calgary Stampeders on Oct. 20 before breaking out for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in a 37-12 victory over the Montreal Alouettes on Oct. 27.

After his late arrival in the CFL, Richardson had an early exit, missing the Roughriders' final regular-season game and their two playoff contests because of an ankle injury suffered late in the game against Montreal.

"I think it got better as it went along," Richardson said of his CFL performance. "The first couple of games, I didn't touch the ball that much because I came in and it was already started. Picking up the plays on the go is different."

Richardson said he wouldn't rule out returning to the CFL if he didn't catch on with an NFL team.

"I'm not saying it's off the radar," Richardson said. "I owe the CFL a lot for giving me the opportunity to come out there and showcase my talents, give me another chance. (Saskatchewan) coach Chris Jones has been a big influence and a very positive role in my life. I talk to him almost every other day. We text all the time. I send guys his way that played at Alabama or guys that I know that can still play."

Richardson said the CFL had allowed him to fall in love with football again and to play for himself. He said he was grateful to the Roughriders for "digging out that dog in me again."

"Last time I got to play for myself, I was a little boy," Richardson said.

Richardson said the CFL allowed him to get away from everything except football.

"I know it wasn't going to be easy trying to get back into the league, dealing with the stuff that I have dealt with," Richardson said. "And people just like, 'Can he still play and can he this and that?' Me going to the CFL, the biggest reason was to step into the door like, 'Hey, I can still do this.' I can run routes. I can definitely block. That's never been a problem. I can run the ball. If you get in front of me, I'm still going to run you over. I'm going to get past you some type of way."


Johnny Manziel Has CFL On His Mind

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Johnny Manziel is still thinking about the CFL.

A return to the NFL is still the former Heisman Trophy winner's top priority. But if an offer doesn't come this off-season, then the 25-year-old Texan will play in Canada in 2018.

"If something pops up, it pops up," Manziel told reporters Tuesday after throwing at Texas A&M's pro day. "If not and I don't get the opportunity to go back [to NFL] I'm going to go play in the CFL and things are going to be fine.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats own Manziel's CFL rights and have made a contract offer to his agent, Erik Burkhardt, but the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. The Ticats currently have starter Jeremiah Masoli along with Vernon Adams Jr., Dane Evans and Bryant Moniz under contract.
Manziel drew a crowd at College Station, Texas, as all 32 NFL teams and two from the CFL (Saskatchewan and Montreal) attended Tuesday's workout.

Manziel starred at Texas A&M, capturing the 2012 Heisman Trophy as U.S. college football's top player. He was selected in the first round, No. 22 overall, in the 2014 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns.
But the Browns released Manziel in March 2016 after he posted a 2-6 record over two tumultuous seasons. Manziel has been out of football since because of off-the-field issues.

What Did You Miss on Monday?

--The Swift Current Broncos are up 2-1 on the Pats in their Eastern Conference best-of-seven quarterfinal.  Glenn Gawdin had a pair in a 4-1 victory in Game 3.  Game 4 is Wednesday at the Brandt Centre. That was the only game in the WHL playoffs Monday.

--The Coyotes and Sabres are two of the worst teams in the NHL. That didn't matter on Monday as they played two of the best teams. Arizona got a road victory beating Tampa 4-1 while Buffalo also won on the road snapping Toronto's 13 game home win streak with a 3-2 triumph.

--The Vancouver Canucks hope they have found another Brock Boeser. They have signed forward Adam Gaudette to a three-year entry-level contract.

Gaudette, 21, led the NCAA in scoring this season with 30 goals and 30 assists in 38 games for the Northeastern Huskies, and is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the top college men's player.

--Vladimir Guerrero Jr was given a standing ovation when he entered the game from fans at Olympic Stadium as the Blue Jays played their first of two exhibition games against St. Louis before starting the season Thursday against the Yankees.  Guerrero's father spent eight years in right field for the Expos.  Guerrero even got the chance to wear his father's 27.  Toronto lost the game 5-3.

-- The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says The New York Giants are “open to discussing a possible Odell Beckham Jr. trade. This news comes a day after team owner John Mara told reporters at the NFL owners’ meetings, when speaking about the polarizing wide receiver, that no Giants player is “untouchable.” In the wake of Mara’s comments, according to Rapoport, Beckham plans to hold out from any on-field activity until he has signed a new contract extension. Beckham Jr. has been an electrifying playmaker since being selected by New York with the 12th-overall pick in the 2014 draft. However, his behaviour both on and off the field has brought plenty of unwanted attention to the Giants franchise