Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ti-Cats Re-Sign Masoli

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The Hamilton Tiger-Cats announced Tuesday that the team and American quarterback Jeremiah Masoli have agreed to a contract extension. Masoli was set to become a free agent in February.

“It’s exciting to have Jeremiah back for the 2020 season. His high character, remarkable work ethic and competitiveness make him a natural fit for our organization,” Ticats head coach Orlondo Steinauer said in a statement. “He was likely to have multiple options come the start of free agency and we are pleased he has decided to remain in Hamilton.”

Masoli, 31, started just six games in 2019 for the Tiger-Cats after suffering a season-ending injury on July 26 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He completed 125 of 175 pass attempts (71.4%) for 1,576 yards, nine passing touchdowns and seven interceptions, adding 17 carries for 79 yards and four rushing touchdowns.

The San Francisco, California native had a career season in 2018, starting 17 games and completing 378 of 572 pass attempts (66.1%) for 5,209 yards, 28 passing touchdowns and 18 interceptions on his way to being named the CFL East Division’s Most Outstanding Player and an East Division All-Star. Masoli also recorded 300 or more passing yards in 12 games in 2018, setting a new club record as well as tying him for fourth-most such games in a single season in league history.

The University of Mississippi product has suited up in 102 career CFL games with 42 starts over seven seasons, all with the Tiger-Cats (2013-19). He also sits fourth all-time in franchise history in career completions (1,015), fifth in passing yards (13,110), sixth in pass attempts (1,538), and is tied for sixth in passing touchdowns (70).

(TiCats PR)

Monday, December 30, 2019

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Hedman, Binnington, Tavares Three Stars of the Week

NEW YORK (Dec. 30, 2019) – Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman, St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 29.


Hedman shared the League lead with six assists and paced all skaters with 2-6—8 in three contests, including back-to-back games with at least three points, to help the Lightning (20-13-4, 44 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. Hedman opened the week by recording 2-1—3, his sixth career multi-goal game, in a 6-1 win over the Florida Panthers Dec. 23. He followed that up by establishing a career high with four assists – his third career four-point game – in a 5-4 victory against the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 28. In doing so, he registered consecutive games with at least three points for the second time in his career (also Jan. 23-25, 2014) – no other Lightning defenseman has posted back-to-back three-point showings. He capped the week with one assist in a 2-1 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 29, his third point of the week on a game-winning goal (1-2—3). A 29-year-old native of Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Hedman ranks third in scoring among defensemen with 9-28—37 in 35 games, an average of 1.06 points-per-game.


Binnington started all three games for the Western Conference-leading Blues (26-8-6, 58 points) while posting a perfect 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and .929 save percentage to help St. Louis extend its season-high win streak to eight games. He started the week with 29 saves in a 4-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 23. Binnington returned from the holiday break with consecutive 25-save wins over the Winnipeg Jets, first a 5-4 overtime win Dec. 27 and then a 4-1 victory Dec. 29. Binnington shares the NHL lead with 19 wins in 2019-20 (19-6-4 in 29 GP) – including an active six-game winning streak – and ranks among the top 10 in goals-against average (4th; 2.39) and save percentage (6th; .921) among goaltenders with at least 20 appearances. The 26-year-old native of Richmond Hill, Ont., is set to close the 2019 calendar year as the League leader in regular-season wins (43), the most ever in a calendar year by a Blues goaltender (besting Mike Liut’s mark of 40 set in 1980).



Tavares ranked second in the NHL with 2-5—7 in three games, posting a three-point game on either side of the holiday break, to help the Maple Leafs (21-14-5, 47 points) claim five of a possible six standings points (2-0-1). He started the week by factoring on each of Toronto’s first three goals in an 8-6 win against the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 23, collecting all three points (1-2—3) within the first 5:10 of the game to establish a franchise record for fastest three points from the start of a game. The Maple Leafs captain again had 1-2—3 in a 5-4 overtime victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 27, the seventh set of back-to-back three-point games in his NHL career. He closed the week with one assist in a 5-4 overtime defeat against the New York Rangers Dec. 28. The 29-year-old native of Mississauga, Ont., has had at least three points in a regular-season game 58 times; only six players have more such performances since 2009-10.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Week 17 NFL Capsules

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The final weekend of the NFL regular season is here with some big games on the docket including the Sunday night contest in Seattle as the Seahawks and Niners battle it out for the NFC West. 

For a complete look at the games, click here

Friday, December 27, 2019

Dan Clark Signs New Deal With Riders

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed centre Dan Clark to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the Club through the 2021 season.

Clark (6’2 – 310 lbs) returns after a 2019 season that saw him named a CFL All-Star for the first time in his eight-season CFL career. Clark was also named the Roughriders Most Outstanding Lineman. The 31-year-old was a stalwart on an offensive line that saw many changes due to injury, but went on to allow just 37 sacks. The offensive line also opened up holes for the run game which averaged 112.8 yards per game for a total of 2,030 yards and a league-high 26 rushing touchdowns. After overcoming injuries from a serious car accident before training camp, Clark played every game this season, including his 100th career game on July 27 against the BC Lions.

Clark, who was born and raised in Regina, initially joined the Club as a territorial junior in 2009. He’s played 112 career regular-season games, six playoff games and the 2013 Grey Cup with the Green and White after making his pro debut August 19, 2012.

(Riders PR)

This And That

--The presents have been opened, the turkey has been consumed, the visits with family have been had. Now its time to determine what day of the week it is. 

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--OK Rider Nation, this was without a doubt the moment of the decade for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  After that though, where do you go?  What are numbers 2 and 3 in your mind.  One could certainly say the end of Taylor Field and the arrival of Mosaic Stadium would be on the list, but would they be that high.  I'd like your thoughts on it.

--The Canadian sports moment of the decade for me would be Sidney Crosby's golden goal in Vancouver to cap off the Winter Olympics, but there are so many to choose from.  What's yours?

--What happened to CFL Week?  The league used the labour problems as an excuse last year.  There are no labour problems this year!

--The NHL needs to amend its rule about pucks going in off skates whether it be a kicking motion or not.   On Christmas Eve, Derek Ryan of the Flames scored a goal in Minnesota that was waved off because of a kicking motion.  Hours later in Vancouver, Bo Horvat scored a goal against Edmonton that counted even though there was a kicking motion.  Both went to Toronto to be reviewed with one counting and one not counting.  ?????   Just allow it to be a goal. They've done that in the WHL this year haven't they?

--I am not as invested in the World Juniors as I usually am for some reason.  I am guessing once playoffs come around my attitude will shift somewhat, but there was no way I wasn't watching Canada-USA to open the tournament and as expected it was a ring-a-ding-dong dandy.  As I said on Twitter, I don't care if its a Timbits game or an Olympic hockey game, anytime Canada knocks off the US in hockey its a good day.   Alexis Lafreniere showed why he will likely be the number one draft pick in the NHL draft and there were a lot of positives.  Its a long tournament though so the rollercoaster is just beginning.

-If you are a college football fan, you can't tell me you won't be glued to the couch for Oklahoma-LSU and Ohio State-Clemson on Saturday.  Those two games, especially the one between the Buckeyes and Tigers should be classics.

--I don't know how much he can bring to the table, but there is something about seeing Marshawn Lynch back in a Seattle uniform that makes me smile.  That Seahawks-49ers game on Sunday night can't be any better than their Monday night game this year can it? If so, buckle in and get ready!

--NFL Week 17 Lock Of The Week ---  Saints over Panthers
  NFL Week 17 Upset Of The Week ---Raiders over Broncos

--Thanks, but no thanks.  Good for the Saskatchewan Rush that they have a deal with Global to show their games, but they are on tape delay.  I have zero interest in watching a sporting event (even if its the teams I root for) when its on tape delay.   If they are going to be live, that's another story.  By the way, I still see zero marketing for them in Regina this year.  If it's out there, I'm missing it.

--Guilty confession.  I forgot all about Tiger winning the Masters until it showed up on the Year in Review shows. Oops!

--Tune in to the Sportscage on New Years Eve.  I put together a year in review show starting from the semi-final loss to the Bombers in 2018 right through to the Western Final loss in 2019 with some of the great soundbites and calls from Derek Taylor and Luc Mullinder this past season.  As always, Saskatchewan's number one sports show as evidenced again in the latest ratings book starts at 4.

--The Pats are back at home Saturday night against Moose Jaw.  Back in my younger years when I was not in the Queen City, games at this time of year were games I did not miss as it was my only chance to see the Pats during the season. With the Warriors in town and the Pats playing better of late, here's hoping the Brandt Centre will be full tomorrow night and on New Year's against the Raiders.

--It warmed my heart to see some kids playing hockey on an outdoor rink Boxing Day.  At least there are some who aren't crushing their thumbs playing whatever game on whatever console.  It was either that or Mom and Dad said to get the hell out of the house and burn off some energy. There was nothing better in my younger years than playing some street hockey at school or wherever.

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

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Chad Geter Signs Two-Year Extension With Riders

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed American defensive lineman Chad Geter to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the Club through the 2021 season.

Geter (6’2 – 253 lbs) is staying in Green and White after returning to the Club midway through the 2019 season. The 25-year-old played six games for the Roughriders this year making nine defensive tackles, two special teams tackles and three sacks.

 Prior to landing back in Saskatchewan, Geter played two games with the Alouettes and added one defensive tackle and one special teams tackle. Geter initially signed with the Roughriders April of 2018 and played in 18 regular season games and the West Semi-Final registering 19 defensive tackles, 17 special-teams tackles, three quarterback sacks, three tackles for loss and one forced fumble.

Geter spent five collegiate seasons at Gardner-Webb University earning 203 solo tackles, 142 assists, 35.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries in 47 games. He was named an All-Big South Conference performer three times in his college career and was selected as an FCS All-American after the 2016 season.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Reed Fundraiser Hits $50,000 Goal

Fundraiser for George Reed hits target

Rider Nation has come through for George Reed.
GoFundMe page was set up earlier this month for the Riders legend to help him with some mobility issues he is having with the money going to things like a specialized knee-brace and some physiotherapy treatments.
On Monday afternoon, the goal of $50,000 was reached thanks to a $10,000 anonymous donation which put the total at just over $55,000.
The 80-year-old Reed played 13 seasons for the Saskatchewan Roughriders abd is considered as one of the greatest to ever play in the CFL.
He finished his career with over 16,000 yards rushing and 134 touchdowns.

Monday, December 23, 2019

NBC Sports Suspends Jeremy Roenick

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NBC Sports suspended hockey commentator Jeremy Roenick after comments the former NHL All-Star made on a Barstool Sports podcast about some of his on-air coworkers at NBC, multiple outlets reported Monday.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand on Monday published a statement emailed to him by NBC Sports.

Jeremy Roenick has been suspended indefinitely without pay for making inappropriate comments about his co-workers. We will have no further comment at this time,” the statement read.

According to reports, Roenick made joking remarks about multiple NBC Sports on-air personalities while appearing on Barstool’s Spittin’ Chiclets podcast last Thursday.

While talking about a summer vacation to Portugal that Roenick and his wife took with NBC Sports studio host Kathryn Tappen, Roenick reportedly told a story of how a hotel guest asked him if all three were together.

“I play it off like we’re all going to bed together every night, the three of us,” Roenick said. “If it really came to fruition, that would really be good. But it’s never going to happen.” Roenick later added on the podcast, “Kathryn Tappen is one of the most professional … sports personalities that I know. She is true blue one of my favourite people in the world.”

About former teammate and new NBC Sports analyst Patrick Sharp, Roenick reportedly said, “He is so beautiful, I’d have to think about it if he asked me. I wouldn’t say no right away.”

Roenick later reportedly called Sharp “one of the greatest, greatest guys on the planet” and “one of my best friends. … I think he’s great. I think he’s been great for NBC. Him and (studio analyst Keith Jones) do well together. It’s good to have, again, a beautiful face that talks well that knows the game because it’s totally the opposite when me and (studio analyst) Anson (Carter) get on there.”

Roenick played 20 NHL seasons in Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Jose, tallying 1,216 points in 1,363 career games and making nine All-Star Games. He retired in 2009 and joined NBC Sports in 2010.


NHL Three Stars Of Week

Acciari, Josi, Korpisalo Three Stars of the Week

Florida Panthers center Noel Acciari, Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi and Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec 22.


Acciari led all skaters with seven goals last week, including hat tricks in consecutive games, and ranked second in points with 7-1—8 in three contests to help the Panthers (18-12-5, 41 points) to a perfect 3-0-0 week. Acciari opened the week by recording his first career hat trick, including the game-winning goal, in a 6-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Dec. 16 and followed it up with another three-goal performance (3-1—4; 1 GWG) in a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 20. In doing so, he became the second player in Panthers history to score a hat trick in consecutive games (also Pavel Bure from Feb. 10-14, 2001) and just the eighth player in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) to score each of his first two career hat tricks in consecutive contests. He capped the week by scoring one goal in a 4-2 triumph over the Carolina Hurricanes Dec. 21. A 28-year-old native of Johnston, R.I., Acciari has recorded 12-3—15 in 32 appearances this season to double his goal total from 2018-19 (6-8—14 in 72 GP w/ BOS).     


Josi scored in each of the four games he appeared in last week, ranking second among all skaters in goals and tied for third in points with 6-1—7 in four contests to help the Predators (17-12-6, 40 points) pick up seven of eight possible standings points. Josi opened the week with 2-1—3 in a 5-2 win over the New York Rangers Dec. 16 and then scored one goal in both an 8-3 victory over the New York Islanders Dec. 17 and a 5-4 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators Dec. 19. He finished the week with another two-goal performance in a 4-3 overtime win over the Boston Bruins Dec. 21 to extend his goal streak to four games. It marked Josi’s fourth multi-goal outing this season to lead all blueliners. The 29-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland, is in his ninth NHL season (all w/ NSH) and ranks among the top three in goals (t-1st; 13) and points (3rd; 33) by a defenseman this season.


Korpisalo started all four games for the Blue Jackets (16-14-6, 38 points) while recording a perfect 4-0-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average, .939 save percentage and one shutout. He opened the week by stopping all 30 shots he faced to blank the Metropolitan Division-leading Washington Capitals 3-0 on Dec. 16 and then started again the very next night making 18 saves in a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings Dec. 17. Korpisalo finished the week by making 23 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 19 and turning aside 21 of 22 shots in a 5-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 21 to become the only goaltender this season to record four wins in a single week (Mon-Sun). His former teammate, Sergei Bobrovsky, was the only goaltender to post a four-win week last season (Dec. 17-23, 2018 and March 26-31, 2019). A 25-year-old native of Pori, Finland, Korpisalo ranks tied for fourth with 16 wins in 2019-20 to match his career high set in 2015-16.

Friday, December 20, 2019

This and That

--Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind.   As always, these come in no particular order.

--Who is the best team in the CFL right now? Yes, the Bombers are the Grey Cup champs but are they the best team?  We are a long ways away from training camp and we have to get through free agency and the draft, but with all teams seeing a lot of players going to free agency, who is the best?

I would say if you have your quarterback under contract you are OK so that is the case for the Riders as Cody Fajardo is locked up.  As for some of the other teams like the defending Grey Cup champs, they have a lot of work to do.   It's what makes the off-season great.

--There has been some talk this week on the Sportscage about the top plays of the year for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.   Offensively, I can't think of a bigger play than the Cody Fajardo run for the pylon in the win vs Hamilton.  Defensively, it has to be one of the touchdowns scored in Montreal after hellacious hits by Derrick Moncrief and Cam Judge.   That being said, the most memorable play might be the Brett Lauther walk-off field goal vs Winnipeg and the run into Pil Country.  What were your biggest plays of 2019?

--Speaking of Lauther, good on him for calling out the CFL with their schedule.  Teams playing double digit games between byes aren't right in a nine-team league---a nine-team league that preaches player safety.  My question when you look at the schedule is who authorizes it on behalf of the teams.  Every team has its ups and downs, but it does make me wonder why the Riders get a bye in Week 1 and 6 before waiting until Week 18 for the last one. Other teams are in the same boat.

I also wonder how in a nine-team league you have home-and-homes.  I have no problem with the Labour Day matchups as those are tradition, but why do the Riders need to play Toronto back-to-back and then Edmonton back-to-back.  I will never understand that one,

Many want to know where the game in Toronto will actually be played as the league says it will be at a "neutral site".  I have to think it will be in Moncton as the CFL's best fan-base can travel to the Maritimes to show some and get some CFL love.  The league wouldn't think of going to Mexico to promote CFL 2.0 in late July would they?  I doubt it.  Moncton would be the safe bet for me.

Once again, the Riders will play three straight road games late in the season.  In 2019, it was because of the Heritage Classic.  What is going to be coming to Regina this time?  I don't see a return from the NHL.  If it is, that says a lot about the job Tim Reid and the gang at Evraz Place did the first time around.  Look at that sked carefully and you will see after the Labour Day game, there will just be two home games left. .

--"The Simpsons" has been around for 30 years! I was actually young when that show started.  If I could go back to those days now, oh how things would be different.  I am guessing many of you could say the same thing.

--Thank you to the NFL for scheduling three games on Saturday thus giving me no reason to leave the house on the last Saturday before Christmas.  I have no desire to go out in that mess.

--Week 16 NFL Lock Of The Week -- Colts over Panthers
   Week 16 NFL Upset Of The Week --- Bills over Patriots

--Taylor Hall or no Taylor Hall, I don't see the Arizona Coyotes winning the Pacific and that they will struggle to make the playoffs.  He isn't the answer.

--Now that Hall is off the market who's next?  I have to think J-G Pageau's days in Ottawa are coming to an end and I have to wonder if the Devils will try and move PK Subban.  What a disaster he has been!

--If Zack Kassian gets more than 3 and a half million per year in a new contract from the Oilers or any team, its a win for Kassian.  I can't see him leaving Edmonton as there is no way he will produce the way he has in Edmonton besides McDavid, but if he gets more than $3.5 mill its a win for the player.

--No idea why, but I have very little interest in the World Juniors right now.  That may change once Canada and the US drop the puck on Boxing Day, but right now I'm giving it a big MEHHH!

--Its good to see Rider Nation coming through for George Reed.  The GoFundMe campaign to help number 34 out has almost hit the halfway point of the $50,000 goal.  You know George appreciates it.

--That's all I got.  Enjoy that last weekend before Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Riders 2020 Sked Is Here

Merry Christmas from the CFL as they announced the 2020 schedule on Monday.   Here is the Riders sked.

Here is the complete 2020 CFL sked

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Stars of Week Pacioretty, Duclair, Eichel

 Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty, Ottawa Senators left wing Anthony Duclair and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec 15.


Pacioretty led all skaters with 5-3—8 in four contests to help the Golden Knights (18-13-5, 41 points) win three of four contests to move into second place in the Pacific Division and one point back of the Arizona Coyotes (19-12-4, 42 points) for first. Pacioretty, who has scored a goal in each of his last four appearances, opened the week with one goal in a 5-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Dec. 10 and then scored another goal in a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues Dec. 12. He then registered back-to-back multi-point performances with 1-1—2, including the overtime winner, in a 3-2 victory over the Dallas Stars Dec. 13 and a season-high four points (2-2—4) in a 6-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 15. The 31-year-old New Canaan, Conn., native is in his second campaign with the Golden Knights and leads all Vegas skaters in goals (15), assists (19) and points (34) in 2019-20. 


Duclair tied for the League lead with five goals, including a pair of multi-goal outings, totaling 5-1—6 across three games to help the Senators (14-17-2, 30 points) capture five of a possible six standings points. Duclair opened the week with 2-1—3 in a 5-2 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading Boston Bruins Dec. 9 and then was held without a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens Dec. 11. He closed the week by capping his third career hat trick with the overtime winner in a 4-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Dec. 14. A 24-year-old native of Pointe-Claire, Que., Duclair leads all Senators skaters and ranks tied for ninth in the NHL with 18 goals this season (33 GP) – two shy of his career high set in 2015-16 (20 G in 81 GP). Since being acquired by Ottawa in a trade on Feb. 23, Duclair has registered 26-13—39 in 55 games – only nine players in the League have scored more regular-season goals over that timeframe.


Eichel recorded multiple points in each of his three appearances last week and tied for the League lead with five goals (5-1—6 in 3 GP) to help the Sabres (16-11-7, 39 points) gain five of a possible six standings points and move into second place in the Atlantic Division. Eichel opened the week with consecutive two-goal games, netting 2-0—2 including the game-winning tally in a 5-2 victory over the Western Conference-leading St. Louis Blues Dec. 10 and then another pair of goals in a 4-3 triumph over the Nashville Predators Dec. 12. He capped the week with 1-1—2 in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders Dec. 14 to extend his point streak to 16 games (15-14—29 in 16 GP) – the longest by any player this season and longest by a Sabres skater since Tim Connolly in 2009-10 (16 GP). A 23-year-old native of North Chelmsford, Mass., Eichel ranks among the top ten this season in goals (2nd; 23), assists (9th; 25) and points (t-5th; 48).

(NHL Communications)

Friday, December 13, 2019

Riders Announce 2020 Football Operations Staff

Saskatchewan Roughriders Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager Jeremy O’Day has announced the Club’s 2020 Football Operations staff.

Assistant General Manager Paul Jones has been extended through 2021 and will be entering his second year with the Club.  Before joining the Riders, Jones spent 21 seasons with the Edmonton Eskimos, most recently as the Executive Director of Player Personnel. His 31-year scouting career began with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1988. He went on to spend time with the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings before returning to the CFL in 1998. Jones has been a part of eight Grey Cup appearances and is a five-time Grey Cup Champion. He is widely known as one of footballs most respected talent evaluators with a keen eye for players suited for the CFL.

Kyle Carson joins the Riders as the team’s Director of Player Personnel after spending the last eight years with the Calgary Stampeders. He joined Calgary as an intern in 2012 before serving as the Scouting Assistant and Coordinator of Football Operations.  Carson was later promoted to CFL Draft Coordinator and was responsible for evaluating Canadian talent and attending NFL training camps. The Stampeders made it to four Grey Cups during his time with the team and he is a two-time Grey Cup Champion. Carson will work alongside Paul Jones and the scouting department in player personnel.

This will be Ryan Pollock’s second year as Director of Football Operations.  Pollock works closely with the General Manager on all football operations matters, as well as strategic planning.  He is responsible for the preparation, submission and registration of player contracts. Ryan is also responsible for the management of the salary cap, organization of free agent camps and support to all administrative needs of the football operations department. He has been with the club for seven years, first as the Manager of Communications before advancing to the Director of Media Relations and Football Communications. He is proudly a staff member of the Riders 2013 Grey Cup championship winning team.

Jordan Greenly has been the Riders’ Football Operations Coordinator since 2017. Greenly is responsible for all football operations logistics including team and staff travel and accommodations, organization of training camp, assisting players with housing and the onboarding process. He previously worked for the Edmonton Eskimos for three seasons as the Coordinator of Communications and Broadcast.

(Riders PR)

Bombers Extend O'Shea and Walters

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The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are pleased to announce contract extensions for both General Manager Kyle Walters and Head Coach Mike O’Shea. Walters had one year remaining on his contract and has been extended through the 2023 season, while O’Shea, who was working on an expiring deal, is now onboard through 2022.

The two men have played pivotal roles in not only building the 2019 Grey Cup championship team, but in helping establish a foundation for a franchise that has posted four consecutive double-digit win seasons.

“We’re thrilled to have Kyle and Mike remain at the helm of our football team for the next few seasons,” said Bombers President and CEO, Wade Miller. “Continuity in our football operations department is critical as Kyle and Mike continue to build a strong culture in and around our locker room.”

O’Shea’s role in this year’s championship has been prominent since he was first named the 30th head coach in franchise history on December 4, 2013, making him the CFL’s longest-tenured head coach. Preaching discipline and a team-first approach, he has built a culture in which his coaching staff is empowered and his players are eager to play for him.

“When Kyle, Mike and I began this journey in 2013, I stated that we would build a winning and sustainable organization,” said Miller. “Kyle and Mike have been the drivers of this success and have helped establish a championship formula.”

Walters was named the 17th GM in Bombers history on November 26, 2013 after previously working with the club as an assistant general manager and an assistant coach. His success at the Canadian Football League Draft combined with shrewd trades and signings in free agency helped turn the Bombers into champions. This year’s championship has earned him his second Grey Cup ring after winning as a player with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999.

Over the past four seasons, the Blue Bombers have posted a 44-28 won-lost record with four consecutive playoff appearances and now a Grey Cup title. The last time the franchise previously boasted four consecutive double-digit win seasons was from 1984 t0 1987.

(Winnipeg Blue Bombers)

This And That

--Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind.   As always, these come in no particular order.

--It would seem now as if all CFL teams will go into Christmas having a head coach in place and as it stands right now, eight of nine teams have a GM.  The situation in Montreal is just a joke.  Does anybody want to be the Alouettes GM.  It would be nice if the team had an owner, but still.  Eric Tillman's name is being mentioned, Brendan Taman's name is being mentioned, Geroy Simon's name is being mentioned.  Why do I get the feeling none of these guys will be the one.

--As a CFL fan, what is the number one issue this league faces as the winter hits.  I don't know if Randy Ambrosie is going to have Randy's Road Tour Season 3, but if he does, what is the number one issue in your mind?  I have to think sagging attendance is front and center.  I still say that $$$$ are the root cause of that, but are teams going to drastically reduce ticket prices.  I don't think it is going to happen here.

--All is quiet in Riderville for the time being.  I keep hearing many different things.  Some of them have some validity to them, others don't.  I'll just keep things under my hat until they're announced.  Its better that way.  That being said, I continue to hear that there will be an announcement or two before Christmas hits.

--Scott Milanovich is back in the CFL.  Why does this league recycle old coaches? Nothing against Milanovich, but could the Eskimos not do what the Lions, Alouettes and Riders did last year and give an assistant a chance.  It worked in Saskatchewan with Craig Dickenson, and it worked with Khari Jones in Montreal.  It didn't work with Devone Claybrooks in BC though.  Roll the dice and give someone a chance to see if they can do it.

This just makes me more and more certain that if Chris Jones' employment ends with the Cleveland Browns that he will be back in the CFL quicker than you say WELLLLL!!   Jones doesn't really need the CFL anymore, but he won't turn down an opportunity if it comes.

--Congrats to Estevan for getting the right to host the 2022 Canadian Junior A hockey championship.  They will do a fantastic job in hosting that event.  If Estevan is doing something, chances are it gets done right.  You could say that about a lot of places in Saskatchewan.

--If Josh Donnelly isn't excited to know his quarterbacks coach with the U of R Rams will be Noah Picton than someone check his pulse.  Donnelly has a long ways to go to get into the stratosphere that some Rams quarterbacks have been in, but to learn from Noah will pay huge dividends for the football club.  Getting Noah on board is a major plus for the Rams.

--Week 15 NFL Lock Of The Week --- Packers over Bears
   Week 15 NFL Upset Of The Week --- Lions over Bucs

--If you are in an NFL Survivor Pool, is it over yet?  I was out of the three I was in a long time ago, but two of the three are done and there is still a lot of time to go in the season. Yes, it has been a season of upsets.

--The Edmonton Oilers are giving this fan a reason to believe they won't be a playoff team this season.  Despite their great start, they are now giving up goals in bunches.  How much longer till this team is on the outside looking in again.  Will they be in a playoff spot by January 1?

--What exactly did Jim Montgomery do to get fired in Dallas?  What material act of unprofessionalism as GM Jim Nill called it was committed to get Montgomery canned. It didn't involve a player and there was supposedly no racial or physical abuse so what was it?  I'm sure we'll find out soon whether we want to or not.

--I am guessing Gerrit Cole doesn't need to worry about buying anything for the next little while. That contract with the Yankees is obscene, but its not like the Yankees have ever handed out rich contracts right?

--Baseball needs its best player in the playoffs.  Anthony Rendon's signing with the Los Angeles Angels means Mike Trout is one step closer to being on a playoff team and that is good.

--The death of former Rider R-Kal Truluck at the age of 45 stunned everyone.  I remember the outrage when Bobby Jurasin was cut with Truluck stepping in to take his spot.  All R-Kal did was go out and get three sacks. The move was still unpopular, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been. 

--Is it just me or has the excitement waned somewhat for the upcoming World Juniors?  I am sure once the tournament gets going and gets to games of importance, I will once again be invested, but I'm not right now.  By the way, I'm guessing Greta Thunberg won't be the only Swedish teenager getting yelled at once the tournament starts.

--I am all in favour of Andrew Harris getting snubbed for the Lou Marsh Award as Canada's top athlete.  There was no way he had a chance because of Bianca Andreescu, but voters let Harris know that his cheating was not going to be tolerated.  Had it not been for that incident, I am sure Harris would have received some votes.

--Councillor Jerry Flegel is pitching the idea of a new baseball stadium where the railyards now sit as part of the downtown revitalization plan.  If the cost is right, I'm all for it.  I would love to see the Regina Red Sox play their home games in downtown Regina and I think a lot of Reginans would like to see it as well.  Going to watch the Red Sox and then checking out one of the many establishments downtown or going to the casino would be great.  Imagine if you could get the Blue Jays to come to town for an exhibition game.  I am guessing both Gary Brotzel and Bernie Eiswirth are hoping this can happen.

--With the U of R on its Christmas break, not one team is above 500 in Cougarland.  That's not good.

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

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Chamblin Out, Dinwiddie In As Argos Make Changes

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The Toronto Argonauts announced today the club has made a coaching change and appointed Ryan Dinwiddie the 45th head coach in team history. The team also announced Corey Chamblin has been relieved of his duties.

Dinwiddie, 39, has been the quarterbacks coach for the Calgary Stampeders the past four seasons (2016-2019) and has been instrumental in developing Bo-Levi Mitchell into a two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player under his tutelage. Under Dinwiddie, Mitchell led the league in touchdown passes twice and finished in the top three in passing yards three out of the four years including leading the league in 2016. The California native also helped Calgary QB Nick Arbuckle blossom into a potential future starting pivot after being pressed into service once Mitchell went down in 2019, throwing for over 2,000 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games. With Dinwiddie guiding the signal-callers, the Stamps reached the Grey Cup three years in a row (2016-2018), hoisting the trophy 2018.

“Ryan is one of the top young coaching minds in the CFL right now and we welcome him to the MLSE family,” said team President Bill Manning. “We believe he will set the example to establish the type of culture we need for the Argos to be successful.”

Previous to his time in Calgary, Dinwiddie coached in Montreal for three years (2013-2015) in various capacities, including offensive co-coordinator, quarterbacks, offensive quality control and running backs coach. As running backs coach for the Als in 2015, the team led the East in rushing and helped Tyrell Sutton win the league’s rushing crown.

“His exhaustive passion to prepare to win makes him a priority in setting our new culture,” said Argos General Manager Michael Clemons. “The former CFL QB is the son of a coach, smart and hard working with a winning pedigree.”

The former quarterback played five seasons in the CFL, three with Winnipeg (2006-2008) and two with Saskatchewan (2010-2011). Coincidentally, the QB’s first ever CFL start came in Toronto at SkyDome during the 2007 Grey Cup vs Saskatchewan when he was a member of the Bombers. Dinwiddie played college football at Boise State where he is widely considered to be the best quarterback in Broncos history after a record setting career there.

“I am thrilled and honoured to be part of such a historic organization and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity,” said new head coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “Winning Grey Cups are the ultimate goal and I can’t wait to get started.”

(Toronto Argonauts)

Scott Milanovich Returns To CFL as Eskimos HC

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The Edmonton Eskimos have named Scott Milanovich as head coach – the 22nd in team history.

“Scott has a wealth of football knowledge and is a great leader who is a proven winner.  He is renowned for his ability to develop and get the best out of quarterbacks.  After an exhaustive search, we know Scott is the right man to lead our franchise. We’d like to welcome Scott and his family to the Eskimo family,” says Sunderland.

Milanovich returns to the CFL from Jacksonville where served as quarterbacks coach for the Jaguars since 2017. He spent the final five weeks of the 2018 season as the team’s play caller.
“Scott has been a valuable member of our offensive staff over the last three seasons and I know he’ll do a great job in his new role with the Eskimos. I’m excited for Scott and his family to embark on a new journey in Edmonton in January, and we wish them the best,”  says Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone.

A three-time Grey Cup champion (2009, 2010, 2012), Milanovich has 10 seasons of CFL coaching experience with three teams, including:
  • Calgary Stampeders, Quarterbacks Coach (2003)
  • Montreal Alouettes
    • Quarterbacks Coach (2007)
    • Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach (2008)
    • Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach (2009-11)
  • Toronto Argonauts, Head Coach (2012-16).
“I am honoured and humbled for the opportunity to lead the Edmonton Eskimos, one of the Canadian Football League’s most historic franchises, as the head coach beginning in January. Chris Presson and Brock Sunderland have an amazing vision for the organization, and I’m grateful for their trust and confidence in me. I look forward to assembling a coaching staff that will work tirelessly every day to make our fans and the people of Edmonton proud of what the Esks represent to the community. On behalf of my wife, Jaime, and my children, Macall and Maggie, we are excited to begin this new chapter of our lives in Alberta and to meet the incredible fans of the Green and Gold,” says Milanovich.

“To the Khan family, Coach Marrone, the Jaguars organization and all of the fans, thank you for the time in Jacksonville and for embracing our family. I’ll always have fond memories of our experience in North Florida, and I will work hard over the final three weeks of the season to do everything I can do to help our team win.”

During Milanovich’s time with the Alouettes, the team appeared in three consecutive Grey Cup games, winning the championship in 2009 and 2010. In 2012, he earned CFL Coach of the Year honours and a Grey Cup victory as a first-year head coach with the Argos.

Under Milanovich’s guidance, former Alouettes quarterback Anthony Calvillo was twice named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player (2008,2009) and former Argos quarterback Ricky Ray set multiple team and league records. Milanovich also helped develop All-Stars including receiver/returner Chad Owens who was named MOP in 2012, running back Brandon Whitaker and receiver Jamal Richardson.

His experience also includes NFL Europe, serving as quarterbacks coach for the Rhein of Fire (2003, 2004) — adding offensive coordinator to his duties for a season (2005), and offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Cologne Centurions (2006).

The former quarterback played four seasons with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1996-99).  He also spent time with the Cleveland Browns (2000), NFL Europe’s Berlin Thunder (2000), XFL’s Los Angeles Xtreme (2001), Arena Football League’s Tampa Bay Storm (2002) and the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders (2003) where he played six games before closing the season as QB coach.

(Edmonton Eskimos) 

Week 15 NFL Capsules

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The Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets meet in what should be a mismatch to kick off Week 15 of the NFL season Thursday night.  It will be a chance to see Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who is the favourite to win the MVP award, do his thing. 

For a look at that game and the others this weekend, click here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Noah Picton Returning To Rams

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University of Regina Rams head coach Steve Bryce announced Wednesday that the team has added former All-Canadian and Hec Crighton Trophy recipient Noah Picton to its staff as a quarterbacks coach.

Picton was one of the most prolific quarterbacks in Canadian university football history over his time with the Rams, including winning the Hec Crighton Trophy in 2016 as the national player of the year. He's the all-time U SPORTS leader with 11,494 passing yards, the Canada West all-time leader with 1235 completions, and ranks second in Canada West and school history with 71 touchdown passes.

"We're extremely happy to be able to add Noah, who's obviously been such a big part of this program for the past seven seasons," Bryce said. "He set such a great example as a player and a leader during his time with the Rams, and he's the perfect guy for our group of young, talented quarterbacks to learn from."

Besides his U SPORTS experience, Picton also participated in three training camps with CFL teams including in 2018 and 2019 with the Toronto Argonauts. He was also with the Saskatchewan Roughriders during their 2015 camp as part of the CFL's Canadian quarterback internship program.

Picton, who received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the U of R in the spring, now works at PFM Capital Inc. in Regina as a compliance and governance analyst.

(U of R Athletics)

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Halifax agrees to contribute $20M toward construction of stadium for CFL team

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Halifax council has voted to move ahead with a stadium project by a business group hoping to land a CFL franchise for the East Coast city.

Council voted 10 to 7 to accept a staff recommendation of a one-time $20-million contribution toward construction of a stadium, on the condition an acceptable new location is found.

The vote gives a boost to the initiative launched by Schooner Sports and Entertainment (SSE).

The business group had proposed building a $110-million, 24,000-seat stadium in Shannon Park on land near the city's MacKay Bridge that was formerly used for military housing.

Council made its decision after reviewing a staff report that recommended against the Shannon Park site in favour of finding another.

The decision comes after SSE's proposal narrowly averted being killed outright in October when council voted nine to eight to proceed further with a staff study.

(CTV Halifax) 

Monday, December 9, 2019

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Stars of the Week, Carlson, Jarry, Eichel

NEW YORK (Dec. 9, 2019) – Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson, Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Dec. 8.


Carlson registered 3-3—6, including two game-winning goals, in three contests to propel the Capitals (22-4-5, 49 points) to a perfect week and into first place in the overall NHL standings. Carlson posted his sixth three-point performance of the season, as well as his third game-winning goal, in a 5-2 triumph over the San Jose Sharks Dec. 3 (1-2—3). He then scored twice, including the decisive goal, in a 3-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings Dec. 4. Carlson closed the week with one assist in a 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks Dec. 6, helping Washington sweep a three-game road trip through California for the first time in franchise history. The 29-year-old Natick, Mass., native tops NHL defensemen in goals (11), assists (32), points (43) and game-winning goals (4) through 31 outings this season. Only two other blueliners in League history have recorded as many points through their team’s first 31 games of a campaign: Bobby Orr (5x, most recently in 1974-75: 21-37—58 w/ BOS) and Al MacInnis (1990-91: 13-31—44 w/ CGY).


Jarry stopped all 61 shots he faced across two appearances, compiling a 2-0-0 record and two shutouts to help the Penguins (17-9-4, 38 points) earn three wins and move into the first Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference. Jarry made 28 saves for his third career shutout in a 3-0 triumph over the St. Louis Blues Dec. 4. He then turned aside all 33 shots against in a 2-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 6, extending his personal shutout streak to 144:51 (dating to Nov. 29) – the longest by a Pittsburgh goaltender in the regular season since Marc-Andre Fleury’s 165:06 run from Feb. 1-11, 2015. The 24-year-old Surrey, B.C., native has played in 11 total games this season, going 7-4-0 with a 1.82 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and two shutouts.


Eichel topped the NHL with 2-5—7 in four outings to extend his personal point streak to a career-high 13 games (10-13—23) and lift the Sabres (14-11-6, 34 points) into third place in the Atlantic Division. Eichel registered 1-2—3, his seventh three-point effort of the season, in a 7-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils Dec. 2. He then scored once in a 4-3 defeat against the Calgary Flames Dec. 5 and picked up two assists in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks Dec. 7. Eichel capped the week with an assist on Colin Miller’s overtime winner in a 3-2 triumph against the Edmonton Oilers Dec. 8. The 23-year-old North Chelmsford, Mass., native – who is one of 10 players on pace for 100 points in 2019-20 – ranks seventh in the League with 18-24—42 through 31 contests this season.

Something To "Mitch" About

--The CFL coaching carousel is slowing down, but could it speed up again.  Paul Lapolice is getting another well-deserved opportunity to be a head coach as he will guide Ottawa, Rick Campbell is in BC leaving Edmonton as the only team right now actively seeking someone to lead them into 2020 and beyond.   I have to think they would have been in on Lapolice, but they didn't get him.

The question I have now is when do we hear about a contract extension for Mike O'Shea? The rumours persisted throughout the end of the regular season and playoffs that O'Shea would head to Toronto.  While there have been rumblings from Toronto about the Argos keeping Corey Chamblin despite their record, but there has been nothing official.  Are they waiting to see what happens in Winnipeg?  Perhaps a deal is done and the Bombers are just waiting for the right time to announce it, but one wonders just why something that should have been announced shortly after the Grey Cup win isn't done yet.

--Back to Lapolice,  The rumour mill is already chugging about him taking Matt Nichols with him to Ottawa.  Would Zach Collaros be a better fit?  Zach wants to be close to home in Ontario and we saw what the Winnipeg offence did when Collaros got under center.   Zach might be the better option.

--Rider Nation for the most part seems to be somewhat amenable to Jason Maas joining Craig Dickenson's staff as offensive co-ordinator.  They are of the belief that Maas the head coach is quite different from Maas the O-C because of the stress level involved.  I can buy that.   What I can't buy is the stories I am hearing about Maas wanting to help with the formation of the coaching staff and perhaps bringing some of his assistants from Edmonton to Riderville.

That is what Chris Jones did and it worked.  Jones brought over his guys from a team that had won the Grey Cup.  Jason Maas' assistants came with teams that didn't make the playoffs in 2018 and made the crossover in 2019.  I would do what you can to try and keep the coaches whose contracts expired and the ones you want to stick around a la Jason Shivers.

--I am told the Riders will be making one if not two big announcements before Christmas.  I have no idea what they could be, but the re-signing of Charleston Hughes could be one of them.

--What type of response will Kawhi Leonard get when he returns to Toronto on Wednesday?  Any fan that boos him should have their head examined if you ask me.  Without Leonard, who made no promises he would stay when he signed, Toronto doesn't win the NBA Championship.  He had a desire to return to California and he did.  End of story!

--I wish more NHL'ers were as outgoing as Drew Doughty.  His statement on Calgary over the weekend was something not many NHL'ers would say.

--The Niners and Saints played a CFL game from the 80's and 90's didn't they?  That game wasn't quite to the level of the Chiefs-Rams Monday nighter last year, but that was a lot of fun to watch,

--The Patriots had some bad calls go against them in their loss to KC.  Oh well! I think many don't feel sorry for them.

--The Seahawks picked a fine time to play their worst game of the year.

--The Canadian athlete of the year will be announced today.  It has to be Bianca Andreescu doesn't it?

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Lapo Off To Ottawa

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The Ottawa REDBLACKS are excited to announce the hiring of Paul LaPolice as the second Head Coach in franchise history.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the REDBLACKS organization and RNation,” said LaPolice. “I can’t wait to get to work and start competing for championships in Ottawa.  My family is excited to make Ottawa our home and we can’t wait to see everyone out at TD Place. Let’s make our house the loudest stadium in the league!

LaPolice, who has signed a three-year deal with the REDBLACKS, comes to Ottawa from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, where he most recently helped lead the club to the 2019 Grey Cup championship as offensive coordinator. The New Hampshire native has coached in various roles with the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders, in addition the Blue Bombers where he also served as Head Coach from 2010-2012.


Friday, December 6, 2019

Stadium Setback For Proposed Halifax CFL Team

Perspective view of the proposed Shannon Park Halifax stadium. - Don Ellis Architecture

HALIFAX, N.S. — A community stadium in Shannon Park is a no-go, according to Halifax Regional Municipality staff.

The staff report, to be presented to regional council Tuesday, recommends that the municipality contribute only $20 million toward a stadium, but not in Shannon Park.

“The offsite infrastructure cost of Shannon Park is one of the key drivers,” of the staff recommendation, said Coun. Sam Austin (Dartmouth Centre)

“There is no development plan and the staff identified that, but those off-site costs have always been one of my main concerns about Shannon Park. … There is enough there that staff said no, we don’t think that’s a good spot given that it will cost us a bundle.”

The staff report is its updated response to the proposal and business plan from Schooner Sports and Entertainment.

Staff will recommend that Jacques Dube, the chief administrative officer for the municipality, negotiate an agreement for a one-time $20-million contribution toward the cost of building a community stadium, payable upon substantial completion of construction.

That contribution would be subject to the selection of a different site with optimal access to major transportation routes and the necessary infrastructure acceptable to regional council.

SSE had proposed a stadium with an initial 12,000 permanent seats that would be expanded to accommodate 24,000 spectators to watch a Canadian Football League expansion team play. SSE has estimated stadium construction, purchase of a six- to eight-hectare piece of surplus military property at Shannon Park in the north end of Dartmouth and professional fees to run in the range of $130 million.

The staff report pegs SSE’s investment at $30 million.

The recent staff analysis identifies several knocks against the Shannon Park site, including: it is encumbered by a CN rail line and the MacKay Bridge to the point that it would require extensive public transportation infrastructure investment; the business case did not include a developer and consequently lacks a storm water and wastewater analysis; and it might require a new ferry terminal and services that would cost in the range of $20 million.

SSE, which had previously explored stadium sites near Dartmouth Crossing and Bayers Lake, said in a statement Friday that it welcomes the recommendations from municipal staff.

“We appreciate the due diligence HRM staff have exercised in this process and support the considerations raised regarding site selection for this important community project,” the SSE statement said.

“We look forward to receiving HRM council’s decision on whether to approve this recommendation and we stand ready to work diligently with staff and the community to ensure the success of this game-changing community development.”

Austin said he doesn’t know what will transpire Tuesday afternoon when the staff report goes to council.

“I couldn’t speculate,” Austin said. “This is the report coming to council Tuesday asking us if we want to carry on this discussion with the caveat that our offer is $20 million and you have to come up with a different location.”

If council endorses the staff recommendation, SSE would be left with the option of finding a different site after months of negotiations with Canada Lands, the Crown corporation that manages surplus military properties, or walking away from the project.

Austin has long voiced dissent on the stadium proposal, even making a motion in October that council scuttle the stadium plan outright instead of waiting for staff to prepare a detailed analysis of the SSE business plan as had been directed by council in October 2018. Austin’s motion failed in a 9-8 vote.

The Dartmouth councillor said that before the scheduled afternoon council meeting convenes, he and his council colleagues will spend Tuesday morning going through the capital budget, featuring key items like libraries, splash pads, transportation plans and the transit system.

“We don’t have any of that core stuff funded so there are a lot of ways that we can spend $20 million and there will be plenty of ideas in the morning.”

The staff report concluded that the municipality would be on the hook for $47 million to $79 million over 30 years for the stadium under the various financial options suggested by SSE.

“While a stadium would add a valuable piece of infrastructure to Halifax, the financial options proposed by SSE for the stadium require a considerable amount of public funds and all are dependent upon the success of an untested Halifax CFL franchise and Halifax market,” the report says.

“As such, the options proposed present considerable risk to the municipal taxpayer. At the same time, partnership with a private-sector sponsor offers the chance for the community to acquire this infrastructure with the private partner carrying the majority of the cost and risk.”

(Halifax Chronicle-Herald)

Riders Make Maas As OC Official; Shivers Returning as DC

Saskatchewan Roughriders Head Coach Craig Dickenson announced today that the Club has added Jason Maas as the team’s offensive coordinator and extended defensive coordinator Jason Shivers. Both Maas and Shivers have signed through the 2021 season.

Maas joins the Saskatchewan Roughriders after spending the last four years as the head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos. Under Maas, the Eskimos made the post-season three out of four seasons with one appearance in the West Final in 2017 and two appearances, via crossover, in the East Final in 2016 and 2019. Prior to his time in Edmonton, Maas served as the offensive coordinator of the Ottawa Redblacks. In 2015 Maas was at the helm of an exceptional Ottawa offence that led the league in offensive yards, passing yards, and rushing touchdowns, saw Henry Burris named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and produced four 1,000-yard receivers. From 2012 to 2014 Maas served as the receivers coach and eventually the quarterbacks coach of the Toronto Argonauts, winning a Grey Cup with the team in 2012. His coaching career came after an 11-season CFL career as a quarterback. He won two Grey Cups with the Eskimos in 2003 and 2005, was named a CFL West All-Star in 2001 and was voted the Eskimos’ Most Outstanding Player in 2001 and 2004.

Shivers returns to the Green and White after a successful first season as the Club’s defensive coordinator. Under Shivers, the Roughriders defence allowed the fewest offensive touchdowns (30), the fewest yards of net offence (5,299) and made the most sacks (56). In addition, defensive lineman Charleston Hughes and linebacker Derrick Moncrief were named CFL All-Stars. Prior to being named defensive coordinator, Shivers served at the Roughriders defensive backs coach for three seasons after joining the Club in 2016. Shivers will be entering his eighth year as a CFL coach having spent time with the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos, wining a Grey Cup in 2015. Prior to coaching, Shivers was an NFL and CFL defensive back. The now 37-year-old spent two seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and two with Toronto. In 56 career CFL regular-season games, Shivers registered 175 defensive tackles, 22 special-teams tackles and seven interceptions. He spent one season with the Chicago Bears after originally being selected by the St. Louis Rams in the fifth round (158th overall) of the 2004 NFL draft.

(Saskatchewan Roughriders)

This And That

--Welcome to Friday and the usual assortment of things running through my muddled mind.   As always, these come in no particular order.

--Jason Maas is the Riders new O-C.  How do ya feel about that?  I'll be honest.  I wasn't the biggest Stephen McAdoo fan and I am not the biggest Jason Maas fan.  His actions in Edmonton were somewhat embarrassing, but as many have said as an O-C he will not do what he did as a head coach and his actions on the sideline should be civil.  Actually, he will be upstairs in the coaching box and not the sideline. 

If Maas can bring the same type of offence to the Riders that he had in Edmonton when Mike Reilly was the QB then fine.  If not, I'll pass.   It will be a work in progress for me.  That being said, there is no doubt he can do the job so let's see how it goes. 

--Rumour du jour.  The Riders have had some informal discussion with Ricky Ray to be their quarterback coach and mentor Cody Fajardo.  I'll believe that one when I see it. Not saying it couldn't happen, but I'm a little skeptical on that one. 

--There is talk Chris Streveler may get an NFL opportunity as teams could liken him to a Taysom Hill in New Orleans. I can't buy that. 

--Did Zach Collaros NOT take part in the Grey Cup parade? Did I hear that right? If that is the truth, why?  I know he got out of Regina as quickly as possible after the 2018 Western semi-final loss, but why would he not want to be in Winnipeg for the Grey Cup parade---one that he is partially responsible for.  Then again, maybe he didn't want to party with Streveler because he couldn't keep up to him.  

--Winnipeg's mayor wants the province to chip in on the cost of the Grey Cup parade.  They don't even know how to win right in Winnipeg!  What a dumb request!  Verrrrrrry Winnipegish!

--How bad were the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night?  That was one pathetic performance.  Jerry Jones has said he won't change coaches in mid-season, but how can he keep Jason Garrett around. It looks like the players have quit on him. 

--Week 14 NFL Lock Of The Week ---  Packers over Redskins 
   Week 14 NFL Upset Of The Week ---Dolphins over Jets 

--As much as people keep saying it, I just don't see Taylor Hall in Edmonton.  I see Taylor Hall in Colorado, but not in Edmonton.  Will the Oilers take a run at him in free agency if he gets there?  I see that happening, but he won't be joining his old team via trade this season unless New Jersey is going to eat a lot of his salary and I just don't see that happening. 

--If Mitch Marner hated Mike Babcock so much, why did he re-sign with the Leafs?  Oh yeah, $$$$ cures unhappiness. 

--Connor McDavid has 51 points in 30 games as does his teammate Leon Draisiatl.  That translates to 140 points this season. No player has had 140 points since Mario Lemieux in 1995-96.  Looking at the NHL scoring race, there are many who could get 100 points this season.  I don't know what the record is for most 100 point players in a season, but we could have a new record this season.

--The Vancouver Canucks put Alex Burrows into their ring of honour this week. Alex Burrows?  When I think of great Vancouver Canucks, I don't think of Alex Burrows.  He had one big goal for the team and that was it.  If you look at who the Canucks have in that ring of honour and who they don't, I think you will see where I'm going with this. 

--The Pats could finish their 7 game Agribition road trip with a winning record.  I don't think many thought the team would even win three on the trip.   It may be too late for a playoff spot, but this team is finally getting rewarded for its effort.  They are back home Saturday to face Red Deer in the Teddy Bear Toss game.   Has the building been aired out yet? 

--The Rush season has started? Is it just me or am I seeing an absence in Rush marketing in Regina.  It certainly isn't to the level it was the last couple of years ago. Perhaps they think they don't need to cater to the southern Saskatchewan audience as much as they used to..

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

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Maas Is Reportedly New Riders O-C

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Courtesy: Edmonton Eskimos 

Stephen McAdoo's days as offensive co-ordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders appear to be over 

While there has been no confirmation from the green-and-white, TSN's Dave Naylor and 3 Down Nation's Justin Dunk are reporting former Eskimos head coach Jason Maas has signed a deal with the Riders to become their new offensive co-ordinator. 

Maas was let go a couple of weeks ago by the Eskimos as their head coach after spending four years on the job. 

All assistant coaches last season that worked with Craig Dickenson saw their contracts expire at the end of the season

Week 14 NFL Capsules

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The NFL's Thursday night game this week has Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys in Chicago to face the Bears.  For a preview of that game and the others in Week 14 of the season, click here

Monday, December 2, 2019

SC Broncos Release Long-Time Trainer Citing Unprofessional and Threatening Behaviour

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The Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League have released its head athletic trainer and equipment manager.

In a tweet from the club, they say Jamie Leblanc is being released effective immediately after revelations of a recent pattern of demaning and derogatory comments, threatening behaviour and unprofessional conduct that is inconsistent with the values of the organization and league.

What exactly was said and done is not known with the team saying they will not be making any further comments on this.

Leblanc has been with the team since 2001.