--Welcome to Friday and the weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they come in no particular order
--At what area do the Riders need to upgrade? This is a very solid team and one that shouldn't fall too far from its 13-5 campaign last season in what will be a very competitive Western Conference. Another D-Tackle would be nice with the departure of Micah Johnson, but Mak Henry will have every opportunity to show his time is now. The o-line depth took a hit with the loss of Dariusz Bladek and Philip Blake, but one has to believe the cupboard will get re-stocked at the draft.
--With Toronto and Ottawa not doing enough at this point in time to be considered for a playoff spot in my mind, what Western team will miss the playoffs. I would say with the improvements BC has made that the honour might go to Edmonton. It could be Calgary if BLM's injury woes continues because I don't think they have another Nick Arbuckle ready to go. BC should be a playoff team this year shouldn't they?
--A lot of people I have spoken to aren't happy with the fact Naaman Roosevelt is no longer a Rider. It will be different seeing him in a different uniform this season, but Roosevelt is not the Jenga block that sends this team tumbling. With Shaq Evans, Jordan Williams-Lambert and Kyran Moore, the team is set when it comes to pass-catchers. Add Justin McInnis to that list as well. We'll also see if Paul McRoberts and Carlos Henderson can fit in at a cheaper price. Its not the end of the world. Fan favourites can't play in green forever!
--We have gotten a taste of what CFL Commish Randy Ambrosie is saying in his 3rd "Randy's Road Trip" series, but some Rider fans will get a chance to hear first-hand what his thoughts are on Saturday in Regina. I'm guessing many will have some good questions for the Commish as he outlines his vision for the league.
--Why is Joe Thornton upset with the Sharks for not trading him at the deadline? If Thornton wanted that Cup so bad, why not go somewhere last year in free agency when he had a chance? How long has Thornton been in San Jose and how long have they had good hockey teams? Perhaps Joe should look in the mirror and tell his agent to find him a home with a Cup contender next year!
--The Hurricanes, Oilers and Penguins were the big winners at the NHL trade deadline. Carolina did a great job and will be tough should they get in. The acquisition of Patrick Marleau by Pittsburgh has the potential to be huge while Ken Holland got what the Oilers needed for the stretch drive and beyond. The last few weeks of the NHL season are going to be fun.
--Congrats to U of R Cougar mens hockey coach Todd Johnson for being named the Canada West coach of the year. A strong second half helped Johnson get that honour. I've often said it is hard for the U of R to compete when teams like the U of A, U of S and U of C have many WHL grads on their team, but Johnson still does what he can to find who he can and field the best team he can. He may have gotten a huge committment from Pats captain Austin Pratt. He told me this week that if a pro opportunity doesn't happen, he will likely play at the U of R next year. That would be a big get for the program. That being said, Pratt deserves a shot at the next level as does Robbie Holmes.
--Hey Bobby Ryan! Getting a hat-trick in your first game after being in rehab for alcohol is a pretty solid thing to see.
--Was it really 10 years ago since the Vancouver Olympics? It was 10 years ago today that Sidney Crosby scored what might be the biggest goal in Canadian history. Where were you? FWIW, I say Paul Henderson's goal in 1972 was bigger, but for today's generation, its definitely Sid!
--I just can't see Tom Brady wearing another uniform, but it looks like it may happen. To me, it will take away something from his career if he suits up for another team. I like the guys that did it all for one team. Players playing their whole career for one team is something that is becoming few and far between these days.
--The Brier starts tonight. Matt Dunstone will be in tough to end the Saskatchewan drought, but he is more than up to the challenge. If Dunstone can get into the final four it will be an accomplishment with the likes of Koe, Jacobs, Gushue, Epping and either Howard or McEwen though. All you need is a break or two. At the end of the day, I see Brad Jacobs and his Northern Ontario rink getting their hands on the Brier Tankard.
--All Elite Wrestling is crazy!
--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!
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