Monthly Archives: January 2015

Huff Named Coach Of The Year

Calgary Stampeders general manager and head coach John Hufnagel has been named the 2014 recipient of the Annis Stukus Trophy, awarded to the Canadian Football League Coach of the Year. Hufnagel was presented with the honour earlier today by CFL President and Chief Operating Officer, Michael Copeland at a luncheon in Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of the CFL’s annual league meetings.

“John Hufnagel’s Stampeders completed one of the greatest seasons in Canadian Football League history with the ultimate prize in Canadian football: a Grey Cup victory”, said Copeland. “Throughout the year, he overcame adversity and put his team in a position to succeed week in and week out.  On behalf of our Board of Governors, and our entire league, we congratulate John on this tremendous honour.”

Hufnagel led the Stampeders to their seventh championship in franchise history, their first since 2008; coincidentally the same year Hufnagel originally won the Annis Stukus Trophy.

The Calgary Stampeders showed off their skill as well as tested their team depth in several positions throughout the season. The Stampeders started Bo Levi Mitchell, the league’s youngest starting quarterback, with an offence that had to overcome multiple injuries to key players during the 2014 campaign. Even with these barriers, the Stampeders could not be slowed down, as they continued to run an effective and efficient offence in the CFL; leading the league in points scored, most touchdowns scored and most net yards rushing.

The Calgary Stampeders tied a franchise mark in 2014 with 15 victories, eight of them coming away from McMahon Stadium. After claiming first place in the West, the Stampeders hosted their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Eskimos in the West Final where they defeated them for the fourth time, sweeping the season series and advancing to the 102nd Grey Cup.

NHL Returning To ToonTown

The newly named Sasktel Centre will welcome the NHL for the first time in 2015!

The Edmonton Oilers will host the Minnesota Wild September 26th at the facility.

Ticket prices will range from $47.25 to $99.75 for the pre-season contest. Tickets will be made available to Saskatoon Blades season ticket holders first before being offered as part of a pre-sale package that will include tickets for the Blades home opener.

Bombers Add Hall; Als Promote From Within

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers today are pleased to announce the appointment of long-time CFL coach Richie Hall as the club’s Defensive Coordinator.

Hall comes to Winnipeg after holding the same position with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the past four seasons. He has more than twenty years of CFL coaching experience, including 12 as a Defensive Coordinator, and two as a Head Coach.

“Richie Hall has been around our game for almost three decades,” said Head Coach Mike O’Shea. “He knows the league, he understands opposition offences, and how to adjust when needed. He’s highly respected, and brings another winning element to our organization. Acquiring him to lead our defence is major coup for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.”

A three-time Grey Cup Champion (two as a Defensive Coordinator), Hall has a reputation of fielding one of the league’s top defences season after season. He coached the league’s number one ranked defence in 2013, posting a league low 398 points allowed, while leading the league with 24 interceptions, and the lowest touchdowns allowed total with 36. All of this culminated in the Riders winning the 101st Grey Cup in dominating fashion.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me as a coach and as a person,” said Hall. “For years, I have been in this league and watched from afar the passion the city and province have for the Blue Bombers. They really deserve to have a winning football team and all of us on the defensive side of the ball will do everything we can to make that happen.”

Top Ten Tuesday: January 20

First off thank-you for the many shares, likes and comments on my thought’s around the Weyburn Red Wings on Friday. Great to see the community rally around the team with a great crowd on the weekend.

It should be pointed out that the plight of the Red Wings is not an isolated situation as an informal survey around junior hockey in Western Canada shows that other teams are similar if not more dire circumstances.

Definitely something to consider when making choices for your entertainment dollar!

Anyways, we move on this Tuesday morning with my 10 random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports.

10 – On The Wings of A Seahawk! How about the finish in Seattle with the Seahawks stealing a win away from Green Bay on the weekend? If you would have told me that punter, and Regina native Jon Ryan would have had a better passer rating than Russel Wilson and the Seahawks would still win I would ask for a blood alcohol content reading. Wow! It is going to be an interesting Superbowl when they come up against the Patroits.

CFL NEWS: Als Well For Coach Reed – Stamps Saddle Tate

he Montreal Alouettes announced on Monday that Kavis Reed has been appointed the team’s new special teams coordinator.

Reed, who played five seasons in the CFL between 1995 and 1999, has 13 seasons of coaching experience North of the border, including three as the Edmonton Eskimos head coach from 2011 to 2013. In his first season as the Eskimos head coach, he led the team to an 11-7 season and a second place finish as well as a Western Final berth. The team had only won seven games the previous year and Reed was named a coach of the year finalist.

“It’s an honour for me to join such a storied organization that has had so much success over the years,” said Reed. “I look forward to working with Jim Popp, Tom Higgins, our coaches and all the players. This team showed a lot of promise last year and we will work hard to keep pushing in that same direction.”

In 2010, Reed was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive coordinator and his unit was the best in the league against the pass and second best in total defence. The previous year, he was the Saskatchewan Roughriders special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach, helping the team reach the Grey Cup.

“Having Kavis on our coaching staff is a great addition for the Alouettes,” declared Alouettes head coach, Tom Higgins. “He brings fire and passion to our team, as well as plenty of experience to our staff in place. All of our coaches are excited to get to work with him.”

SK Hockey Hall Of Fame Announces Class of 2015

The Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame introduced their class of 2015 this afternoon at Sasktel Centre in Saskatoon.

This year’s inductees are:

Players Category

Wendel Clark

A man who really needs no introduction to hockey fans, Wendel Clark is arguably the most popular player to ever wear a Saskatoon Blades jersey. After two dominant years with the Blades, Clark was chosen 1st overall in the 1985 NHL Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs, and would go on to a 15 year career in the NHL. All of the things Saskatchewan fans appreciate in hockey – toughness, character and heart – those are what made Wendel into the Saskatchewan hockey legend he is today.

Als Catch Stamps

PHOTO COURTESY: cfl.ca

The Montreal Alouettes have acquired eight-year veteran and four-time CFL All-Star Fred Stamps in exchange for wide receiver Kenny Stafford.

For many, the trade is not a total surprise.

Following Edmonton’s 43-18 defeat in the West Final in Calgary, Stamps was quoted by Chris O’Leary from the Edmonton Journal stating, “This will probably be my last game as an Eskimo. Hopefully, it’s not.”

It seemed Stamps saw the possibility coming ahead of many.

“Fred Stamps has been one of the top receivers in the CFL over the last 5 years,” declared Alouettes General Manager, Jim Popp. “This addition adds strength, character, and another high-level performer to our solid receiving core.”

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat: A Crisis In Junior Hockey? And the Winged Wheel In Weyburn!

Boy has it been an interesting past seven days! However, yesterday’s announcement by the Weyburn Red Wings that this could be their last season in the Opportunity City blew my socks off.
Today’s Dis N’ Dat take you through my journey with the club.

The Weyburn Red Wings are my home town team. Growing up in what was then known as the “Hospitality Capital of Saskatchewan,” the Red Wings were my heroes. My love affair with the team started when I 8 and the Wings won the 1984 Centennial Cup. The team featured; John Corrigan, Mike Spencer, Marc Casavant, Yvone Prefontaine, Troy Arndt, Ward Edwards and legendary Head Coach Dwight McMillan.

At the time, it seemed unreal that hockey was continuing into May when we were riding our bikes, playing on the swings and starting our soccer and baseball seasons. Never the less the Wings had won the SJHL, the Anavet Cup and the Doyle Cup and were playing the Orillia Travelways for the national title. Orillia were, as I remember, a big bad and dirty team, or at least that’s an eight year-olds impression of a group of junior players that are trying to beat “your” team. Heck for some reason it seems like they had all beards, ala Duck Dynasty, and looked like they were in their 30’s (that’s old for an 8-year old).

REDBLACKS Catch Receiver At A Price

The Ottawa REDBLACKS of the Canadian Football League are hoping success comes with a Price after acquiring international wide receiver Maurice Price in a trade with the Calgary Stampeders.

In exchange, the Stampeders receive international linebacker Jasper Simmons and international receiver Dan Buckner.

“We see this move as a major step forward in the improvement of our football club,” said Marcel Desjardins, general manager of the REDBLACKS. “We appreciate everything that Jasper and Dan contributed to our team.”

Price, a 29-year-old native of Orlando, is a three-year veteran of the Stampeders. Last year, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder out of Charleston Southern had 34 catches for 544 yards and two touchdowns, including a 102-yard major in the season opener for the eventual Grey Cup champs against the Alouettes at McMahon Stadium.

Green and White Bring Back Brown

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today that international linebacker Weldon Brown has signed an extension to remain with the team. As per club policy, financial details of the contract were not released.

Brown (5’10 – 185) will be entering his sixth CFL season and third year with the Roughriders after originally signing with the team as a free agent in February, 2013. Last season, the Louisiana Tech product registered 54 defensive tackles, three tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and a quarterback sack in 14 regular season games. He added five defensive tackles and an interception in the Western Semi-Final.

Brown originally entered the CFL in 2010 when he signed with Edmonton as a free agent. He spent three seasons with the Eskimos before joining the Riders ahead of the 2013 season.