Monthly Archives: April 2015

Blades Sign Prospect Paterson

PHOTO COURTESY (Steve Hiscock/Saskatoon Blades)

The Saskatoon Blades are extremely proud to announce the signing of Josh Paterson, the teams top pick from the 2014 WHL Bantam Draft.

“This is a huge day for our organization,” said Colin Priestner, Blades Managing Partner. “Josh is a highly skilled, big centreman who thinks the game very well. He makes players around him better. We’re just so excited to have him as a cornerstone addition to our franchise.”

The Blades chose Paterson 25th overall in the 2014 Bantam Draft. Already 6’2 and 180 pounds at only 16 years of age, the Blades believe the sky is the limit for the centre from Edmonton.

“We think he plays a Joe Thornton or Ryan Johansen style of game,” added Dan Tencer, Director of Scouting, Western Region. “Being a gifted student he actually finished high school two years early, and had plenty of suitors and options. We’re thrilled he chose Saskatoon as the place to develop his game.”

“I’m really excited to be going forward on this path and join the organization,” said Paterson after signing his contract. “I really like the way the team is shaping up this year, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Josh was drafted out of South Side Athletic Club in Edmonton where he led the entire Alberta Bantam AAA League in scoring with 97 points in 33 games. Paterson most recently played with the SSAC Athletics Midget AAA team in the AMHL, where he had 9 goals and 19 points in 32 games. He was also a member of Team Alberta at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, finishing with 6 points in 6 games helping, his team to a Silver medal.

“Josh will be a big part of our rebuild going forward,” said Head Coach and GM Bob Woods from the WHL USA Combine in Anaheim. “He’s the type of kid you want to add to your team – he thinks the game very well, and he’s got the Blade Factor we look for, just a great kid on and off the ice. It’s huge for us going into the draft to have another big 1999 player secured. Signing him was one of our top priorities this year as a club.”

Dave’s Dis N’ Dat On A Friday Morning.

With the start of the NHL post season, a faltering home stand for the Toronto Blue Jays, Handed out Hardware in the SJHL and the continuation of the WHL play-offs it has been a busy week.

Here are my random thoughts from the week that was!

Chop-gate continues in Montreal. Ottawa wants P.K. Subban suspended while the Canadiens are OK with the resulting major and game misconduct from Subban’s slash on Mark Stone. While I don’t like the outcome of the slash I think the penalty was appropriate. If hockey starts determining penalties on the severity of the injury that it causes the game could be in trouble…. Oh wait, hockey already does when it comes to high sticking penalties. (i.e. Did it draw blood?)

The WHL play-offs continue to roll and I am still flabbergasted that attendance numbers sag in the face of NHL play-offs being on the tube. The fall in attendance in Regina from games three to four baffles me.

Speaking of the Regina Pats

Tabbies Tabbed For Breaking Salary Cap

An extensive audit process has confirmed eight of nine teams were under the Canadian Football League’s salary expenditure cap for 2014, the CFL announced today.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were the only team to exceed the cap. Their total salary expenditure of $5,008,939 was $8,939 over the salary expenditure cap of $5,000,000. They will be penalized one dollar for each dollar they were over the cap for a total fine of $8,939.

“The salary management system was brought into the CFL to provide competitive balance and responsible business practices,” said Michael Copeland, President and Chief Operating Officer of the CFL. “It is clear, with eight of nine teams under the cap, our teams understand that for the continued growth of our league, we have to remain fiscally responsible.”

The salary management system was introduced in 2007.

The system’s review process includes detailed field audits of all nine clubs twice per year, once during the CFL season and once following its completion. Teams are also required to provide regular updates on compensation levels at the 6-game, 12-game and 18-game point of the season.

Under the provisions set by the league’s Board of Governors, teams are fined one dollar for every dollar they exceed the cap up to $100,000, and two dollars for every dollar they exceed the cap between $100,000 and $300,000, plus the loss of the team’s first round draft pick. Teams are fined three dollars for every dollar they exceed the cap beyond $300,000, and they lose their first two draft selections.

As no team exceeded the cap by more than $100,000 in 2014, the order for the CFL Draft on May 12 is not affected. It remains (barring trade) for the first round:

The Good The Bad The Ugly: Night One Of The NHL Play-offs:

The NHL play-offs are underway with four games on the ice last night. Here are a smattering of observations from night number one in the first installment of the good the bad and the ugly!

The Good!

Sam Bennett gets full marks for his post-season debut for the Calgary Flames. The rookie, who had played only one regular season game after being sent back to junior after a shoulder injury early in the year, stepped in seamlessly to the Flames second line. That line was the Flames most dangerous throughout the evening.

The emotion in Montreal was outstanding. The Senators and the Canadiens do not like each other and are not afraid to show it. My only wish that some of that emotion could spill into the stale regular season.

What a darling!

CFL Hall of Famer Needs Help To Help Kids!

Don Narcisse set to catch for kids once again!

One of the finest receivers in Saskatchewan Roughrider history is coming back to Toon Town to once again help kids in our community.

The CFL All-Star will be in Saskatoon Saturday April 25th for his annual End Zone Experience Gala. In addition to Narcisse, current Rider Rush-End John Chick will be in attendance.

Chick will serves as the keynote speaker while Narcisse will share some of his fondest football memories.

Other CFLers will be in attendance with some great silent auction items and chances to win fabulous prizes!

The best part of the evening is that all proceeds will support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon and Saskatoon Minor Football.

Unfortunately, at this point Narcisse needs to sell 8 to 10 tables to make the event viable.

Kindersley Clips Coach

The Iron Horse Kindersley Klippers have announced that Head Coach and General Manager Rockie Zinger will not have his contract renewed for the 2015-2016 Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League season.

The Klippers wished Zinger well in his future endeavours, and are now seeking applicants for the vacant position.

Zinger took over the position in the 2010-11 season, as the team advanced to the SJHL semi finals where they were swept by the Yorkton Terriers. The team then entered a rebuild stage, bottoming out in 2011-12 with 11 points and finishing at the bottom of the SJHL standings.

In 2012-13, the team improved from 11 wins to 22 wins, moving from 12th place to 8th place and returning to the playoffs after a one year absence, but the Klippers lost out to the Estevan Bruins 3-1 in the first round.

It was another leap forward in 2013-14, improving from 22 wins to 34 wins, and climbing from 8th place to 3rd in the league. Despite a strong regular season, the Klippers would not escape the first round of the 2014 playoffs as they dropped four straight games to Melville, with each game being decided by one goal.

Top Ten Tuesday: The Next Big Thing For ToonTown? Why The Jays Won’t Win AND Fallen Leafs!

Another interesting seven days has come and gone from the World of Sports. Here’s my take on the week that was with a prediction and some answers, in no particular order.

10 – The Saskatchewan Roughriders held a min-camp in Florida this past weekend. Good news for Rider Nation is that Darian Durant reports to be back at 100% after his elbow injury from a season ago. No matter what you may be lead to believe that was not the most significant news from the weekend.

9 – Other news from the Rider mini-camp revealed that receiver Jamel Richardson may not be ready for the start of training camp if at all for the 2015 season. Richardson was penciled in as one of the starting five receivers for the season but may need to seriously contemplate his future as the knee appears to be nowhere near where it needs to be. Again, not the biggest news of the weekend.

Friday Night Lights Set For Huskies

Returning to true gridiron fashion in 2015, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team will host all five home games under the lights of Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

Canada West conference action kicks off for the Huskies in a rematch of the 2013 and 2014 playoffs with the University of Manitoba Bisons on September 4th. The Huskies return home on September 18th to host provincial rival the University of Regina Rams.

The Huskies add home dates against the Calgary Dinos on October 16th and the UBC Thunderbirds on October 23rd.

Also on tap for the Huskies is a non-conference game against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on August 21st It is the seventh time in eight seasons the Huskies have hosted a team for a preseason tune up.

Kick off for all five home games is slated for 7 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park, with the new VWAG Rally Alley starting at 5 p.m. The presenting sponsor of Huskie football is Concorde Group of Companies.

“Huskie football always appreciates the support and attention we get from our fans and the City of Saskatoon,” said Huskie head coach Brian Towriss, who will enter his 32nd season at the helm. “We look forward to seeing each and everyone of you in the stands.”

Road trips for the Huskies include dates with the Alberta Golden Bears on September 11th, Thunderbirds on September 25th, Dinos on October 3rd and Rams on October 30th.

New in 2015, CJWW (600 AM) will be the radio broadcast partner for the Huskies. All Huskie games, including non-conference and any playoff games, will be broadcast live on CJWW. The broadcast will also include a 60-minute pregame show and a 30-minute postgame show.

Four Dogs Headed To East West Bowl

PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock

Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced Monday the rosters for the 13th annual East West Bowl. The 2015 CIS football prospects game is set for Saturday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at McGill University’s Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal.

McGill will host the event for the first time, taking over from Western University, which hosted the last six editions in London, Ont. The all-star showcase has also been held at McMaster (2008), Laval (2007, 2006) and Wilfrid Laurier (2005, 2004, 2003).

Four members of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies were named to those rosters; QB Drew Burko, REC Brydon Ozmun, OL Drew Digout, and DB Dylan Kemp.

In addition to the game itself, the week-long event includes daily practices, a combine for participating players (May 6), the CFL Free Agency Camp for players eligible to attend 2015 CFL training camps and not participating in the East West Bowl (May 6), a coaches clinic featuring presentations by CFL and CIS mentors (May 9), as well as the annual banquet (May 7).

“I am extremely pleased that we can host this prestigious event in Montreal for the first time,” said Ronald Hilaire, who recently took over as head coach of the McGill Redmen. “To be able to welcome future CFL prospects from across the CIS in the e-camp and draft is a tremendous honour. Western and all past hosts have done a great job of growing this event and we intend on maintaining that high level of quality for this year’s East West Bowl.”

The East West Bowl showcases – for the most part – CIS players who will be eligible for the following year’s CFL draft.

Hilltops Release 2015 Schedule

PHOTO COURTESY: Steve Hiscock

The Saskatoon Hilltops will open defense of their PFC and Canadian Bowl Titles on the road, August 16th in Calgary in a rematch of last year’s championship game.

The teams’ home schedule kicks-off two weeks later when they host Winnipeg August 30th at Saskatoon Minor Football Field.

Also of note will be the teams’ annual In The End Zone Fundraising dinner that is set for September 5th when they host Regina in a night game at SMF Field.

Here is the complete schedule: