Monthly Archives: April 2016
Friends of the Bowl Foundation provided an update on the redevelopment of Gordie Howe Sports Complex. Two phases have been completed at Saskatoon Minor Football Field including new turf, lights, sound system, score clock and construction of a 24,000 square foot Clubhouse.
Phase 3 is well underway with the creation of a welcome plaza to the Gordie Howe Sports Centre. Today’s announcements include a $250,000 donation from Richardson completing the Phase 1 and 2 campaigns.
The Friends of the Bowl Foundation are also pleased to announce that SMF Field will benefit from the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Grey Cup Legacy Project. The Grey Cup Legacy Project was introduced in 2012 in preparation for hosting the 2013 Grey Cup. 7,000 temporary seats as well as corporate boxes were added to the end zones at
Mosaic Stadium. The plan was to donate these seats to amateur sports programs when the new stadium was ready.
4,900 seats and 6 boxes will be donated to the Friends of the Bowl Foundation to enhance the experience for fans at SMF Field and create a facility that is able to host a wide variety of sporting events for years to come. The Saskatchewan Roughriders have also announced that they have acquired office space in the Gordie Howe Sports
“We are extremely proud to be a part of this outstanding sports facility.” Said Craig Reynolds, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. “We are thrilled to be welcomed here at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex and we look forward to playing an even greater role with the thousands of young athletes and children who are engaged in
sports here every year.”
Here we go again and it’s time to take a look at the top ten sporting that have caught my attention. In no particular order:
10 – Well the word on the street is that Rogers is having a heck of a time drawing eyes to their NHL play-off broadcasts. The low numbers are so troubling that the hockey host broadcaster is going to go over their content with a fine tooth comb this off season. Having said that, one simple change could make a world of difference: Find a consistent platform to deliver your product! For example, if you have to keep telling me where I have to go to see certain games at different times and it is not in the same place I probably won’t take the time to look.
9 – Staying with the NHL and apparently anything goes in the NHL play-offs. As you probably know the no-holds-barred approach to officiating in the play-offs drives me nuts. Exhibit A: The final minute of New York Islanders, Florida Panther game on the weekend. Two clear trips were overlooked before the Isles put the game-tying puck in the net. Then, nothing short of a homicide was going to get called in extra time. I read an interesting analysis on the final minute shame in the game and it was pointed out that the players want to be able to decide the game and that most are in favor with no calls late in games or in overtime. Firstly, that smacks of the roosters ruling the roost. Secondly, if the players are in favor of not having any penalties called in critical game moments in the play-offs would they be as content to carry that over to the regular season.
A quintet of Canada West football players were identified in the CFL Scouting Bureau’s April rankings, as announced Tuesday by the CFL.
Topping the 20-player list is Manitoba defensive lineman David Onyemata, who moved up one spot from December’s rankings.
The native of Lagos, Nigeria has made waves in recent months, appearing in January’s East-West Shrine Game in Tampa, Florida before hosting a successful pro day last month in front of scouts from 17 NFL teams and one CFL squad.
Along with Onyemata – the 2015 J.P. Metras award winner as the top down lineman in CIS – a pair of Calgary Dinos made the list, as running back Mercer Timmis (No. 13) and defensive back Elie Bouka (No. 18) are ranked.
Timmis enjoyed another stellar season in the Stampede City despite missing a pair of regular season games to injury. The Burlington, Ont. product was a Canada West first team all-star after finishing second in the conference in rushing yards per game by a running back with 111.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders have confirmed international receiver Maurice Price has filed retirement papers to the Canadian Football League.
“We are surprised and disappointed to hear of Maurice Price’s decision to retire. We were given no indication when we acquired Maurice and negotiated a new contract that he may not continue playing,” stated Riders General Manager and Head Coach Chris Jones. “As a team we will continue to move forward with our free agent camps and work through the CFL Draft. An opportunity has opened up for another player.”
The University of Saskatchewan Huskie football team will kick off the 2016 season at home in Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.
The Huskies will open the 2016 Canada West schedule renewing their provincial rivalry with the Regina Rams on September 2nd in the first of four home games of their schedule announced by the conference on Wednesday.
Saskatchewan will return home September 16th to take on the Calgary Dinos in a rematch of last season’s Hardy Cup semifinal.
Defending Vanier Cup Champions the UBC Thunderbirds will visit Saskatoon on October 14th following the bye week. The Huskies will close out the regular season at home on October 28th against the Alberta Golden Bears.
The Huskies will not play in a non-conference game for the second time in the past nine seasons.
Kick off for all four home games is slated for 7 p.m. at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park, with the Wyant Group Rally Alley returning for its second season starting at 5 p.m. The presenting sponsor of Huskie football is Concorde Group of Companies.
Road trips for the Huskies include dates with the Alberta Golden Bears on September 9th, Manitoba Bisons on September 24th, Rams on October 1st and Dinos on October 22nd.
Once again in 2016, CJWW (600 AM) will be the radio broadcast partner for the Huskies. All Huskie games, including 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.
Well it’s that time of the week again. Time to empty my brain of random thoughts from the week that was in the world of sports. So here we go in no particular order.
10 – Mike Reilly has become the highest paid player in the CFL. His contract extension with the Eskimos will see him reportedly double his salary to $500,000 a year in both 2017 and 2018. When I spoke with a CFL Hall of Famer about Reilly his thoughts on the Edmonton Quarterback was that Reilly needing to prove that he can stay on the field. “That’s how you become great… by staying on the field!”
9 – Who should be the top paid player in the CFL? For years the argument could be made for dominant Canadian Lineman. Now I think you have to go with a Quarterback and if I was to pick one across the league right now for the highest base salary that would be Bo Levi Mitchell in Calgary.
8 – An interesting dynamic is developing in Edmonton with the Eskimos signing free-agent Quarterback Thomas DeMarco. The move, obviously, makes sense on a number of levels: He played for new Head Coach Jason Maas in Ottawa, the Eskies are in need of a veteran presence behind Reilly after trading Matt Nichols to Winnipeg last year, AND there is still a ton of upside on DeMarco. With all that being said let’s not forget that it was DeMarco that beat out Reilly for the number two job in B.C. which saw the Lions ship Reilly to Edmonton.
In no way am I saying that this is deserving of any or consideration for any awards. However when reviewing headlines from the week there are a number of awards that I would like to hand out. So with that being said the vote(s) are in and here are the award winners from the week.
The Harry Houdini Award goes to fans of the Moose Jaw Warriors. As good friend Michael Ball would say a lot of fans went to the rink dressed as empty seats on Tuesday night for game three of their second round WHL play-off series. I understand that the team dropped the first two games of the set with Brandon in Manitoba but there has to be some concern there.
The Green for Blue Award goes to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers who posted a $4.4-million profit in 2015 despite not making the play-offs or selling out the Grey Cup Game that they hosted. Tip of the cap to the Manitoba men who have done a nice job turning the franchise around off the field. Now, can they get it together on the field.
The Innovation Award Goes To The CJFL.
The Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) will make history in 2016 with two Interconference Games during the regular season.
This will be the first time in the CJFL’s long history that two teams from the BC Football Conference will face a pair of teams from the Prairie Football Conference in a regular season game. On Saturday September 17th the Valley Huskers will host the Winnipeg Rifles at 1:00pm PST at Exhibition Stadium in Chilliwack BC. Then a rematch of the 2015 Canadian Bowl when the defending champion Saskatoon Hilltops face the Okanagan Sun in Kelowna at the historic Apple Bowl at 7:00pm PST.
Both games will count in the 2016 CJFL standings and are considered a regular season game.
“I think it shows there`s a real benefit to be part of the CJFL,” says CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “The teams in BC and the teams in the Prairies, play each other in their regular seasons, but what if we included some interconference games? What`s the level of competition and is there an opportunity to look at it during the regular season? We wanted to look at some really competitive matches, not just necessarily the first and second place teams but right through the entire depth of each conference. There is a lot of enthusiasm from the member teams. It’s a really interesting concept and a really interesting idea to bring forward because of the excitement and interest in can create. I’m looking forward to both games.”
The Sun have not hosted the Hilltops since the 2000 Canadian Bowl, while the Rifles and Huskers have never played each other.
This Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. the Saskatchewan Rush will take on the Colorado Mammoth
in front of a sold out SaskTel Centre! After a clinching a spot in the playoffs and at least one home playoff game.
Tickets for Saturday are no longer available, but you can still pick up your 2017 season tickets and 2016 playoff
tickets by calling the office at 3069757874.
If you have already purchased your tickets, be sure to pick them up early at the Rush head office in Scotia Centre or the Will Call booth at SaskTel Centre as we are expecting a huge walk up crowd for the game Saturday evening.
Saturday is Fan Appreciation Night and the first 7500 fans in the door will receive a free fan clapper courtesy of our
game title sponsor: Dakota Dunes Casino. Superfan, Cameron Hughes will be charging up Rush Nation during the
game, and there will be distinguished military in attendance. Post game fans will receive a 20% discount offer from
Air Canada. The Rush will be handing out prizes all night long courtesy of Dairy Queen, Pizza Hut, and Molson Coors
Canada. Rock 102 will registering fans pregame for a chance to play the Rock 102 Zorb Ball Rumble at Half Time.
A pair of University of Saskatchewan Huskies were named to the roster for the 14th annual East-West Bowl announced by Canadian Interuniversity Sport on Wednesday.
Receiver Mitch Hillis and offensive lineman Evan Johnson will both join Team West for the May 14 game taking place at Percival Molson Memorial Stadium in Montreal at 1 p.m. The game can be seen live on CIS-SIC.tv.
Hillis was named a CIS First Team All-Canadian in 2015 after a record breaking campaign for the green and white. The Saskatoon product set program benchmarks with 1052 yards and 66 receptions to go along with his seven touchdown catches.
Suiting up at left tackle, arguably the most important position on the offensive line, Johnson had another strong season for the Huskies. In his fourth season, the 6-4 Regina product played in all eight regular season games.
The East-West Bowl has been a marquee game in the CIS Football schedule. In 2015, 32 of the 44 CIS players who were selected in the CFL Canadian Players Draft participated in the East-West Bowl.
The East side has won five of the past six contests including a 29-21 victory in 2015 last May in Montreal. In the 2015 game, quarterback Drew Burko threw a touchdown pass for the East last season, while Drew Digout( OL), Brydon Ozmun (REC) and Dylan Kemp (LB) participated as part of Team West.