Top Ten Back-To-Work Tuesday:

Well it was a snowed in Family Day weekend for those in Saskatchewan but that didn’t stop the CFL from releasing its’ schedule and CFL teams continuing to dabble in the free-agent market. The Scotties Tournament of Hearts kicked out of the hack in Moose Jaw and the play-off battles in the WHL’s Eastern Conference intensified.

With my take on it all here are my random 10 thoughts on this Tuesday morning.

10 – What happens when you cut the head off of a chicken, or in this case an organization? DISASTER. The CFL’s botched attempt to generate some social media hype by holding the 2015 schedule hostage until it attained 10,000 retweets was a complete catastrophe. The latest forehead-slap from the Canadian Football League not only didn’t reach 10,000 tweets (more like 6400) but also had “Insiders” leaking the details to curious fans. Wow!

9 – You have to love Rider Nation, though. The release of the schedule made for a very busy day for the wedding and special event industry as those that have waited for the sked were inundated with those that wanted to make plans around it. One friend in the hotel industry said his phone was swamped as soon as the announcement came.

8 – So what about the schedule? I think as far as the Saskatchewan Roughriders are concerned they have to be extremely happy as all home games fall on the weekend. They open the season with four-of-five games at home allowing them a jumpstart on the campaign and the Green and White will not be in a short week situation where they have to play two games in less than five days. (Twice in 2015 they will play on a Sunday and then the following Friday, though)

7 – Toughest schedule? Hands down that goes to the Argonauts. Toronto will open the season with 8 of their first 12 games on the road before closing out the season with 5 of 6 at home. On the field that will be tough to get some traction in what should be an improved East Division. Off the field with the team already, reportedly, struggling financially they will only have four home games in the first two-thirds of the season which could cause a cash crunch AND if the team is struggling walk-up crowds could be equally as tough.

6 – Putting the Chick before the egg? My colleague Rod Pedersen in Regina is reporting that the Roughriders have come to terms with Rush End John Chick on a two-year contract extension. Another solid move for Brendan Taman as Chick was having a monster season before teams started double and triple-teaming him. That should allow recently signed Alex Hall to flourish this season. Basically CFL offensive co-ordinators will have to pick their poison.

5 – Scratching my head…. I still don’t get the play-in process that the Canadian Curling Association is instituting for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Brier. I understand that their funding model requires them to have regional representation for them to receive federal funding but having teams travel from the territories, as is the case at the Scotties this year, to not even survive the opening weekend is a kick in the face of their program. The only way you improve and grow the sport is to allow for top level competition and exposure. By not affording the Territories this opportunity I think it’s setting the sport back in those regions.

4 – That being said, how about Rachel Homan? Her run of 22 straight wins at the nationals came to a halt last night when she lost to Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones. The young Ontario skip and her foursome in a lot of ways are the present and future of the women’s game in our country as the only questions are whether or not they can overcome the experience of Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Jones and stay together as a team.

3 – A Scotties Shout-Out… Well Saskatchewan official and Toon-Town native Barry Whitehouse got some TSN face-time on the weekend. The well-respected curling official and administrator was pressed into action when an electronic handle on the rocks faltered on the weekend. Smile Barry! One question though, does the ultimate sport for sportsmanship actually need someone on the hog line?

20150213_1857182 – On the ice full marks to the Regina Pats. I was on hand for Friday’s game against the Swift Current Broncos and the production that they put into their game was outstanding. The atmosphere created by the smoke/fog to start the game and the amazing score clock over centre ice (pictured here, unfortunately my phone doesn’t do it justice) was drool-worthy and the bar and social gathering spot in the end zone was terrific. Additionally, having the seats between the blue lines full on either side created a very cool feel.

1 – What will the future hold for the Toronto Maple Leafs? An eye to the future was started with the dealing of Cody Franson. I apologize to Leafs Nation, though, as with mega millions owed to Dion Phaneuf, Phil Kessel, and David Clarkson the re-tooling of the roster is going to take a long time.