Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Austin Fined, But Not Suspended for Officials Abuse

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Canadian Football League Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge issued a statement on Wednesday regarding discipline against Kent Austin, who was involved in an incident with a game official during Week 14 action in Regina:

Respect for officials is a basic tenet of sport. Their impartial participation makes fair competition possible. And their security is paramount. That is why it is absolutely unacceptable for a coach to confront an official and make contact with him, even if that contact was inadvertent and accidental.

For his behaviour in a sideline incident with an on field official during his team’s game on Saturday, Sept. 24, Hamilton Tiger-Cats vice-president of football operations and head coach Kent Austin will be removed from the sidelines for the Tiger-Cats’ next game, this Saturday, Oct. 1. He will be allowed in the spotters’ booth but he will not have the privilege of joining his team on the field or interacting with officials on the field. Furthermore, Coach Austin is fined $10,000. A penalty of this magnitude levied against a coach for an interaction with an official is unprecedented in our league.

Our examination of this situation did not yield a comparable precedent on which to base a decision. That has highlighted for me the need to develop and announce a clear policy that makes crystal clear that there will be zero tolerance of physical contact with officials, whatever its nature, and immediate and serious penalties should such contact occur. That work is now underway.

(CFL Communications)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NHL Names Wayne Gretzky Centennial Ambassador

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The National Hockey League announced today that the incomparable Wayne Gretzky will serve as the official Centennial Ambassador in conjunction with its year-long celebration in 2017.

    Gretzky, the NHL’s all-time leader in goals (894), assists (1,963) and points (2,857) as well as numerous other records, will make appearances at various events throughout the calendar year celebration, which commences Jan. 1, 2017, with the NHL Centennial Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto.

    A four-time Stanley Cup winner as captain of the Edmonton Oilers (1983-84, 1984-85, 1986-87 and 1987-88), Gretzky dominated the NHL unlike any other player in history. He captured nine Hart Memorial Trophies as League MVP, including eight straight beginning with his first NHL season in 1979-80. He also won 10 Art Ross Trophies, five Ted Lindsay Awards, five Lady Byng Memorial Trophies and two Conn Smythe Trophies; was voted to 15 postseason All-Star teams (eight First Team, seven Second Team); and skated in 18 All-Star Games.

    Gretzky, who played for the Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers, appeared in 20 NHL seasons from 1979-80 through 1998-99. Along the way he thrilled NHL fans with a succession of record-shattering performances, including single-season marks for goals (92), assists (163) and points (215); 50 goals in his team’s first 39 games in 1981-82; a point streak of 51 games to start the 1983-84 campaign; and an all-time playoff scoring record with 47 points in 1984-85.

    The Brantford, Ont., native skated in his last game on April 18, 1999, at Madison Square Garden (vs. PIT) and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame that June, becoming the 10th and last player to bypass the three-year waiting period. The NHL also retired Gretzky’s No. 99 jersey, making him the first and only player in League history to earn that honor.

    Gretzky’s tireless support of the game has contributed significantly to the popularity it enjoys today. He received the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1994 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States, and was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2009 “for his continued contributions to the world of hockey, notably, as one of the best players of all time, as well as for his social engagement as a philanthropist, volunteer and role model for countless young people.”

Among Gretzky’s NHL records:

Career Goals, Regular Season: 894
Career Assists, Regular Season; 1,963
Career Points, Regular Season: 2,857
Career Hat Tricks, Regular Season: 50

Career Goals, Playoffs: 122
Career Assists, Playoffs: 260
Career Points, Playoffs: 382
Career Hat Tricks, Playoffs: 10
Career Game-Winning Goals, Playoffs: 24*

Goals, Single Regular Season: 92 (1981-82)
Assists, Single Regular Season: 163 (1985-86)
Points, Single Regular Season: 215 (1985-86)
Hat Tricks, Single Regular Season: 10 (1981-82 and 1983-84)
Point Streak, Single Regular Season: 51 (1983-84)

Fewest Games to 50 Goals, From Start of Season: 39 (1981-82)
Most Goals in 50 Games, From Start of Season: 61 (1981-82 and 1983-84)

Career 40-Goal Seasons: 12
Career 50-Goal Seasons: 9*
Career 60-Goal Seasons: 5*
Career 100-Point Seasons: 15

Most Consecutive 40-Goal Seasons: 12
Most Consecutive 60-Goal Seasons: 4
Most Consecutive 100-Point Seasons: 13

Assists, Single Playoff Year: 31 (1987-88)
Points, Single Playoff Year: 47 (1984-85)
* Shared record

    Other Gretzky notes:

First NHL Goal: Oct. 14, 1979 vs. VAN (Glen Hanlon)
500th NHL Goal: Nov. 22, 1986 vs. VAN (EN)
802nd NHL Goal: March 23, 1994 vs. VAN (Kirk McLean)
Last NHL Goal: March 29, 1999 vs. NYI (Wade Flaherty)

First NHL Assist: Oct. 10, 1979 at CHI
1,050th NHL Assist: March 1, 1988 vs. LAK
Last NHL Assist: April 18, 1999 vs. PIT

First NHL Point: Oct. 10, 1979 at CHI (Assist)
1,851st NHL Point: Oct. 15, 1989 at EDM (Goal)
Last NHL Point: April 18, 1999 vs. PIT (Assist)

Regina Rams Move to #4 In CIS Rankings

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On the strength of a 32-27 win over a Calgary team that had been ranked No. 2 in the nation, the University of Regina Rams have vaulted up to No. 4 in this week’s CIS Top Ten released Tuesday by Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

It’s the highest the Rams (3-1) have been ranked since the 2010 season, when they were No. 3 in the country after winning five of their first six games of the Canada West schedule.

“We’ve had three nice wins in a row now and it’s nice to be recognized for that,” Rams head coach Steve Bryce said. “But we’re only halfway through the Canada West schedule and our upcoming game against Saskatchewan has our full attention.”

The only three teams now ranked ahead of the Rams are undefeated Montreal (4-0 RSEQ) at No. 1, Laval (3-1 RSEQ) at No. 2, and Western (4-1 OUA) at No. 3. Calgary dropped three spots to No. 5 in this week’s poll, while Manitoba snuck back into the rankings at No. 9 following a decisive 38-17 win over Saskatchewan on Saturday. This week’s poll is rounded out by No. 6 Wilfrid Laurier (4-0 OUA), No. 7 Ottawa (4-0 OUA), No. 8 McMaster (3-1 OUA), and No. 10 Carleton (3-2 OUA).

The Rams will now prepare to host Saskatchewan (2-2) in the SaskTel Fall Classic on Saturday at the new Mosaic Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.

(Braden Konschuh/U of R) 

More CanWest Awards For Rams

The University of Regina Rams took two of three Canada West Player of the Week awards on Monday as Joey Dwyer and Mitchell Picton were both honoured by the conference for their performances in the team's 32-27 win over No. 2-ranked Calgary.

Dwyer, the team's starting strong-side linebacker, was named the Canada West Defensive Player of the Week. He was in on 14 tackles to lead all players for the game, but it was his game-saving play in the closing seconds that sealed the win for the Rams. With Calgary trailing by only five and Dinos quarterback Jimmy Underdahl scrambling towards the end zone, Dwyer met him at the one-yard line with a crushing hit that jarred the ball loose. Safety Braedy Will jumped on the ball in the end zone, putting an end to what could have been a game-winning drive for Calgary.

"You almost forget about Joey out there because he so consistently just goes about his business and gets the job done," Rams head coach Steve Bryce  said. "But everyone noticed him on Friday, and it wasn't just that last hit – he made another fine play late when he took down their running back for no gain on a pass to the flats."

Picton had his best game as a Ram on Friday, finishing with career highs in receptions (13) and receiving yards (215) and adding a career-high three touchdown catches, all three of which came during a 14-minute span in the second half of play. Picton, who's eligible to be selected in the 2017 CFL Draft, has at least one touchdown catch in each of the team's first four Canada West games and leads the entire CIS in both receiving yards per game (121.3) and touchdown receptions (7).

"Mitch is arguably our top receiver and I think you're watching a future professional out there, a guy who could have a long career in the CFL," Bryce said. "He wasn't playing at 100% after being banged up in practice this week, but was still able to elevate his game and excel against one of the top teams in the conference."

Dwyer and Picton will move forward as Canada West's nominees for the CIS Player of the Week awards, which are announced each Wednesday.

The first-place Rams (3-1) will be in action next at the SaskTel Fall Classic against Saskatchewan (2-2) on Saturday in a clash that will go down as the first football game to be played at the new Mosaic Stadium.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Something To "Mitch" About

Well, well, well, maybe Chris Jones can build a football team from scratch. I haven't heard a lot of Jones hate the last few weeks with the exception of that  Could that be because people are starting to see the potential of this football team??

The green-and-white gave their head coach an early 50th birthday Saturday night by gutting out a 20-18 win over Hamilton.on what was a soggy Saturday night in one of the final football games of meaning at Mosaic. It was one where the football team showed a lot of moxie, and it was one where they showed that despite being 3-10, they can't be considered a pushover any more.  Here are my thoughts on what happened:

  •  I didn't think I would be able to ask Darian Durant the question seeing he got knocked out of the game with a concussion, but Durant was well enough to speak to reporters after the game, I asked him if that was the best performance he had had in a Riders uniform since that magical Sunday night in November of 2013 against those same Ti-Cats, and he admitted it was. He says there is something about those cool, fall nights in Saskatchewan that suits him well.  Darian was well on his way to a 400 yard game, and was looking like the Durant of old on Saturday night. As was uttered in the pressbox, he looked like a quarterback who was showing to his organization that he wants to get paid when it comes time to having some serious discussions about a new contract. 
  • The defense is just getting better and better, Since that meltdown in Hamilton, the "D" has gotten better and better. They didn't get wins against Winnipeg, but they were right there. They have given up 86 points in their last 4 games which is just a shade over 21 a game. In the CFL, if you are giving up on average 20-25 points a game, that's not bad. 
  • How would that game had changed had Adrian Tracy's 100 plus yard fumble return counted. Yes, Mitchell Gale was down, but that play was a huge turning point. It was a 14 point swing. The Ti-Cats should have been up 17-10, but instead they were down 17-10 after Durant ran it in on the next play, It's breaks like that that good teams start to get.
  • How about Tyler Crapigna! The kicker has won two of the three Rider games this year with some last second heroics. A lot of people needlessly got on his case after the Labour Day loss. The kid can kick. As I said after the Winnipeg game, everyone has a bad day at the office.
  • When Naaman Roosevelt comes back, the Riders will have a triple threat at receiver. Roosevelt, Caleb Holley and Armanti Edwards are a nice trio, and let's not forget about Rob Bagg either, 
Bottom line is this team is starting to show you what you can expect in 17 and beyond. The building blocks are in place. There are still things which have to be done (getting rid of backup QB plays running short yardage), but this team is showing signs they are a team to be wary of both down the stretch this year and next. 


Standing on the sidelines Friday night at Mosaic working the Access/SHAW broadcast of the Rams/Calgary game, I was furiously trying to call an audible,  Rams receiver Mitch Picton was going to be the star of the game, but the Calgary Dinos were driving in the game's final moments. I was trying to find out stats of the Calgary players as I stood at the Rams 2. Calgary QB Jimmy Underdahl took off for the endzone, and it looked like he might score until linebacker Joey Dwyer literally destroyed him in a picture above captured by PSP photography. 

It sounded like someone had fired a shot right beside me, and you could hear Underdahl give a pained yell as he fumbled the football giving Regina a 32-27 win and first place in Canada West.  In a game that the Dinos looked to own in the first 28 minutes, Noah Picton finally found a way late in the 2nd quarter and when he did, there was no stopping the Horns. The job Steve Bryce is doing with this football club that lost its identity in a horrid 2015 campaign is simply amazing. Picton continues to put up Madden-like numbers to receivers who CFL scouts must be drooling over, Sheldon Gray has the defence playing well and confidence is at a place I haven't seen it at in a long time, Did anyone think midway through the Canada West season the Rams would be in first place? That's where they are setting up what will be a fantastic tilt at new Mosaic on Saturday. 16-thousand fans watching the first place Rams and the Huskies. LOVE IT!! Can they sell another 5 grand this week? OK, I know that isn't going to happen, but the atmosphere inside the new stadium for the debut event should be off the charts. If Regina could win that game and then go into Alberta and beat the winless Bears, I think they would host a playoff game. It would mean one more game at Mosaic as the Canada West semis would go one week after theMylan  Riders last home game of the year,  

As great as it is to see this turnaround, I feel great for guys that were on that team which went 0-8 last  year, You could see the anger and the frustration mounting with that team last year, and they let some wins get away from them for whatever reason. To go from that spot to this is a feeling they should cherish. They deserve to be feeling that way after last year. Yes they do!!

A DARK SUNDAY -  Sunday was absolutely a terrible day in the world of sports. It all started when news filtered down early in the morning that Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez had been killed in a boating accident. He was one of the game's marquee pitchers. He had Cy Young Award winner written all over him, and the best was yet to come. From all accounts, he was a better person than he was a pitcher. I watched Fernandez twirl a 3 hitter in what eventually was his last start. What a terrible loss!

Just hours after the Fernandez news, word started to trickle down from Calgary about a Stampeders player being killed. Was it a regular? Was it a star player? As it turned out, it was a guy I don't think anyone knew of as it was practice roster player Mylan Hicks. That doesn't take away from the senselessness of what occurred outside a nightclub in the city as he was shot to death. Was he targetted because he was a Stampeder? We know that has happened here in the past.  He was not the only Stampeder at that bar. One has to wonder. He was in the CFL doing what he loved and trying to make a name for himself so that maybe one day he could be an NFL'er. We don't know what went down, but I am guessing he just went to that place to be with his teammates celebrating a win, and wasn't looking for trouble, but sadly trouble found him,  Again, a terrible loss. 

It was all capped off with news just after the supper hour of the death of Arnold Palmer. He was a living legend. Those who know anything about golf know all about Arnie. He was an icon of the sport and he will be missed in not just golf circles, but sports circles. 


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The bright light on what was a dark Sunday was that of Vin Scully, Talk about living legends. The long-time Dodgers broadcaster called his final home game and the baseball gods made sure it was memorable. A 9th inning homer to tie it followed by a 10th inning homer to win it and clinch the division, The baseball gods would have it no other way. If you saw the beginning of the game, and the end of the game, it was moments that stand still as he thanked the fans for allowing him to be the man he is today. The relationships he forged with those fans whether it be through TV, a transistor radio or being at the ballpark was the reason he is adored as much as he is. Scully said without the fans, he is nothing and so are the Dodgers. You really can't argue that. 

When it was over, he had the mike one last time to say goodbye with his wife at his side while a tape of him singing "Wind Beneath My Wings" was played. It was a moment only Vin Scully could paint. Dodger baseball without him will never sound the same,  He truly is the greatest of all time.


  • The 2nd half performance of Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin last year was no fluke
  • With Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott, the Dallas Cowboys are in good shape 
  • With Carson Wentz, the Eagles are in great shape 
  • I still don't know how the Rams picked Jared Goff ahead of Wentz. It is far too early to say we have another Leaf-Manning story on our hands, but Goff needs to start playing
  • I could see Miami struggling against Seattle and New England, but Cleveland?
  • No Bridgewater, no Peterson, no losses. The Vikings are sending a message
  • Let's stop with all this talk about Arizona being a Super Bowl contender. They got schooled by Buffalo for god's sake 
  • John Elway knew what he was doing when he let Brock Osweiler walk in free agency. Trevor Siemian is a keeper. 
THE UNDERRATED JOHN TAVARES -  As the World Cup of Hockey winds down, it would seem a given that Canada will win. While Sidney Crosby, Brad Marchand and Jonathan Toews have been getting a lot of the ink, and deservedly so, it seems as if John Tavares has once again been reduced to an after-thought. I haven't seen all of Canada's games, but the games I have seen have once again seen the Islander forward playing at a very high level. I think he's one of the top 10 players in the game today, but he never gets the recognition. His play at this tournament has been unreal and the goal he got against Russia the other night was one of the best at the event. I don't know if its the team he plays on or if its something else, If he was on a Canadian team, that spotlight would start shining on him. That being said, I don't see him going anywhere anytime soon. 

That's all I got. Have a great week! 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Calgary Stampeders PR Player Shot And Killed

Calgary Stampeders defensive back Mylan Hicks was killed in Calgary early Sunday morning in a shooting at a nightclub. 

Hicks, a 23 year old from Michigan State, was in his first year with the club, 

The Stampeders issued the following statement Sunday morning:

The Calgary Stampeders are devastated by the news of the death of team member Mylan Hicks.

Mylan’s life was taken in act of violence early on Sunday morning.

“Obviously this is an extremely difficult and upsetting time for the players and staff,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “It’s a terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mylan’s family.”

The shooting came hours after the Stampeders beat Winnipeg 34-33. There are no suspects at this time, and it is not known what caused the shooting.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Depth Charts For Riders-Hamilton Game

620 CKRM's game-day coverage begins at 4:30 with kickoff at 7:30 with Rod Pedersen and Carm Carteri.