So much for that….at least for now. I had been thinking the Riders would make a deal with either the Tiger-Cats or the Argos to get one of the first four picks in the 2009 CFL draft. It would appear as if BC has beaten Saskatchewan to the punch if indeed the Riders were considering doing such a thing. The Lions have sent Canadian born linebacker Jason Pottinger to Toronto for the 4th overall pick in the draft. The draft by the way if you don’t know is Saturday May 2nd. I wonder if the league is planning on doing any TV coverage with the draft being on a Saturday. Last year, TSN did a webcast on the draft and I thought Rod Black and Duane Forde did a pretty good job on it. Keep your fingers crossed!!
Rider tickets are once again very popular. Word is many tickets have been bought since they started going on sale March 17 and that they are already over last years season ticket total of 18-thousand. It might be a bold statement to make when the field is still covered in snow but one has to think the sellout streak will continue. The question to Jim Hopson now is are the temporary seats going to return and if so when. The demand will be there if the team plays up to its expectations and there’s nothing to suggest at this time they won’t.
Those getting excited about the prospects of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts playing in Toronto this year might want to pull back a little. I am hearing it will either be Tampa Bay or New Orleans playing the Bills in their annual game north of the border. Rogers Communications is also lobbying the NFL to change their agreement so that two regular season games a year are played at Skydome. I can’t see Buffalo fans who already weren’t happy with losing one game to their northern neighbours losing a 2nd.
The Calgary Hitmen are one game away from going to the 2nd round of the WHL playoffs and completing a predicted four game sweep of the Edmonton Oil Kings. The Hitmen beat the Oil Kings 4-1. Joel Broda had a goal and two assists for the winners. One other WHL item, the league is apparently going to look at its current playoff structure---one that I have no problem with. Under the current format, you have a chance at Brandon playing Kootenay which is the longest road trip in the East while Medicine Hat plays Swift Current in what is just a walk down the block compared to what the Wheaties and Ice are doing. The matter will be discussed at league meetings in June with it being asked whether teams want to go back to divisional play in the first round. I don’t like that for two reasons. A) I see enough of the Warriors, Blades, Wheat Kings, Raiders and Broncos in the regular season and B) its not right if the 5th or 6th place in a division has a better record than the 4th place team in the other. What the WHL needs to do is find some way to make all teams play in all buildings instead of the ridiculous way it stands now where you see Western Conference teams in your building every second year. As a Pats fan and a WHL fan, I feel gypped over the fact I didn’t get to see Vancouver or Kelowna this year and I won’t see Spokane or Tri-Cities next.
Japan wins the World Baseball Classic thanks to arguably their biggest superstar. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki stroked a two run single in the top of the 10th to give them a 5-3 win over Korea. Japan has won the WBC both times its been played. It just begs this question now for this baseball fan. That question being….how much longer till opening day???? Soon, very, very soon!!!