The Riders definitely made a splash on day 1 of free agency as they grabbed Paul Woldu, Dominic Picard and Brendon LaBatte. Woldu will get his chance to make an impact in the secondary, but it is on special teams where he will shine. LaBatte and Picard make what was a shaky offensive line a lot better. However, questions now get asked with what has happened.
1. By signing LaBatte and Picard, does this mean the vault doesn't have enough money for Andy Fantuz?
2. Have we seen the end of Gene Makowsky's legendary career?
3. By adding depth and strength to the o-line, does this change the draft strategy any or is Ben Heenan still your guy? Boise State DE Tyrone Crawford is the number 2 ranked player and we know the Riders need help at the rush end spot.
We will get answers to the first two questions within the next few days or hours while the 3rd question likely won't get answered until draft day.
Cary Koch didn't pull any punches yesterday when chatting with Rod Pedersen and I on "Sportscage" yesterday. The former Rider receiver, who went to Edmonton in free agency. had this to say when asked about what was a tough season for him last year.
"It couldn't be more clear," Koch said. "They were giving me a lot of responsibility going into training camp but when I got hurt, and I understand they had to fill my role on the team, but when I returned it was like I was a rookie again. It was like I had done nothing to get the treatment I deserved. "It's just frustrating. Frustrating for me. I tried to keep positive but at the end of the day there was some frustration because I wasn't presented the opportunity I had at the start of the season. We went through some troubles at the end of the season too where it really wouldn't have mattered if they'd threw me out there at all. I wasn't given any type of freedom that I was given at the start of 2011."
As I said yesterday, I think Koch scratched the surface with what he could do in 2010 and we were all expecting him to take his game to another level in 2011. That didn't happen thanks to the broken thumb he suffered right before the opening game of the season.
The Oilers-Leafs game last night did not have the desired result for this Oilers fan, but if you watched the game, you had to be entertained. The two teams went up and down the ice with great scoring chances, good hits, everything the NHL needs to be successful. The league needs to bottle that and show it to teams as to how they should play the game instead of some of the boring dump and chase styles that some teams like to do. These two teams obviously have found the key and others have as well. That could bode well for the NHL in the future.
If the Flyers are interested in Nikolai Khabibulin, make a deal Steve Tambellini. Actually, if any team is interested in Khabibulin, make a deal!!!!
Good question on last nite's Oilers Sportsnet broadcast. In today's NHL, is it better to have free-wheeling forwards or puck moving defencemen? The last vote I saw was puck moving defencemen by about a 2 to 1 majority.
Why would the Pittsburgh Pirates want A-J Burnett?
Those who counted the Pats out are back-tracking just a little. The team made it three straight with a big 3-1 win in Medicine Hat on Tuesday night. This team will make the playoffs, but now its just a question as to where they finish. Brandon continues to be hot making the remaining games between the two huge.
I would not be surprised to see the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL final and I would not be surprised to see the end result be a little different from what it was a few years ago when they were bounced by Vancouver.
What will the NHL and other hockey leagues say about the movie "Goon".
I'm off to the grocery store so I can find some mom with screaming kids and throw some condoms into her cart. Oh, the fun and frivolity that I can have. Try it sometimes!!!!