Friday, May 31, 2013

Guest Coaches For Riders Camp

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are pleased to welcome a group of guest coaches to the 2013 Training Camp beginning June 2nd at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

Johnny Holland joins the Riders after spending 17 seasons coaching in the National Football League. The Texas native spent part of the 2012 season as the linebackers coach with the Oakland Raiders. He has also spent time coaching in various capacities with the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. Before getting into coaching, Holland played seven seasons with Green Bay after being selected in the 2nd round of the 1987 NFL Draft. He will work with Richie Hall and the linebackers during training camp.

Alvin Reynolds guests with the Green and White after spending four seasons as the defensive backs coach with the Atlanta Falcons. Reynolds has spent his entire 27-year coaching career overseeing the defensive backfield, which includes 18 years of NFL coaching experience. Through his time the Louisiana native has also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. He began coaching in 1982 when he joined his alma mater, Indiana State following a standout four year playing career. Reynolds will work alongside Barron Miles and Richard Kent with the defensive backs.

Steve Goldman will bring 13 years of CFL experience when he returns to Saskatchewan as a guest of the Riders. From 1980-88 Goldman had stops as an offensive assistant with the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Edmonton Eskimos, and Saskatchewan Roughriders. He was head coach of the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1989-1991. Goldman will spend time working with George Cortez and the offence.

Greg Davis is the offensive coordinator at Northeast Mississippi Community College after joining the team in 2012. The veteran coach has over ten years of coaching experience at the collegiate level. Prior to getting into coaching the Texas native attended 1999 training camp with the New York Giants before joining the Arena Football League’s Houston Thunder Bears. Davis will work with Doug Malone on the offensive line.

Aaron Moser is an assistant defensive coach at the University of Saskatchewan, working closely with the defensive line. He joined the coaching staff in 2007 after playing five seasons for the Huskies (1995-2000), winning the 1996 Vanier Cup. He will work with Todd Howard and the Riders defensive line.

David Jackson will be heading into his first season as special teams coordinator and defensive line coach for the Regina Thunder. Jackson previously spent two seasons with the Ottawa Gee-Gees as a defensive line and linebackers coach. The University of Regina graduate will work with Bob Dyce and Corey McDiarmid on the special teams.

Riders Add Two And Drop One

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import receiver Yamon Figurs and non-import linebacker Jordan Matechuk. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Figurs (5’11 – 179) played two games with the Edmonton Eskimos last season as a special teams returner. The 30-year-old totaled ten punt returns for 56 yards and one missed field goal return for 34 yards.

Before joining the CFL, the Kansas State graduate spent six seasons in the National Football League. He has spent time with the Tenessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers after originally being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the 3rd round (74th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft.

Matechuk (5’10 – 254) is a four year CFL veteran. The Yorkton, SK native originally entered the CFL in 2008 with the Hamilton Tiger Cats after playing three season of junior football. The 27-year-old has played 42 career regular season games totaling 23 special teams tackles. He spent last season with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

• The Riders also announced that import defensive lineman David Veikune has been released.

Rider Single Game Tickets on Sale

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are reminding fans that single game day tickets will go on sale Saturday, June 1st. All remaining tickets for the 2013 season will be available for purchase starting at 10:00AM Saskatchewan time. Fans are encouraged to buy their tickets online at

“Demand for season tickets has been at an all-time high ahead of the 2013 season. With the enthusiasm around this year’s team and the changes to Mosaic Stadium in preparation for the 101st Grey Cup Grey Cup Championship Game, fans truly want to be part of the excitement.” stated Roughrider President/CEO Jim Hopson. “We are encouraging everyone to purchase game day tickets as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment.”

101st Grey Cup Championship Game tickets will go on sale near the end of June. Watch for details on

Thursday, May 30, 2013

This And That

We made it!!! Football is back! If you're not ready for it, maybe this will help you...

As the Riders get set to head to Saskatoon for training camp, the big question is John Chick and whether or not he will return to the CFL as a Rider or as a member of some other team. There is no doubt John would help the Riders, but I can't help but think that some are putting too high an expectation on him. This will not be the same John Chick that was the dominant defensive end we saw in 2009. He is older and he is coming off a major knee injury. I'm guessing NFL teams don't have a lot of interest in Chick when they can pay someone who is younger the same salary. If he signs with the NFL great and I hope he does because that is the league guys want to play in for a variety of reason$$$.

Rider GM Brendan Taman said Thursday he won't get into a bidding war for Chick and I agree. The Riders have made him an offer and if someone wants to beat that thinking he will be an impact player as well, so be it. John is free to go wherever he wants to go and make the money that he feels he is worth. He is no different than any other player. He is definitely a fan favourite here, but that guarantees nothing. I just hope that if Chick does sign here and doesn't perform to the high expectations that fans have that they don't turn on him. I had someone ask me on Twitter if Rider fans would turn on John the way they did with Henry Burris. I can't see that either, but with some Rider fans, who knows. Someone also needs to explain to me why it is so many people want Chick back at a high salary, yet those same people think we paid too much to get an aging Geroy Simon. You can't have it both ways!

At the end of the day, I think Chick ends up a Rider, but I don't think we see him until just before the regular season starts. That's my guess. It would be great to have him for Sunday's first practice, but I don't see that happening.


With that pitch from Ryne Drummonds to John Cotter, the 2013 Western Major Baseball League season is underway as the Regina Red Sox look for the threepeat. I have been told by many people that a lot of teams don't like the fact Regina won two in a row and are determined that it won't happen three straight years. I say bring it on! It just makes the quality of baseball better and I know the Red Sox aren't taking their foot off the gas. They won the rain-shortened opener by a score of 6-1. Get out to Currie Field and cheer these guys on.


Congrats to Trent Fraser. The littlest big man in town is the new president of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame. A well deserved honor for someone who knows how rich the heritage of sports is in our province.


Who in Toronto voted to have Rob Ford as their mayor and why? It makes me wonder if Chad Novak would have had better luck in the Big Smoke. What a greasefire that situation is.

Who in their right mind would try to dry out a leaky eavestrough with a blowtorch? That's what someone in Regina tried to do this week and it ended up with the fire department coming to his duplex condo to put out the flames. The damage is said to be more than 200-thousand dollars. OOPS!!!
Is it safe to say that the R-A Dickey signing by the Blue Jays was a mistake!
I truly do love Charissa Thompson. Beautiful, intelligent and a Seahawks fan. A winning combination for this blogger.
The Tim Hortons at Park and Dewdney is now open. What type of traffic congestion will there be? Guess I'll find out soon and likely making many stops in on the way to work. DAMN YOU AND YOUR ADDICTIVE COFFEE AT EVERY STOP TIMS!!!
I still think Boston can beat Pittsburgh because the Penguins won't have the goaltending and the Bruins defence can neutralize Sid.
Stephen Walkom should thank his lucky stars that Chicago won Game 7 in overtime after his atrocious call to take away a Hawks goal late in the 3rd.
I would love to see John Tortorella end up in Vancouver!
I do laugh whenever I see the Houston Astros play and see a player by the name of Matt Dominguez at third base.
I have not heard one good review of "Hangover 3".
I saw the Jackie Robinson movie "42". What a great movie! How he didn't kill someone with a baseball bat or something else is beyond me. Did that incident with the Phillies manager really happen? Can you imagine what it would be like if that happened today?
They aren't really going to name the CFL team in Ottawa "Redblacks" are they? If they do, there is a new candidate for worst team nickname ever. I personally think the worst two nicknames are the Utah Jazz Z(is there any Jazz in Salt Lake City) and the L-A Lakers (where are the lakes in Los Angeles). What's your worst sports team nickname?
Its great following legendary wrestler "The Iron Sheik" on Twitter.

Did you hear about the fire at the circus? It was in-tents!!!
On that note, its time to wrap it up. Have a good weekend!!!

Taman Talks Chick and Picks

Riders Sign 2013 Draft Picks And QB

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed all seven of their 2013 Canadian Draft selections. Offensive linemen Corey Watman, Matt Vonk and Eric Armitage, wide receiver Alex Anthony, defensive lineman Levi Steinhauer, fullback Spencer Moore, and linebacker Thomas Spoletini have all agreed to contracts. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Watman (6’2 – 294 lbs.) was selected in the 1st round (4th overall) after he spent four seasons on the offensive line at Eastern Michigan University. Last season, the Queensville, ON native stared all 12 games on the offensive line splitting time between guard and centre. He played 46 career collegiate games with the Eagles starting 30.

Vonk (6’4 – 285) was taken in the 5th round (38th overall) out of the University of Waterloo. He played six regular season games on the Warriors offensive line in 2012.

Anthony (6’2 – 205) was picked in the 5th round (39th overall) out of Wilfrid Laurier. Through four collegiate seasons he had collected 47 receptions for 722 yards and seven touchdowns.

Steinhauer (6’3 – 235) was selected in the 5th round (40th overall) from the University Saskatchewan. The Moose Jaw, SK native registered 30 defensive tackles and five quarterback sacks with the Huskies last season.

Moore (6’4 – 230) was taken in the 5th round (44th overall) after spending three seasons at McMaster University. The Riders project the three year Marauder to compete at fullback.

Spoletini (6’2 – 205) was picked in the 6th round (49th overall) from the University of Calgary. Through three seasons with the Dinos he registered 28 defensive tackles and six quarterback sacks in 24 games.

Armitage (6’4 – 308) was selected in the 7th round (56th overall) out the University of Western-Ontario. He played seven games last season, his third with the Mustangs.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import quarterback Tino Sunseri. Financial details of the signings were not released.

Sunseri (6’2 – 215) joins the Riders after spending the last four seasons at the University of Pittsburgh. The 24-year-old played 44 career collegiate games, starting 39. He finished his career third all-time at Pitt in passing yards with 8,590.

Last season, as a senior, Sunseri threw for 3,288 yards and 21 touchdowns against only three interceptions, including a streak of 271 consecutive passes without an interception.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ESPN Tells The Clint Malarchuk Story

Clint Malarchuk may go down in history as having the most gruesome injury ever. That injury and its after-effects have been documented by ESPN in a 30 for 30 short. Take a look....

Rangers Can Tortorella

The Rangers announced on Wednesday afternoon that John Tortorella has been relieved of his duties as the team's head coach, four days after the Blueshirts were eliminated in five games by the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Named the 34th head coach in franchise history on February 23, 2009 when he replaced Tom Renney, Tortorella coached 319 regular season games with the Blueshirts, posting an all-time record of 171-118-1-29. That mark also included an 0-3-1 stint as Rangers head coach when he closed out the 1999-2000 season behind the bench following the dismissal of John Muckler.

Tortorella, the fourth winningest coach in franchise history, was a finalist for the Jack Adams Award after leading the Rangers to a 51 win, 109-point regular season in 2011-12.

This past season the Rangers were 26-18-4 in the lockout-abbreviated year, finishing in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. It was the fourth time in five years under Tortorella that the Rangers earned a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tortorella, who guided the Tampa Bay Lightning to the 2004 Stanley Cup, coached 44 playoff games with the Rangers, with his team posting a 19-25 record in the post-season. Last season the Rangers reached the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997.

Including his tenure in Tampa Bay, Tortorella has earned 410 victories as a head coach in the national Hockey League, more than any other U.S. born head coach in league history. He currently stands at 410-340-37-67 in 854 career games.

(New York Rangers Hockey Club)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Conversation With Graham DeLaet

Weyburn's Graham DeLaet spoke with TSN Radio's Bryan Hayes on Tuesday. Here is that conversation....

Plaza Inductees

Today the Saskatchewan Roughrider Plaza of Honor Committee announced two new members will be inducted into the Plaza of Honor. This year Eddie Davis and Gene Makowsky will have their names forever etched into Saskatchewan Roughrider history.


Besides being Saskatchewan’s most prestigious sporting dinner, the Plaza of Honor Dinner has contributed over $6 million to the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club.


The Plaza of Honor Dinner presented by SaskTel has inducted 117 individuals who have made major contributions to the proud tradition of the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club. The club has also inducted the 1966, 1989 and 2007 Grey Cup championship teams.


The cairn honouring the Plaza of Honor Inductees is situated outside the main gates on the west side of Mosaic Stadium. The Plaza of Honor cairn is sponsored by SaskTel, SASK SPORT INC. and the City of Regina.


This year’s dinner is set for Friday, September 20th at the Credit Union Eventplex – Evraz Place. To accommodate a much larger audience, the event will once again take place in the Eventplex and will allow patrons a spacious opportunity with a large reception area throughout the evening to meet and greet friends and associates.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Riders Add Three

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import offensive linemen Kyle Hill and Jose Valdez, and import defensive back Johnny Towalid. Financial details of the signings were not released.
Hill (6’5 – 294) joins the Riders after spending four seasons at Duke University. The Orlando, FL product started 46 consecutive games at left tackle for the Blue Devils. He was named a Second Team Freshman All-American in 2008.
Last season, the 24-year-old attended training camp with the New England Patriots after signing with the team in August, 2012.
Valdez (6’5 – 315) comes to Saskatchewan after spending the last four seasons in the National Football League. The St. Francis, WI native spent three seasons on the Atlanta Falcons practice squad after originally signing with the team as undrafted free agent in April, 2009. The 26-year-old Arkansas product attended training camp last season with the St. Louis Rams after joining the team in May, 2012.   
Towalid (5’10 – 174) signed with the Green and White after playing the last three seasons at Indiana State. The 23-year-old Indianapolis native played in 31 career collegiate games with the Sycamores. He was named the College Football Performance Awards FCS Defensive Back of the Year after setting a school record with four career interception return touchdowns.       

Something To "Mitch" About

The Halifax Mooseheads are the 2013 Memorial Cup champions in what was absolutely a fantastic finish to the week as they beat the Portland Winterhawks 6-4 in a game for the ages. It was simply a fascinating game and it was one they should put in a time capsule as this is the way the game is to be played. The top three picks in the NHL draft were all on display and Nathan McKinnon, Jonathan Drouin and Seth Jones all had their moments as did several other star players on both teams to make the final one to remember.
After being maligned by much of the country all week, the people of Saskatoon even came through in the crunch as 11 and a half thousand people came to see the culmination of the week-long event and I'm guessing they didn't go away disappointed.
Someone else that didn't go away disappointed are whoever was representing the Colorado Avalanche at the game yesterday. Both Jones and McKinnon made some plays that showed why they are worthy of being the number one selection at the NHL draft and Drouin may have had the quietest five assists I've ever seen in a game. It won't be easy to make that final decision, but in the end as someone in NHL circles told me, it has to be Jones or Colorado will be like my Oilers---all forwards, no defence, I don't disagree. You may remember I was the guy saying the Oilers should have taken Ryan Murray over Nail Yakupov last year.
Two things struck me at Credit Union Centre in the final   1) After getting maligned by the country, Saskatoon came through in the final by throwing 12-thousand people in the rink. Apparently, ticket prices were slashed throughout the rink for the final, but the people came for a game and made it look good so good on ya Saskatoon. I think---well I should say I know the league was very disappointed with the crowd turnout seeing a rather high ranking official told me, but they were happy yesterday. Lets end that talk now.
Listening to the Sportscage on Friday, the question was asked "How do you change the format of the tournament?". As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I texted RP up in Saskatoon with three words "Expand the Tournament". In this day and age where events are being expanded, I say expand the Memorial Cup to be a 6 or 7 team tournament that involves either A) The two league finalists and the home team to make it 7 or B) the league finalists, the league champ of the host league and the host team. Play two games a day which I'm sure TV would adopt and away you go. I've been on that soapbox for a while.
CTV Saskatoon's Kevin Waugh = CTV Regina's Don Hewitt. Both are just fantastic individuals and its great chatting with both of them. Every city needs guys like Waugh and Hewitt in their sports media community.
Its something that always makes me laugh and I saw it not 30 seconds into walking into CUC yesterday. The passion the Rider fan has is second to none----we all know that. I love that passion and the way people show it. However, when I go to a football game, I don't wear a Habs, Leafs, Bruins, Pats, Warriors jersey.  So please when going to a hockey game, don't wear the Rider green. I know that it is our "unofficial" tuxedo, but I just think it looks dumb. Then again, this cowboy will go to UFC 161 proudly wearing his Rider jersey, but that's just to rile up them Manitobans that will be there. As I said, I love the passion, but sometimes I think it goes a little over the top.
Speaking of jerseys, I couldn't count how many different jerseys I saw in the building. I saw a lot of WHL unis along with that of other junior hockey teams across the country. It was so Canadiana to see the patchwork in the stands. Still on the jersey topic, I was surprised to see in a WHL venue that Halifax was the crowd favourite until I saw the amount of Moosehead supporters in the stands. How much of Halifax came to Saskatoon this week? They had a lot of support.

Are the Mooseheads named after the brewery? That's a legit question. I don't know!
While Sunday was great, I loved Saturday night....

WWE diva AJ Lee and the rest of the "Smackdown" crew came rolling through the Brandt Centre and oh yeah, I was at ringside. Hey, if I am going to talk smack to the local guys, you know I am going to talk smack to the big guns. I don't think up and coming wrestler Curt Hawkins was too impressed with me though as we jawed back and forth after he had lost his match.  Saskatchewan's self proclaimed sexiest blogger also thought he was going to get under the skin of some performers and while he tried with one of the divas, he was quickly told by the lovely girl that he had her mistaken with someone else which got the crowd all over him with a chant of you "You got owned". LOVE IT!!  It was disappointing that some of the bigger Smackdown names like Dolph Ziggler, the Big Show and Jack Swagger, but it was a great night as always watching wrasslin.

Speaking of the UFC, they held another event on Saturday night. After the wrestling was over, it was time to throw back a few cold ones and watch some action inside the octagon. It had to have happened in one of the first matches, but the ring looked like a crime scene with all the blood that had been spilled. I noticed that while watching one of the prelim fights on Sportsnet before leaving for WWE. I don't know what match it happened in or how badly the fighter(s) in question were cut, but I don' t think I've ever seen a ring look so blood-stained and there were some big stains.

I've said it before on this blog and I'll say it again now. It is only a matter of time until Graham DeLaet wins an event on the PGA Tour. DeLaet was right there and got a lot of TV time on Saturday, but he failed at the end as he struggled mightily in the last 18. It was still a solid performance for the Weyburn native and he will be a winner on Tour very soon.

Thumbs up to the Saskatchewan Hockey Association for being the only one to vote against a bodychecking ban in peewee. I know hockey wants to take headshots out of the game, but it will never happen. There are even concussions in womens hockey. Until the size and the hardness of the equipment is reduced, the problem won't go away. Hockey Canada won't tell equipment manufacturers to do this though so it won't change no matter what you do. What's next---spongepucks? It wouldn't surprise me.  Not being introduced to hitting until the age of 13 is not right. It is going to result in some serious consequences.

Sportsnet's (and Sportscage's) Arash Madani has the interview of the year so far. Check this out...

This blogger went with a Chicago-Boston Stanley Cup final and I still say it happens although I readily admit that the ground underneath me isn't that solid when making that statement.

I almost forgot. A tremendous move by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to name the media center after their legendary play-by-play guy Bob Irving. There aren't many better individuals than "knuckles" out there and if you go to the Bombers website, you will see they caught him completely off guard when announcing it.

That's all I got. Have a great Monday!


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hockey Canada Bans Bodychecking at Peewee Level

Hockey Canada's provincial federations voted in favour of removing bodychecking from peewee hockey, coast to coast in Canada on Saturday.

The motion passed by a nearly unanimous vote, with Saskatchewan registering the only "no" vote in opposition.

The provincial federations have, however, agreed to develop a bodychecking standard for coaching to be implemented in 2014-15.

Earlier this month, both Hockey Alberta - one of Canada's largest hockey federations - and Nova Scotia voted to remove bodychecking from their peewee divisions.

The decision to do away with full-contact leagues for 11- and 12-year-olds came down to player safety, according to one of Alberta's top executives.

"Our players' safety is the foundation in making this decision," Rob Virgil, Hockey Alberta's board chairman, said in a statement after passing the provincial ban.

"There is overwhelming evidence that bodychecking is the single most consistent risk factor for injuries and concussions in youth ice hockey."

Quebec had already eliminated body checking for some peewee leagues prior to the Alberta and Nova Scotia provincial bans, as had some recreational leagues in Ontario.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This And That

At the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs, I took the Chicago Blackhawks to play Boston. Looks like that isn't going to happen. Credit the Detroit Red Wings for playing the hockey that we are used to see them play. That team looked like they were going to be on the outside looking in come playoff time, but they have pulled it together and are arguably playing as if they could win the West. They are like the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA.....they keep getting older, but you just can't knock them off and if you do, you have to give one helluva effort.  Its even getting to the point that at one time I wanted them to lose, but now I have somewhat of a soft spot for them because they have that underdog label. Yes, Chicago can come back and win three straight to take the series in 7, but the Wings have all the momentum and the Hawks will need a huge effort just to send the series back to Detroit.

Is there any doubt that Mike Babcock is Canada's coach at the Winter Olympics if the NHL goes.

How does a city like Detroit that is just about broke manage to sell out 100 straight hockey games at the Joe Louis Arena? That is passion folks!

The Saskatoon Blades are out and wow, did they go out in ugly fashion. That was not the memory that the Blades wanted to leave with their fans as they get taken to school by London in the tie-breaker game of the Memorial Cup.  The knives will come out in full force now. When they won 18 games in a row, they were the toast of the town, but now their stock is lower than Enron. I'm guessing you will see a lot of blue seats on TV this weekend. I would hope a crowd of at least 11 thousand is there for the final. We'll see.

There's been a lot of chatter about the empty seats at CUC and whether or not this event has been supported by Saskatoon. The argument has been had on many levels. When its all said and done, I ask this question. Was the topic ever approached to tarp off the upper level of the rink and just sell seats in the lower bowl with the upper bowl being open only if the ticket demand was there? Doing that would have alleviated a lot of the questions being asked. If organizers didn't think they could sell out the facility, why not maximize what you have and sell 8-9 thousand seats nightly. Did greed come back to bite those responsible in the ass? Oh well, its too late to discuss that now.

Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan McKinnon has been the best player at the Memorial Cup. Has he done enough though to surplant Seth Jones as the number one overall pick. Would Patrick Roy take another forward to add to the likes of Matt Duchene, Ryan O'Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog or does he take the potential franchise defenceman in Jones who has all the tools it would seem to have a long NHL career. McKinnon will give you more flash, but Jones is a blueliner that doesn't come along often. Its a tough choice, but I got to go with Jones.

I love the Eric Cartman chant of "Go Kings Go". I wish the Pats would find out who does that and what the cost is. The Brandt Centre would go nuts if Cartman started cheering "Go Pats Go".

Brent Hawkins is the new coach of the Regina Rage---Regina's entry in the Lingerie Football League. Hawkins' wife plays on that team. Would the coach dare bench his wife if she isn't playing well?

Former Baltimore Ravens and current FOX NFL analyst Tony Siragusa is hawking Depends to stop "leakage".  Depends needs to expand this campaign to Canada and find a retired defensive lineman that is in the media to sell the product. Who could they find?? Did Siragusa wear 96?

With the addition of Jermaine McElveen on Thursday, the Riders have given themselves some more depth on  the d-line. That d-line is said to be the weakest part of the team as they continue to look for a pass-rusher. What do you think? What position are the Riders weakest at going into camp? The roster they have assembled for the  upcoming season is an experienced one and one that should be more than capable of hosting a playoff game this year.

How long will be it until Alain Vigneault finds work? Is he Dallas-bound? Don't be surprised.

Access tried their hand at reality TV with "Lamb of Love". They should try again with "A Day at a 7-11":.

Like many, I park downtown in an Impark lot. There are some spots that are reserved so you obviously can't park in them and there is a sign up to let you know its reserved. The question I have is who has some of these spots and do they own a vehicle? Since I started at CKRM, there have been a couple of spots in the Impark lot on Rose Street across from the parkade that has a reserved sign there but there has never been a car there. This is either a gigantic waste of money from some company or some guy has really great hours as he gets to work after me and leaves before I do.

The major league baseball season is at the one quarter pole. I think its safe to say that the Jays have been one of the bigger disappointments, but not as disappointing as the Angels and Dodgers who have high payrolls.  There is talk that Toronto should perhaps trade off guys like Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion if they aren't in a position to take a run at a playoff spot by the all-star break. I say that is the wrong idea. As bad as they have been, they would be a lot better if Jose Reyes was playing all year. Yes, their pitching hasn't been great, but Reyes would have added some runs to that offence.

Speaking of disappointing, who does graphics at Fox Sports Kansas City. They put this dandy up on Thursday night. Can you spot the errors????

Good luck to Metro Regina reporter Jeff Mackey. He is headed back east to serve an internship with the Canadian Press. He helped give that paper some credibility and he put in many a solid day.

Its just a matter of time before Graham DeLaet wins on the PGA Tour and perhaps that time is coming up. He is two off the lead after one round of the Colonial. Who gave him his fashion advice though? I'm guessing he wasn't dressed like that playing the Weyburn Golf Club. I still think he needs something on his apparel to signify his Saskatchewan heritage whether it be the iconic /=S=/ or PotashCorp or something.

The WMBL season starts next week. That is a good thing!

Is it bad luck to be superstitious???

Have a good weekend!

Riders And Ti-Cats Make Trade

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have acquired import defensive lineman Jermaine McElveen from the Hamilton Tiger Cats.

McElveen (6’4 – 265) will be entering his sixth CFL season as he joins the Riders for the 2013 season. The University of Alabama-Birmingham product spent the 2012 season with the Hamilton Tiger Cats where he appeared in 15 regular season games totaling 31 defensive tackles and led the team with six quarterback sacks.

Prior to joining Hamilton, the 28-year-old spent four seasons with the Montreal Alouettes. In 68 career CFL regular season games he has totaled 109 defensive tackles and 24 quarterback sacks.

McElveen is a two time Grey Cup champion having won with the Als in 2009 and 2010.

In exchange, the Riders sent import wide receiver Lyle Leong Jr. to Hamilton. The Abilene, Texas native was set to enter his first CFL season after signing with the Riders in January, 2013.

Brodsky Talks About Memorial Cup Attendance

Jack Brodsky is aware of the shots on social media about the empty blue seats at Credit Union Centre during this week's MasterCard Memorial Cup.

The attendance, or lack of, at 15,195-capacity CUC is a hot topic of conversation from those who can plainly see occupied seats mixing with waves of bare blue while watching on TV.

"We weren't expecting to sell the building out," Brodsky - the Blades' owner and Memorial Cup chairman - said Wednesday.

"But you can always use a couple-thousand more tickets (sold), that's for sure. I'd like to see us at 10,000 and north of that. But there's no disappointment - it's been great electricity in the building."

The situation truly is, for lack of a better cliche, glass half-full versus glass half-empty.

On one hand, the average attendance at CUC through six games so far is 8,993, the sixth-highest total in Cup history. If that number holds up, their overall attendance at tournament's end would be 80,937 - good for fourth all-time.

On the other hand, shouldn't tickets be scarce every time a Memorial Cup comes into town?

Grumblings have been heard about ticket prices, which for Wednesday's game between the Blades and Portland Winterhawks ranged from $66.25 (including service charges) to $113.75 in the lower bowl. Most upper-bowl tickets were $66.25, though $37.50 tickets could be had at the back of the arena.

London, hosting next year's Cup, seats 9,000 and has already sold approximately 7,000 ticket packages, with a similar pricing structure to Saskatoon.

"I think ticket prices are where they should be," Brodsky said. "This is the national championship; this is the top teams in Canada playing. If you compare it to some of the NHL exhibition games we have in Saskatoon and the quality of hockey there ... our prices aren't as high as some of those are. I think we're priced right."

Saskatoon surpassed the total attendance from last year's Memorial Cup in Shawinigan during the fifth game of this tournament, though that arena seats just 4,125 - much smaller than the comparatively-cavernous CUC.

Brodsky says the 2013 Cup event will turn a profit, but he also readily concedes he'd like to see more people enter the building for the three games that remain.

"We have a city our size with a 15,000-seat building, that's a somewhat unusual matchup," Brodsky said.

"Our building is fairly large. Obviously, we'd love to have the place sold out, we'd love to have more people come to the building. The ones who aren't coming are missing something, because the hockey's been outstanding. But you can't be disappointed. With the electricity in the building and the quality of hockey, it's been a lot of fun to be here."

When the Blades hosted the 1989 Memorial Cup, they drew 77,296 with a smaller facility, an average of 8,588. Both numbers were event records at the time.

(Courtesy Saskatoon Star-Phoenix)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

GC 100 Brings Big $$ To GTA

- During a special presentation today to the City of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee, Toronto Argonauts and 100th Grey Cup Festival Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge, officially unveiled the results of the Economic Impact Assessment conducted for the event.

The total economic activity generated by the 100th Grey Cup was more than $133.1 million throughout the province, with $94.7 million occurring in Toronto. These expenditures supported $38.4 million in wages and salaries throughout the province, and supported 795 jobs, of which 596 - including $26.6 million in wages and salaries - occurred in Toronto. The net economic activity (GDP) generated by the event was $70.2 million in the Province of Ontario, of which $48.9 million occurred in Toronto. The assessment was prepared by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance using the STEAM PRO economic impact assessment model which is widely considered to be the gold standard for evaluating the economic impact of a particular event in a region or area.

"The City of Toronto scored an economic touchdown with the 100th Grey Cup Festival," said Mayor Rob Ford. "This tremendously successful event brought in nearly $95 million in economic benefits, resulted in hundreds of jobs for our residents, and was enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people."

Considerable tax revenues were also generated by the event, totalling nearly $25.3 million. The event supported federal government tax revenues of nearly $11.6 million; with an additional $9.3 million in taxes accruing to the province of Ontario, and more than $4.3 million to municipalities in the province, of which $3.4 million was in Toronto. The event attracted more than 199,400 spectators, including 86,400 out of town spectators to Toronto. Each out of town spectator spent an average of $354.87 in the community over the course of their trip. The average day-trip visitor spent $122.60 and the average overnight visitor spent $646.98.

“The Grey Cup Festival was a huge win for our city, both on and off of the field,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee. “It is most gratifying that an event of such national importance also brought with it economic, cultural and employment benefits for our city and its people.”

Commented Toronto Argonauts and 100th Grey Cup Festival Executive Chairman & CEO, Chris Rudge,“We are very pleased with the results produced by this assessment. The Festival was an important celebration of sport and culture for our city, province and country, and this evaluation demonstrates the positive, far-reaching financial impact it had on all of us. The people of Toronto opened their arms to the nation and were rewarded with a tremendous infusion of economic spending that also resulted in job creation and millions of dollars in municipal and provincial tax revenue. We look forward to hosting the Grey Cup festival and game again soon.”

The economic impact results were derived from surveys taken during the 100th Grey Cup Festival. A total of 1,148 visitor parties who were approached responded to the survey, with 444 indicating they were from Toronto, while 704 were visitors. The study was commissioned by Heritage Canada and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

Vigneault Out in Vancouver

Vancouver Canucks President and General Manager Michael D. Gillis announced today that Alain Vigneault has been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Associate Coach Rick Bowness and Assistant Coach Newell Brown were also relieved of their duties today. The Canucks finished the 2012.13 regular season with a record of 26-15-7 and won the Northwest Division Championship before losing 4-0 in the Western Conference Quarter-Finals to the San Jose Sharks.
“We have made the very difficult decision to relieve Alain Vigneault, Rick Bowness and Newell Brown of their coaching duties today,” said Canucks President and General Manager, Michael D. Gillis. “Alain, Rick and Newell worked tirelessly to lead this team to great on-ice success. I am personally grateful to each of them and their families for their commitment to the Canucks and the city of Vancouver and wish them continued success in future.”

Should MLB Return To Montreal?

FOX Sports baseball analyst Jon Paul Morosi thinks it is time that baseball looks at returning to Montreal. Take a listen and what do you think?

Time To Show Off Some Rider "Grey Cup" Pride

The 101st Grey Cup Festival unveiled the Richardson Pioneer Rider Nation Community Celebration contest today. The contest will determine which community in Saskatchewan has the most passion for fostering health and wellness initiatives, as well as 101st Grey Cup Festival spirit.

The winning community will take home $50,000 while second and third prize winners will receive $25,000 each to support health/wellness projects or initiatives in their home community. Along with the prize money, this contest will end with a celebration in each of the winning communities.

The Richardson Pioneer Rider Nation Community Celebration contest will be held online where communities can submit a proposal sharing why their community should be included in the selection of the top eight finalists. The finalists will be chosen by a panel of the 101st Grey Cup Festival committee. The winning community will be chosen by an online vote at

“This contest is a great initiative to engage communities from every corner of Saskatchewan to demonstrate their passion for the Riders and their community,” stated Roughriders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “We hope this will create excitement throughout the province, bring Rider fans in communities together and, ultimately benefit communities through the Legacy prize

"This is a tremendous opportunity for us to be part of a very exciting event for Saskatchewan and to continue to give back to communities across the province," said Tom Hamilton, Vice-President, Richardson Pioneer. "At Richardson Pioneer, we are very proud of our long legacy of supporting and investing in communities in Saskatchewan and across Western Canada."

Contest entry forms, key dates, rules and regulations are currently available at the Grey Cup Festival website with a deadline for bids set for July 15. Eight finalists will be selected and announced at the August 17th game against Montreal. The winners will be chosen by fan voting, which will close September 11 and announced at the September 14th Roughrider home game.

For more information about the contest, please visit

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Evans=Henderson now UFC 161 Main Event

UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao has been forced out of his main event at UFC 161 in Winnipeg versus Eddie Wineland due to an injury suffered during the final weeks of training camp.

UFC president Dana White tells that Barao tore ligaments in one of his feet and was not cleared by doctors to compete.

As a result of the injury, what had been a co-main event between ex-light heavyweight titleholder Rashad Evans and PRIDE champion Dan Henderson is now the main event. Due to the late notice, it will remain a three-round fight. UFC main events are traditionally five-round affairs.

Other main-card matches at UFC 161 include former light heavyweight champion Mauricio (Shogun) Rua taking on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira; Todd Duffee against Shawn Jordan in a heavyweight bout; and Ontario native Alexis Davis meeting Rosi Sexton in a women’s bantamweight match.

Other Canadians competing on the card are Saskatoon lightweight Mitch Clarke against John Maguire and St. John, N.B. light heavyweight Ryan Jimmo versus Igor Pokrajac.

UFC 161 is essentially sold out, with fans on the first weekend tickets were available scooping up approximately 15,000 seats for a live gate expected to exceed $3 million. It goes June 15.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

--Hope you are enjoying the long weekend wherever you may be.

--Its less than two weeks until CFL training camps begin! The finish line is in sight.

--Thumbs up to Lorne Molleken and the Saskatoon Blades. I think just about everyone had them written off after seeing Halifsx run over Portland Saturday night. I know I didn't think the Blades could give Halifax much of a game, but the Blades showed they belonged by beating the Mooseheads. I still think Halifax and Portland meet in the final, but the Blades told those who didn't think they could run with the big guns in the tournament a message. Its still sad though when a building that seats 15-thousand only gets 93 hundred for a game involving the home team.

--Hey Saskatoon, don't say you weren't warned! I told you that everyone would be all over you for not supporting the Memorial Cup and that is exactly what is happening as many media outlets are criticizing the city for the fact there are a lot of blue seats in the building that should be full. I'm not the only one. I hope you get another chance (and I think you will) to see the top three players in the NHL draft this year again on the same ice surface in Sunday's final otherwise you missed a huge opportunity. Kudos to those who are going to the game and kudos to those that helped that young woman finish off the national anthem Saturday night. Talk about your epic fails! Yes, it can't be easy to sing the anthem live in front of a few thousand people, but maybe take the words out or something if you're not sure. She is getting her 15 minutes of fame via YouTube and whenever networks have the top 10 anthem blunders, she'll be on it. Someone called it "Saskatoon's Star Mangled Banner". I can't disagree.

--Weyburn must be very proud of their athletes these days. You have Graham DeLaet, who had another great weekend on the PGA Tour. You have Brendon Labatte, who is doing his things with the Riders. You have Brett Jones, who is about to embark on what one would think is a solid CFL career with Calgary and you have Derrick Pouliot who is trying to help Portland win the Memorial Cup. His play is overshadowed somewhat by that of Seth Jones and Tyler Wotherspoon, but that kid can play and he will play for Pittsburgh in the NHL one day. There is a reason they traded up to get him. By the way, DeLaet's top 10 effort meant a paycheque of 174,200 giving him a yearly total of 637 thousand this year. This blogger says DeLaet takes home a first place cheque between now and the end of the 2014 season.

--If the U of R Rams can get former Hawaii quarterback Cayman Shutter to play for them, they could very well be playing for the Hardy and Vanier Cups this year. How much eligibility does he have?

--Good on Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks for their statement on the Raffi Torres suspension that cost them 100-thousand dollars. The Sharks were absolutely right in what they said. Can you really tell me that the Brad Stuart hit on Justin Williams Saturday was any worse than the Torres hit. As I said, I'm not the biggest Torres fan out there, but he got screwed on that one.

--Canada's Victoria Day weekend is here and the Chicago Cubs have a better record than the Toronto Blue Jays.

--Perhaps if the Blue Jays had hired Terry Francona to be their manager, that would not be the case. By the way, Francona's Cleveland Indians lead the American League Central.

--Canada hasn't won a medal at the World Hockey Championships in four straight years? Is that concerning? I realize we don't send our "A" team to the worlds, but we send over medal-worthy teams don't we?

--More than one Canucks fan has mentioned that Henrik and Daniel Sedin have played much better at the Worlds in their Swedish jerseys than they have in their Vancouver ones during the SC playoffs. Could the Sedins be two players that would rather win a World Championship for their country than a Stanley Cup championship for their team. There are many Euros out there like that and you might add the names Kovalchuk and Ovechkin to that as well.

--I still think the Oilers should kick the tires of Lindy Ruff and Dave Tippett and if they like what they see, make them head coach and ditch Ralph Krueger. I'm not a fan.

--Good news for High Impact Wrestling fans. The venue is changing to a bigger one. Starting with the July card, the action will happen at the Hungarian Club. Good for the performers to have a larger venue as more and more people are starting to come out to shows.

--11 years ago this past Saturday, Mrs. Scruffy made the biggest mistake of her life. She said "I do". What an 11 years its been! Many more are on the agenda I hope.

--I'm so good at sleeping I can do it with my eyes closed.

Does This Get You Ready??

Great job by whoever is responsible.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Senators Get Their Big Gun Back

The Ottawa Senators' top center, Jason Spezza, will return to the team's lineup in Game 3 of their second-round NHL playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday evening after missing most of the season with a back injury.

Both Spezza, who played only five games after the start of the lockout-shortened season before being lost to the injury, and head coach Paul MacLean confirmed that Spezza would play Sunday after a team workout Saturday afternoon

The Senators are facing a 2-0 series deficit and are desperate for the kind of offense Spezza can generate. MacLean said he won't know how much Spezza will play until he sees how he starts the game but expects he will be a boon to the team's power play.

Ottawa has been out-scored 8-4 in the first two games of the series. Spezza said he has been cleared by doctors but obviously it will be a big step going from practice to playoff hockey.

"I've gone through a full recovery. Obviously being off a long time you're never going to be quite the same right away but the doctors said I'm fine. I've put in the work. It's not like I'm just expecting to play out of the blue I've been putting in time here for a while. A lot of skating, a lot of build-up towards it so I think I'm ready to go," he said. "I anticipate everything feeling good and excited to be back."

Friday, May 17, 2013

Riders Ink Three As Camp Nears

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today they have signed import defensive back Reshard Langford, import linebacker Anthony Heygood and non-import linebacker Kevin Regimbald-Gagne. Financial details of the signings were not released.
Langford (6’1 – 213) joins the Riders after spending parts of the last four seasons in the National Football League. The 27-year-old originally signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009 as an undrafted free agent. After starting the season on the practice roster, Langford was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Madison, AL native went on to play 17 regular season games with KC through the 2010 and 2011regular seasons recording 13 defensive tackles.
The Vanderbilt product attended 2012 training camp with the Detroit Lions before suffering an injury and was subsequently released.
Heygood (6’1 – 225) comes to Saskatchewan after spending three seasons in the NFL. After four standout seasons at Purdue, the Chester, PA product signed with the Carolina Panthers spending the 2009 season on the teams practice roster. The 27-year-old spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons on the Seattle Seahawks practice roster.
Regimbald-Gagne (6’1 – 225) was originally selected by the Riders in the 5th round (35th overall) of the 2012 Canadian Draft. After attending last season’s training camp, Regimbald-Gagne returned to the University of Sherbrooke for his fifth and final season of CIS eligibility. The Rouyn-Norand, QC native played nine games totaling 27.5 tackles and one quarterback sack. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This And That

A weekly collection of thoughts in no particular order

--Saskatoon, you are pissing me off. You claim to be a sports town, but when I hear only eight-thousand seats have been sold for the Blades-London Knights game to open up the MasterCard Memorial Cup I get a little bit ticked. I hear that number has grown to 10-thousand, but really this event should be sold out for each and every game as it was in Regina when the event was held here a decade ago. The scenario is the same as the host team was bounced out of the WHL playoffs in the first round. There were upset fans in Regina then just like there are now, but Regina hockey fans came through and I would like to think Saskatoon and area fans will come through as well. Be mad at the Blades all you want (which we all know will change if they win Friday night), but don't take it out on them now when your city is in the national spotlight. That's just wrong. You are better than that Saskatoon. If you're not, don't talk to me about wanting a CFL team. There is a perception out there that Saskatoon is not a good sports city and this does nothing to end that argument.

--There are some people apparently upset over the fact that Grey Cup 101 is looking for volunteers but asking you to pay 50 dollars in order to do so. In the past, there have been events where people have signed up just to get some swag and then disappear into the night having gotten a freebie. That isn't the case anymore. A lot of events are now charging you to volunteer, but they make sure that it is worth your while and that you are getting your investment back through a series of events designed to volunteers to keepsakes of the event. If you are holding back on volunteering because of the 50 dollars, reconsider.

--The Toronto Maple Leafs loss in Game 7 against Boston was something completely entertaining to this Leaf-hater, but you couldn't help but feel for supporters of the team that kicked below the belt big-time. It was so similar to the 13th man debacle with the only real difference being it wasn't Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. If it had been, people might have killed themselves in the square outside Air Canada Centre or taken a walk on top of the CN Tower without a harness on. Blowing that lead was unfathomable. How does that happen? Was it a choke-job or a comeback? To me, that's a choke-job and its a huge one. It will go down as one of the all-time greatest.

--Raffi Torres is getting screwed. Just like many other hits in the NHL playoffs this year that have resulted in suspensions, the hits were hockey hits. How can Brendan Shanahan sit there and impose that type of punishment when he played the game when hits like that were common-place.  Let them play!

--The guy that attacked, beheaded and then cannibalized that kid on the Greyhound bus near Brandon a few years ago is walking the streets. There are people that don't think he should be and I'm one of them. Why are we letting people like this walk the streets so soon after their crimes. This guy needs to be locked up and locked up for good. If I am in the moral minority when making that statement, then oh well.

--I wish I had a friend that when I needed 90-thousand dollars that he would just pull out his chequebook and write me a cheque with no strings attached. The whole story surrounding Mike Duffy makes me sick and it should make you sick as well.

--The situation in Venezuela has gotten so bad that the country has had to import 50 million rolls of toilet paper because its hard to find some now. You know life is tough when getting buttwipe is a chore.

--I am hoping the WHL bought Brent Parker a nice going-away gift because he certainly padded their coffers over the last few years. With Brent no longer in the equation, I have to wonder who the scapegoat label will be put upon now. It couldn't have been easy for Brent walking around having to endure one potshot after another and I think for the good of the organization he should have done what he did years ago. I'm not going to sit here and criticize him or defend him, but I will say that the guy had a passion for the team that was unequalled and that he was by hook or by crook the victim of some bad circumstance. There were some good players that came through here, but there were no results of substance. Someone asked me the other day what his legacy would be and I couldn't answer it, but thinking about it, you have to think his legacy will be the guy who couldn't bring Regina a winner as much as he wanted to.

--I've said it before on this blog, but I will say it again. Rod's invitation to former WHL coach Curtis Hunt to join him every Wednesday was one of the best things he has done in the three years that the show has been on the air. He needs his own show! He didn't sugarcoat it at all when he was asked about Chad Lang being in control of the Pats saying "I don't trust him". LOVE IT!!!

--It was three years ago today that "The Sportscage" launched. I was shocked when Rod Pedersen phoned me up and asked me what the hell does he have to do to talk two hours of sports a day. He didn't believe me at first when I told him it wasn't that tough. When I look back at that first show and compare it to today its like apples and oranges in a number of ways. A few weeks ago, CKRM engineer Bob Salisbury was going through some tapes and he started playing the first few moments of the first ever show. Man, did that take me back.  I don't think I have to tell you what an amazing success that show has been. As Rod and I joke, if only it had some leadership and guidance.

--Getting back to the Memorial Cup, when was the last time if ever that the top three draft-eligible players were a part of the tournament. Seth Jones, Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin under one roof makes for what should be a great week of hockey and in the end, I expect those two teams battling it out in the final.

--How much money can Tyler Bozak get on the open market? How much interest will there be in him? I would think there would be a lot.

--Real nice of the oil companies to jack that price of gas up before the long weekend! Real nice! There has to be a spot in hell reserved for those who make those decisions knowing full well they are screwing us big-time.

--It is said that business in the Southland Mall is back to being brisk now that Canadian Tire and other stores have moved into the old Wal-Mart. Good! Lets just hope the Vic Square can get a major tenant in the old Zellers building soon so that mall doesn't suffer too much. I keep hearing a theatre complex could be going in there and I wonder with the new liquor regulations announced this week calling for one to have some booze while watching a movie if there could be some legs to that rumour.

--When is the Target store opening in the Northgate? Wasn't it supposed to be May 1?

--Amazing Race Canada was in town this week. Good for Regina in getting the publicity, but I could care less. As you know, I hate reality TV and this is one of the shows I really can't stand---at least the American version.

--Walking down the Scarth Street Mall when its nice out is always an adventure. You just never know what you are going to see. From an oldtime playing a violin to someone dressed up as Wonder Woman to some guy who was about 10-15 yards behind me singing the whole way, it made for an interesting walk down the mall today. If truth be known though, I was scared to turn around and look at the guy singing and wondered if I was going to have a knife plunged through my shoulderblades at any moment.

--Its another High Impact Wrestling night in Regina, but alas I can't make it to this performance. Some have said they use this blog to follow the goings-on at HIW. Sorry, you'll have to get the info elsewhere this time. HIW is on Facebook and Twitter so find them there. I wanted to go to so I can give a hearty round of applause to one Adam Knight. He deserves one after destroying the pathetic cowboy Rex Roberts at the last show.

--Friday morning, the Prairie Junior Hockey League (Sask Jr B) announced it is placing a team in Pense. The team will be known as the Silver Foxes. I do not know if the team's logo will be an enraged Kelly Remple nor do I know if he asking for naming rights. Someone from that team needs to get Kelly something with the logo on it pronto though.

--Enjoy the long weekend and drive safely if heading out of town. Thanks for checkin in!

Another Suspension For Raffi

San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres has been suspended for the remainder of the Western Conference Semifinals for an illegal hit to the head of Los Angeles Kings forward Jarret Stoll during Game 1 of the series in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 14, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.
           The incident occurred at 19:02 of the second period. Torres was assessed a minor penalty for charging. Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Torres is considered a repeat offender.
           For a full explanation of the decision, complete with video, please click on the following link:

Bryan Illerbrun Passes Away

The Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club would like to extend its deepest sympathies to the family of former Roughriders player Bryan Illerbrun.
“We are saddened to hear the loss of former Roughrider Bryan Illerbrun.” stated Riders President/CEO Jim Hopson. “Bryan was a solid player and the kind of guy that knew the importance of the Roughriders throughout the province. He will be greatly missed.”
Illerbrun originally joined the Riders in 1978, playing 13 games as a rookie on the offensive line. He played five consecutive seasons with Riders before joining the BC Lions for the 1984 and 1985 seasons then returned to Saskatchewan in 1986 where he remained for four more seasons.
The Gainsborough, SK native played 138 games over ten seasons with the Riders and was part of the teams 1989 Grey Cup Championship. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The "Hawk" Hangs Em Up

The Saskatchewan Roughriders announced today import defensive lineman Brent Hawkins is retiring from the Canadian Football League.
Hawkins joined the Riders after signing a free agent contract in April, 2010. In his first CFL season the Illinois State product tallied 31 defensive tackles, four tackles for a loss, three quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries in 13 regular seasons games. He missed the entire 2011 season after sustaining a shoulder injury during training camp.
Last season, Hawkins played 14 regular season games recording 24 defensive tackles, three tackles for a loss, four quarterback sacks and two fumble recoveries. He ends his CFL career having played in 27 regular season games, three playoff games and the 2010 Grey Cup.
Hawkins and his wife Andrea own a successful personal training business and they along with their son Kai and daughter Anaiyah will continue to make Regina their home.     

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Parker Steps Aside

After spending the past eighteen years in the capacity of General Manager and/or President of the Regina Pats, Brent Parker announced today he is resigning from the team and will leave the organization at the end of the month.  Parker was originally named as the club’s General Manager in the summer of 1995 shortly after the Regina Pats franchise was purchased by the Parker family from Ted Knight, Bill Hicke and Morley Gusway.
“I am honored and humbled to have been a part of this storied franchise,” commented Brent Parker. “While we did not achieve all our goals over the past 18 years, we have done a lot of good things in this community and I am proud of our many accomplishments.”
This is the third time Parker has made a major announcement in the month of May.  In 2008 it was revealed Brent had been diagnosed with Fibro Sarcoma Cancer and in 2010 he handed over the General Manager’s reins to Chad Lang while Parker remained with the team in the role of team President and Governor.
Lang is now the team's senior-vice president and governor.

Round 2 Playoffs Schedule

SERIES ITIME (ET)#1 vs. #7Networks
TUESday, May 14, 20137:30 p.m.OTTAWA at PittsburghNBCSN, CBC, RDS
FRIday, May 17, 20137:30 p.m.OTTAWA at PittsburghNBCSN, CBC
SUNday, May 19, 20137:30 p.m.Pittsburgh at OTTAWANBCSN, CBC, RDS
WEDNESday, May 22, 20137:30 p.m.Pittsburgh at OTTAWANBCSN, CBC, RDS
*FRIday, May 24, 20137:30 P.M.OTTAWA at PittsburghNBCSN, CBC, RDS
*SUNday, May 26, 2013TBDPittsburgh at OTTAWACBC, RDS
*TUESday, May 28, 2013TBDOTTAWA at PittsburghCBC, RDS
SERIES JTIME (ET)#4 vs. #6Networks
THURSDAY, MAY 16, 20137:30 p.m.NY Rangers at BOSTONNBCSN, TSN, RDS
SUNDAY, MAY 19, 20133:00 p.m.NY Rangers at BOSTONNBC, TSN, RDS
TUESDAY, MAY 21, 20137:30 p.m.BOSTON at NY RangersNBCSN, TSN, RDS
THURSDAY, MAY 23, 20137 p.m.BOSTON at NY RangersCNBC, TSN, RDS
SERIES KTIME (ET)#1 vs. #7Networks
WEDNESday, May 15, 20138 p.m.DETROIT at ChicagoNBCSN, CBC
SATURday, May 18, 20131 p.m.DETROIT at ChicagoNBC, CBC
MONDay, May 20, 20137:30 p.m.Chicago at DETROITNBCSN, CBC
THURSDAY, May 23, 20138 p.m.Chicago at DETROITNBCSN, CBC
*SATURDAY, May 25, 2013TBDDETROIT at ChicagoCBC
*MONDay, May 27, 2013TBDChicago at DETROITCBC
*WEDNESDay, May 29, 2013TBDDETROIT at ChicagoCBC
SERIES LTIME (ET)#5 vs. #6Networks
TUESday, May 14, 201310 p.m.SAN JOSE at LOS ANGELESNBCSN, TSN
THURSday, May 16, 201310 p.m.SAN JOSE at LOS ANGELESNBCSN, TSN

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pats Ownership Calls News Conference

The ownership of the Regina Pats has called a 2 PM news conference Tuesday at the Brandt Centre. I have no idea as to what Russ Parker will announce. Could the rumours of an impending sale be true or will Russ say this team is not for sale or something else. We'll find out at 2.

10 Minutes With Brendan Taman

I spoke with Riders GM Brendan Taman for an article that is currently up on Riderville discussing the off-season and his thoughts. Take a listen.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Something To "Mitch" About

First off, did everyone that could treat Mom the way she should be this weekend? Good job! If it weren't for Moms, one can only wonder where we would be. The same goes for Dads too, but its just a little different for Mom. A survey came out this week saying we spend over 100 bucks on Mom for Mothers Day and only 84 for Dad. That isn't right is it? Its the thought that counts and that round of 18 with Dad is probably cheaper than flowers and whatever for Mom.

When a restaurant doesn't take reservations any other time for brunch, they shouldn't make them on Mothers Day. How are you supposed to know?? That just about threw my plans up in smoke on Sunday, but thankfully option B was available and they weren't taking reservations.

10 digit dialling is now mandatory in Saskatchewan. I haven't been burnt by it yet, but I'm sure it won't take long until the lady comes on the phone and says your call can't be completed. By the way, am I the only one that thinks its dumb that there is no geographical line breaking down the 306 and the new 639. If I was to get a new neighbour, he or she could have the new area code while we have the old 306 one. Could Saskatoon north not have been 639 and Saskatoon south be 306. If Alberta can do it with 780 and 403, why can't we?

Who makes the final pick for NHL award winners? How can Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews be ignored when it comes down to the NHL's top player this season. What an eastern bias. Toews, Kane, Getzlaf, Datsyuk? Why were they not considered? I personally think Kane should be the MVP, but I also would have had Chara down as a Norris finalist and Brodin or Yakupov down as a Calder favourite and they weren't named finalists either.

Never, ever count out the Detroit Red Wings as long as Mike Babcock is their coach. It looked with a week to go as if they might not make the Stanley Cup dance and now they are in the 2nd round. I can't see them beating Chicago, but who knows.

Everyone talked about the Penguins and their goaltending issues against the Islanders, but did anyone mention the fact that Evgeni Nabokov was just as bad if not worse. If the Islanders had a goalie for that series, they might have completed the upset. I am guessing the Sharks aren't missing Nabokov who has taken a real tumble from his days in teal. As someone who never really saw the Islanders play this year, they are a pretty good hockey team. John Tavares and Matt Moulson lead a group of lunch-bucket forwards who work their tails off and I really like the way former Warrior Travis Hamonic played for them. He is only going to get better as is that team.

Congrats to the Portland WinterHawks for winning the Ed Chynoweth Cup. 1) They will be a great rep for the WHL 2) This means Saskatoon hockey fans could see the top three players in the NHL draft up close and personal as Seth Jones could very well be joined by Nathan McKinnon and Jonathan Drouin and 3) They better had win because after getting sanctioned the way they did by the WHL, they may never get back.

I had a good chat with Riders GM Brendan Taman for a Riderville story that will go up later today. BT is excited about the upcoming season and why shouldn't he be, but he makes a couple of interesting statements in the story. One of them being to curtail that enthusiasm somewhat because you don't win games on paper. I can certainly buy into his thought-process.

I miss Sundays without football!!

The Regina Red Sox are looking for billets to host their import players for the 2013 Western Major Baseball League season. For further information, including an application, visit or call Nancy LeGard at 545-9973. The mission to "threepeat" starts at the end of the month. Can't wait to get out to Currie to enjoy some baseball.

How was the Ducks Unlimited dinner with Dan and Jay? I hope Regina gave those two a rousing sendoff because they will never be back together or at all on our soil after accepting their high-priced American gig. For that matter, how was the dinner in Moose Jaw featuring Tony Gabriel. I'm guessing 99 percent of it is in fun, but it can't be easy for Gabriel to walk into enemy waters like he is when he journeys into Saskatchewan. When it comes right down to it, he may always be public enemy #1 in the Rider Nation, but like many have said, what was he supposed to do...drop it!! That would have been so Buckneresque!

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton came out this week and said she is all natural. Good for her!!

When the Jays traded Travis Snider to Pittsburgh, there was outrage. What has Travis Snider done in Pittsburgh since going there? Exactly! I even forget now who Toronto got in that trade.

Tough break for the people of Leroy this weekend as they lost their rink to fire. When small-town Saskatchewan loses its hockey rink or curling rink, it is bad news as that place is the town meeting ground.

Saskatchewan fashion week was this week with our best fashion designers showing off their merchandise. Where was the toque display?

The last 90 minutes to two hours of a golf tournament may be the best reality television there is. How about the final round of the Players Championship? After his bizarre complaint on Saturday, I don't think too many people were too disappointed to see Sergio Garcia dump two in the lake on 17 when he had a chance to win. Nice job Sergio...if you wanted to waste that much money in such a short time, either go to the casino or ask Tiger if you can borrow one of his "ladies". Oops, did I just type that.

I went into the weekend thinking the Stanley Cup playoffs would be Leaf-free, but I start the week wondering if the 2nd round will have two Canadian teams in it and if my Chicago-Boston finals prediction will go up in smoke.

I would put TSN's Sara Orlesky right up there with any woman walking south of the border doing ice-side or field-side work. In fact, she is a helluva lot better than a lot who are currently there already. It makes me wonder if ESPN ever decides to get back into the world of hockey if people like Gord Miller, James Duthie and Orlesky would be headed to Bristol.

There's something wrong with our world when Miley Cyrus is ranked as the #1 hottest woman in the world by MAXIM magazine. Something terribly wrong.

I will admit it now. I was so wrong when in pre-school, the teacher would come and say its nap time in the middle of the afternoon. The workplace needs to adopt the 30 minute nap. It would be gold!

Who else had that one pen with a 4 colours, and tried to push all the buttons at once..

Gaydosh To Try NFL Before Hamilton

He was selected first overall in last Monday's Canadian Football League Draft, but it looks like four-down football is in University of Calgary Dinos defensive lineman Linden Gaydosh's immediate future.

Gaydosh signed Sunday with the Carolina Panthers and will forego training camp with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this year in the hopes of cracking an active NFL roster. He was among 36 unsigned, undrafted hopefuls invited to the Panthers' mini-camp at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. this weekend and impressed the coaching staff enough to earn the contract offer.

“It's incredible. I absolutely love it,” Gaydosh described his mini-camp experience to on Saturday. “This is such a great opportunity, and even if I don't happen to make it, I've learned a lot.”

“We're so happy Linden is getting this opportunity to showcase his talents to the NFL,” said Dinos head coach Blake Nill. “He has worked incredibly hard to achieve this goal, and we wish him all the best.”

Listed at 6-foot-3, 314 pounds, Gaydosh had an incredible four-year career with the Dinos. The Peace River, Alta. native was named Canadian Interuniversity Sport rookie of the year in 2009 and maintained that level of play throughout his career. A second team All-Canadian in 2011, he led the Dinos with 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks as Calgary once again led Canada West in run defence. A vigorous off-season training program had him in the best shape of his life and he again led a stingy Dinos defence through the 2012 season, when he was named a Canada West all-star for the second straight campaign.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

This And That

The weekly collection of thoughts going through my muddled brain. In no particular order, here we go.

--The Vancouver Canucks are out of the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens are out of the playoffs and the Toronto Maple Leafs are one win away from being out. All is good! In fact, its great that the mighty Canucks had as many playoff wins as the Oilers this year.

--A friend asked me the other day if I hated the Flames, Canucks or Leafs more. That was a great question. This Oilers fan should really hate the Flames and I do, but I think when it comes right down to it, its the Canucks cuz they think they're something special and they are not. The Kevin Bieksa claims that team embellish hits against them and flop just made me laugh. Holy kettle calling the pot black. I just needed Alex Burrows to come out and say San Jose was playing dirty to make it complete.

--A lot is being made of the penalty that put San Jose on the powerplay that eventually gave them a series win. Yes, it wasn't a penalty, but as TSN's Mike Peca said, "What wasn't a penalty 10 years ago and maybe 5 is today because of the way they are trying to protect the player." Tommy Wingels went unprotected into the boards after being hit by one of the Sedins. In today's game that sadly was a penalty.

--If Bieksa didn't make the dumbest comment of the first round of the playoffs, then Habs defenceman PK Subban surely did when he said the Senators might be up 3-1 in the series, but the Canadiens are the better team. BA HA HA HA HA!! Subban needs to take a lesson or two in humility over the off-season. I still think the guy is over-rated.

--So if April Reimer and Elisha Cuthbert were giving each other funny looks over a statement that was made by a fan sitting by them, what was said and whose husband got trashed? What a great shot by CBC! I still think there were some hostilities there. For what its worth, Reimer has to make that save.

--Speaking of Ms. Cuthbert, this can't be true can it? Could Jack be back?

--With Ottawa being the only team left in the playoffs, will CBC cameras find an Ottawa gathering place and put a camera there like they did with the Leafs outside ACC. I'm sorry, but that is just another reason why I can't stand the Leafs. ITS THE FIRST ROUND!!! When Winnipeg gets in the playoffs will CBC show what is happening outside because you know Jets fans will find some place to congregate. Will CBC show Calgary and Edmonton fans outside when and if the Oilers and Flames ever get back in the playoffs. I think we all know the answer. I truly, truly shudder for what will happen in this country if the Leafs ever win the Stanley Cup.

--Regina's Tyler Bozak is an unrestricted free agent. What type of money will be command on the open market? Is he one of those grit guys that the Oilers could use? How about Nathan Horton? Perhaps Horton would be a better fit because he has playoff experience under his belt.

--The story out of Cleveland this week with the three women escaping from a decade of captivity is just mind-boggling. It reminds me of a soap opera story where the character comes back from the dead. I can't see anyone that knew these women still thinking they were alive and now there they are.

--Good on Regina mayor Michael Fougere to come out and say one of the city's bylaws was outdated when it comes to rooming houses. What I want to know is what low-life phoned the city on this guy? You just know its one of those neighbours who have nothing better in their meagre little lives than try and make life difficult for someone. Does this person monitor PGA golf and phone the clubhouse to report a rules violation?

--So those forecasts on spring run-off were effective weren't they!

--I hate the fact that Jays games and Stanley Cup playoff games are coming on at 5. I miss most of it while wrapping up the day at work and driving home. Put them back on at 6 or at least 7. Speaking of which, I realize they are doing it because of the Eastern audience, but I don't like the Memorial Cup games in Saskatoon starting at 6. 7 o'clock is a much better start time. I could even go with 630, but not 6. With the lineup going into events at Credit Union Centre, people may have to leave their job at 330 just to get there by faceoff.

--Baseball umpire Angel Hernandez showed why he is one of the worst again on Wednesday night by botching a home run call even after seeing it on replay. The ball was clearly out, yet he ruled it a double. He then tried to claim he didn't have the same replays that you and I would get from TV. WRONG!!! Baseball can't reverse the decision because that opens up a whole new keg of worms, but baseball can give and should give Hernandez a couple of weeks off without pay.

--With Russell Westbrook out of the equation, could the Golden State Warriors win the NBA West?

--A person that wields a lot of power told me this week they like my Twitter comments, but my hashtags can be a little too big. What's the matter with big hashtags? I told him I would try to shorten them up.

--Some rain to wash away the dirt and grime would be nice. Not a lot of it, but just enough to green things up and clean things up.

--When I asked Phil Andrews about Pat Conacher's role at the WHL bantam draft and he said he wasn't there, it got my radar up but I didn't think Pat would resign with one year left on his contract. There is a lot of speculation out there as to why he is walking away with one year left on his contract and I will leave it that. As I voiced on the Sportscage Wednesday, I was surprised to see the team just hand the job to Malcolm Cameron without a proper search, but perhaps an interview was had seeing Conacher actually resigned at the end of April. I think Malcolm can be a great coach and he deserves the opportunity, but I thought the team would have spoken to some others. The other thing is it seemed as if the news was met with little or no reaction by the community----the community that needs to support this team. This team's profile is at an all-time low and its not getting any better with the news of Wednesday afternoon. The only thing that will change it is wins and a solid playoff run.

--Congrats to CTV Regina's Julie Stewart-Binks. She is leaving the big lights of #YQR to join the Fox Sports One network. Yes, that is the same network that has taken Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole from us. This makes me think Fox Sports One will give Americans all the hockey and curling news they crave! Julie, can you get Charissa Thompson to autograph something and send it to me?

--Riders coach Corey Chamblin was at the Legislature with some of his assistants on Wednesday. He was introduced to the chamber by Gene Makowsky and was then welcomed by both Premier Brad Wall and the NDP's Trent Wotherspoon. Trent referred to Chamblin as "Chamberlain" twice though. That isn't the first time I've heard Chamblin referred to as "Chamberlain". I don't know, I don't think its that tough but I guess it is. I don't think Corey is too bothered by it though. He must be chomping at the bit to get this month over and get next month started so that he can start doing his day-to-day thing again. If we can't wait for it, how can he possibly not be excited over not getting started again.

--BHP Billiton Stadium. Just remember where you heard that.

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend and remember dead owls don't give a hoot!