After posting a dominant 15-2-1 regular-season record, the Stampeders ended their season with a bitter 39-33 upset overtime loss to Ottawa in the Grey Cup. The Redblacks earned the Canadian capital its first CFL title since 1976.
"Yeah, it was disappointing but it's not really, to me, needing to be addressed because it's not part of our team,'' Dickenson said during a CFL conference call. "You need to move on ... so we're going to address how to make our team better and we have some ideas.
"Ultimately if you can learn from past experiences, great, but we have a new challenge, new team, exciting team.''
Calgary will start the 2017 campaign with a home-and-home series against the defending Grey Cup champions. The Stampeders will visit the Redblacks on June 23 with the two clubs returning to McMahon Stadium six days later.
"That's a huge challenge to face the Grey Cup champs twice right away so we understand we have to be ready and I believe our guys will be,'' Dickenson said.
Still, there's no denying just how dominant Calgary was in 2016.
The 15 regular-season victories was one behind the league record set in 1989 by the Edmonton Eskimos but were the most ever by a rookie head coach. And Calgary's 14-game win streak was a CFL single-season best.
Calgary will be the team to beat in the West Division. That's pretty much been the case since '08 when current president John Hufnagel returned as head coach to lead the Stampeders to a Grey Cup title. Calgary won again in 2014.
"We don't get to decide who puts the target on which team,'' Dickenson said. "I personally don't feel any year I've been here the target hasn't been on us so it's nothing new for the Calgary Stampeders' organization.
"We had a good season last year and we kept as many of the core players as we could but we understand it will be a new season. It's important for us to understand we need to get better, we have to coach better and we have to make sure we win the same types of games we won last year.''
|Bruce isn't smiling these days|
The B.C. Court of Appeal unanimously dismissed Bruce's lawsuit on Friday, upholding a B.C. Supreme Court decision in March that issues raised in the suit are part of a collective bargaining agreement between the CFL and CFL Players' Association and should be resolved through the grievance and arbitration process, not the courts.
Robyn Wishart, Bruce's lawyer, wasn't surprised by Friday's verdict, but she said her client's legal fight isn't over.
"We've been waiting for our chance to take this to the Supreme Court of Canada,'' Wishart said in a telephone interview. "That's been where we knew it had to go from Day 1 for us to be successful.
"Would we have liked to see something different? Sure, but if you understand the way that the law works, this is the path we knew we were on all along.''
The CFL issued a brief statement following Friday's ruling.
"The CFL is very pleased with the Court of Appeal's decision,'' the league said. "We hope that this decision brings finality to any proceedings in the courts with respect to concussion litigation against the CFL.''
The documents state Bruce was still showing symptons the following year with Montreal. Bruce also says he continues to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), depression, paranoia, delusions and other issues.
In her judgement, Madam Justice Mary Newbury called the CBA between the CFL and its players "an unusual one.''
"For one thing, it does not purport to contain all the terms and conditions of employment of CFL players,'' she wrote. "Instead, it requires that players negotiate certain terms of their employment (including the important matter of regular season compensation) with the clubs directly rather than through the Players' Association.
"For another thing - and for obvious reasons - the collective bargaining agreement continues no provision for seniority or security of employment: and the terms dealing with workplace injury are geared to determining with despatch whether players are fit to return to playing 'skilled football.' ''
Newbury also pointed out the football players are exempt from the Workers' Compensation Act, and as a result "they are not precluded from the Act from suing their employers for workplace injuries.''
The CFL still faces a $200-million class action lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court last year by former players Korey Banks and the league Eric (The Flea) Allen.
On April 18, Justin Cox was charged with assault causing bodily harm after police were called to a Regina home.
Police said a 23-year-old woman was found with injuries consistent with a physical attack.
Cox pleaded not guilty Thursday and his trial was set for May 29.
Cox wasn't in court, but his lawyer, who made the plea on Cox's behalf, says they want to deal with the matter quickly as he is currently ``without employment.''
The Riders released Cox when the assault charge became public and the CFL also said he would no longer be allowed to play with any team in the league.