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Monday, June 26, 2017

SOMETHING TO "MITCH" ABOUT

By: Mitchell Blair

GREAT DEBUT -- Well done CFL!  The first week of games were tremendous with the first three coming right down to the last play before we knew what the verdict was going to be. You can't really ask for anything better than that as a fan. Yes, those who bleed green-and-white wish the last play of their game would have been better, but Week 1 was full of excitement.   While the Toronto-Hamilton game was a one-sided affair, you can see Ricky Ray could be re-juvenated under Marc Trestman the way Anthony Calvillo was, and SJ Green was SJ Green which is bad news for secondaries and defensive co-ordinators around the league.

Say what you will about him, but Corey Chamblin had the Argos defence looking good as well,  Let us also remember it is also Week 1.  I think it is safe to say though that if we can get games like what we saw this weekend it will be good for the CFL as a whole.

KICKERS -  Rider Nation isn't the only one gnashing their teeth over the late game play of kickers. Safe to say, it wasn't a good week for those guys. Alphabet in Toronto had a kick blocked that went back for a touchdown, but that wasn't when the game was on the line.  We know what Crapigna did, and he had company with the usually-dependable Rene Paredes and BC's Ty Long.  Long's performance made me wonder if Wally was looking through his contacts to see if he still had Paul McCallum's number.  Rider radio analyst Luc Mullinder sent out a tweet Saturday night saying Week 1 kicking in the CFL has been ____________!  I'm guessing we know what some of the answers were.



CAN THAT STATEMENT BE REVIEWED? --  On Saturday night, TSN's Farhan Lalji came on saying he had spoken to Glen Johnson about two controversial calls that were not changed even though they probably should have been in the Riders-Montreal game and the Calgary-Ottawa game. The reason being they weren't "egregious" enough. Excuse me?!

Johnson told Lalji  "They want replay to be just about egregious calls that have been missed, they don’t want grey area. So if it takes two-and-a-half to three minutes to make sure the call gets exactly right, that means that call was too close to overturn."

He goes on to say "Those were not egregious calls. In the minute, minute-and-a-half we want to take to make these decisions in an effort to speed up replay, not slow down the pace of the game, those calls did not meet the standard for obvious, egregious mistakes and we’re just not going to overturn those types of calls. That’s going to be something people around the league are going to have to get used to.'”

I'll just leave that there and let you react accordingly.

WHO IS NUMBER TWO? Sportsnet is asking Blue Jays fans to rank the top 40 players to have worn the Toronto uniform. There is no doubt Robbie Alomar will be number one when all is said and done. Who is number two though?  Roy Halladay would get my vote.  If they're going to retire Mark Buehrle's # in Chicago, then perhaps it is Toronto's time to retire another number other than the 12 once worn by Alomar.  In thinking about it, and by no means is this gospel---the top 5 Jays in my mind would be Alomar, Halladay, George Bell, Joe Carter and Dave Stieb.

WHO WON THE NHL DRAFT - I don't know if one team won the draft, but one country did. When did Finnish hockey become so popular?  12 Finns went in the first two rounds. Compare that to the entire Quebec Junior Hockey League who only saw 14 players get drafted in total.  I like what Vegas did, I like what Columbus did in getting Artemi Panarin for Brandon Saad and I liked St. Louis' draft. The kid they took at 20--Robert Thomas--was the guy I was hoping to see fall to Edmonton at 22.  I also like Calgary's acquistion of Travis Hamonic although it was a little steep when it came to the price they paid for him. Is the Battle of Alberta coming back. You bet it is!

NHL FREE AGENCY: As New York Rangers players cleaned out their lockers after a second-round playoff exit, all the talk was about impending change.

That's just getting started - for the Rangers and the rest of the NHL.

Big moves leading up to and at the draft by the Rangers, rival New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and others set up a potentially crazy week to come going into free agency. Teams could begin talking to pending free agents Sunday and can sign them starting Saturday afternoon, and in between there could be plenty more movement now that the Vegas expansion draft is over and the foundation has been laid for trades.

Here are some things to watch for this week:

ACTIVE ISLANDERS

New York already acquired winger Jordan Eberle from Edmonton for Ryan Strome and traded defenceman Travis Hamonic to Calgary for picks, but no one believes Garth Snow is done. Captain John Tavares can be an unrestricted free agent in a year and Snow said he'd like the star centre to retire with the Islanders - and there's some work to do to get back into playoff contention.

That's why Snow said it's very possible the Islanders use draft picks they got from the Flames for Hamonic "as a currency in a future player transaction.'' Duchene would fit the bill, but he won't come cheap, and the Avalanche won't have a shortage of suitors.

CHANGING COYOTES

Within the past 10 days, Arizona has traded starting goaltender Mike Smith, told captain and face of the franchise Shane Doan they're moving on, parted ways with coach Dave Tippett and traded for Stepan, Rangers backup Antti Raanta and Blackhawks defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The youth movement is on for the Coyotes, but they haven't made the playoffs since 2012 and new sole owner Andrew Barroway isn't afraid to shake things up.

The only question is, what comes next? Arizona has roughly $25 million in cap space and can make some splashes with more deals or free agent signings.

IT'S ALWAYS A GOALIE CONTROVERSY IN PHILADELPHIA

The goaltender carousel has stopped spinning after Carolina acquired Scott Darling, Dallas landed Ben Bishop, the Flames picked up Smith and the Coyotes got Raanta. That leaves the Philadelphia Flyers, no strangers to goaltending predicaments, as the only potential playoff contender in search of a starter.

The Flyers could run it back with Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth, inquire with Vegas about 27-year-old Calvin Pickard or look to sign someone such as Jonathan Bernier, Ryan Miller, Brian Elliott or Mike Condon.

RE-DO IN FLORIDA

Since Tallon reassumed control of Florida's front office, he has taken steps to undo a lot of what former GM Tom Rowe did last summer and put his own stamp back on the Panthers. Tallon cleared $5 million cap space by trading Reilly Smith to Vegas and said he'll be ``aggressive moving forward'' and attack July 1 with a defined plan in place.

PENGUINS MARCH ON

Changes are afoot in Pittsburgh with goalie Marc-Andre Fleury already gone to Vegas and Daley, Nick Bonino, Chris Kunitz, Matt Cullen and Ron Hainsey set to be unrestricted free agents. With Justin Schultz and Conor Sheary among those needing new contracts, GM Jim Rutherford told free agents to test the market and come back to him, so the Penguins could look very different just three weeks after another Cup parade.

SHATTENKIRK SHOULD GET PAID

The Capitals committed big money to winger T.J. Oshie with a $46 million, eight-year deal, but they're unlikely to re-sign Shattenkirk, Williams, Karl Alzner and Daniel Winnik. Shattenkirk, 28, wants to be a No. 1 defenceman and is a good bet to sign the richest contract of any free agent Saturday.

"I've kind of done it all and I want the opportunity to do it consistently,'' Shattenkirk said. ``I have to prove myself and get that opportunity and run with it, but hopefully it's out there.''


@scruffyregina

(With files from Canadian Press)

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

No offence but where's rods column.

Anonymous said...

There are two reasons that goal line call in the Rider game was correct. One, is the ball out or coming out. It's turned and movement of the ball itself does not mean loss of possession. The key is possession when the tip of the ball 'touches' the line. If it did come out a split second later doesn't matter. And, two, if there is doubt you don't change the call. But what have we done to this 'game' by turning it into an exact science. Use technology to do away with people carrying sticks and a chain. Or other things that don't remove spontaneous fan excitement.

Anonymous said...

100% correct anonymous # 1.

Anonymous said...

I meant anonymous # 2.

Anonymous said...

Lirim Hajrullahu's last name only has 5 different letters in it. Same as you Mitchell. Calling him 'alphabet' is a little bit racist but mostly lazy. Where is Rod's column?

REP said...

The 2nd best player in Blue Jays history is Carlos Delgado. Tony Fernandez belongs up there.

I suspect Stieb, Bell, Carter were guys you liked growing up, their careers didn't hold up to the best players of their eras.

roth phallyka said...

No offence but where's rods column.


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Anonymous said...

Depends on which side of the fence you sit. Riders fans happy, Alouettes not. So if the ball tip crosses the goal line with the player holding it but starting to fumble is it a fumble at that point? Not sure about the rest of you fans but I am thinking the Video replay is killing my interest with the CFL. Why does the game pretend to be perfect? The more replays the less my interest.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think that jones is in over his head, he's got to much on his plate and he can't handle it all.

Author Unknown said...

Wow, what a racist attempt of man's name. Lirim Hajrullahu. This column needs to be corrected and an apology should be issued.

Anonymous said...

As per video replay; It seems to me that the CFL marketing department has forgotten rule #1.

Everyone (the paying customer) disagrees with the decisions coming out of the replay reviews and the director (Glen Johnson)just tells the people to get used to it.

In marketing isn't rule #1 the customer is always right?

Bill Eng said...

This is a great column. Your columns is always interesting and thought provoking. Keep up with the excellent work.

Anonymous said...

Where can I read the Monday morning goalie column?

Rod Pedersen said...

The MMG has been benched. Possibly retired.

Stay tuned.

Anonymous said...


Two weeks in a row I have not seen the MMG. What's up?

Anonymous said...

Scruffy has em FIRED UP on a Monday. LOVE IT!!!

Can he tell us what 'Alphabet" gets in a Scrabble game with a double word score?

Again, LOVE IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Racist??? HAHAHAHAHAHA Some has their panties in a knot it would seem.

Ask Bomber fans what they called him when he was there.

The column may change, but the loony commenters remain the same.

Anonymous said...

Teams should never retire jerseys. They are to identify the players playing at the point in time. Players are people, not numbers. Its ridiculous, do a wall of honour and move on. The Yankees and Canadiens have retired so many its a joke...
Smitter

Anonymous said...

I heard somewhere that when the ball comes out on the goal line like that , that it's like a fumble going out of bounds, except it's a touchdown, last MAN TO TOUCH IT. he still had possession , but it sounds like they don't want to take points off if they don't have to . ? Maybe someone can elaborate on that .

Anonymous said...

6 different letters smart guy. H A J R U L. Try thinking before posting.

Jonny Morgan said...

No more mmg?...I find the lack of mmg disturbing.

Anonymous said...

6 different letters...

Anonymous said...

MMG was, at one time, one of the few voices out there for CFL fans to go to for news and views. Now with 3DownNation and a much improved CFL website, there is less need for Rod to spend his time and labour writing columns for his website and especially when there is supreme talent like The Old Scruffdawg ready to Pound out some insights into the Riders and sports in general.

Anonymous said...


What was the attendance in Toronto?

Anonymous said...

Alphabet in Toronto .... Show a little respect and learn his name, or at least Google it. For further reference, it's LIRIM HAJRULLAHU

Anonymous said...

You can fumble into the endzone.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you show some respect and go cry like a little girl on someone else's blog. I'm sure Mitch doesn't care about your cry baby opinion. It was a joke man get a sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

Keven glen of Sascratchmebum.... It's okay, it's a joke on a blog. lol

Anonymous said...

13583 announced no way there was that many and a good chunk were Hamilton fans. Toronto and Vancouver look like cfl just doesn't register anymore, league is in trouble.

Anonymous said...

SCRUFFY SCRUFFY SCRUFFY..You Missed the most important playoff contender still looking for a starting goalie..jay ee tee ess...JETS JETS JETS!

Anonymous said...

I love the CFL"S take on video review actually..If it takes longer than a minuite to review it was too close to call and the ref's got it right to the best of their ability. I think that's genius it still leaves a bit of human error in the game. after all no ones perfect and you can't expect the refs to be perfect on every call...

Anonymous said...

Disagree! It's a typical reference made towards people with difficult last names to pronounce with a variety of odd arrangement of letters. Get off your SJW bandwagon!

Anonymous said...

I had a medical condition once called that!

Anonymous said...

Whatever! Can I get fries with that order.

Anonymous said...

HMM Throwing stones at kickers names now EH sasky..is your kickers name really "CRAP"igna? kinda suiting after week one I guess..

Anonymous said...

right in the "hairy who who"

Anonymous said...

Question!!!!
Why do the Riderville fan base have "man love" for a old bald headed guy referrenced as Doubles?

Anonymous said...



Hairy who who. It isn't just racist, it's sexist now too!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the alphabet to me!

Anonymous said...

LOL....you nailed it!

Anonymous said...

No MMQ, I guess Rod has tired of defending Jones.

Anonymous said...

I hope not Rod your articles are great and very much appreciated. Please continue. I look forward to Monday's and Thursdays just so I can read your articles
Ron in Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

Mitchell Blair is a "supreme talent"? Wow. Cletus has been mixing the pesticides in with the well water again...

Anonymous said...

Just heard Vince young , on the retired list ? So , sounds like he could come back .