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Thursday, December 21, 2017

SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT

Welcome to Friday!  Here are the usual weekly thoughts running through my muddled mind, and as always they come in no particular order:

- Brandon Bridge did one thing when he signed a one-year contract extension Wednesday afternoon: He got the debate going, and it is one that will last right through training camp and into the start of the 2018 season.  The question is where will Bridge be on the depth chart? 

Some will say he is ready to be the starter with Kevin Glenn there to be a mentor and a QB coach. Others will say Glenn should retire and become the Riders QB coach.  Some will say this means for sure James Franklin will not become a Riders with others saying Glenn can be cast adrift with Zach Collaros or another veteran providing that mentorship. 

What I do know is the Riders managed to keep a free agent that I truly didn't think would sign with the club before the February deadline. I thought Bridge might want to see what the free agent waters bring.  I think the best case scenario is where he is, but you would have to think other teams would have shown some interest. It is far too early to determine what role Air Canada will have in 2018, but Rider Nation can discuss it from now right up to the season opener.

- The job no one seemingly wanted has gone to Mike Sherman. The former head coach of the Green Bay Packers and Texas A &M is the new coach of the Alouettes. 

I don't know what to think on this one. On the surface, I don't know if this is a good hire for Montreal as he has zero knowledge of the CFL game.  Who will he have on his staff that does?  The Alouettes are hoping Sherman can do for them what Marc Trestman did for them  Trestman had Jim Popp and Anthony Calvillo.  Sherman has Kavis Reed and no idea who his starting quarterback will be.  I don't see this ending well.  Sherman obviously has the pedigree though leading the Packers to three division titles and the Aggies to three bowl games. 

While I don't see this happening, it is interesting to note Sherman was the head coach at Texas A&M when Johnny Manziel first became an Aggie.  Is there a relationship there? Could Sherman try to pry Manziel's rights from the Ti-Cats and get him in an Alouettes uniform? Is Montreal really the right locale for someone of Manziel's demeanour?

- In the past, CFL meetings in the off-season could come and go and nothing would come of it. It is because the league and teams didn't want you to know about it.  Imagine my surprise then when word came out that a general managers media day would be held after a day of meetings involving presidents and GM's in Banff next month.  Another example of Randy Ambrosie changing the deck chairs around.  I would think and hope this will result in many media showing up for the one-day gathering. It would only make sense.  It is something I am guessing TSN, 3Down Nation, Calgary media and others will definitely want to be a part of. 

- In the wake of the Pittsburgh/New England ending last weekend where it was thought the Steelers had scored a game-winning touchdown only to find the dreaded "he didn't retain possession all the way through" rule come back to bite them, it has sparked the talk again about what is a catch and what isn't.  Can we get a committee put together consisting of former receivers, current players, refs, GM's and coaches to sit down and figure this thing out once and for all.  You just don't know the way it is now and each ref seems to have his own thought process on the matter.  It shouldn't be that hard to determine what is and what isn't a catch.

- Is the NFL looking north when it comes to ideas to change the game?  The NFL Network talking heads were talking about the Pro Bowl when the idea was suggested they should widen the field and give it the same dimensions as a CFL field.  Apparently, the idea was discussed a few years ago.  I missed that one.

- Week 16 NFL Lock of the Week --  Chiefs over Dolphins
   Week 16 NFL Upset of the Week -- Giants over Cardinals (but Browns over Bears is tempting!)

- Guys, would life be easier if we could walk into the mall and have a store that sold nothing but gift cards to as many places as possible available?  Yes, you can go into grocery stores or drug stores and have a variety to choose from, but when the one you want isn't available, you have to make that road trip.

- The Brandon Bridge contract extension has people forgetting about the plight of the Regina Pats for a while. The question remains though "What is John Paddock going to do at the trade deadline?"  While many names are being thrown about, the names of two players keep coming. Those are Saskatoon defenceman Libor Hajek and Lethbridge goalie Stuart Skinner.  I think the team will add more than those two if indeed one or both are on their way.  Another name I have heard a lot of is that of Seattle's Turner Ottenbreit. You remember him right? If you don't, he is the guy that levelled Adam Brooks knocking him out of the series in Game 1. I have heard his name mentioned since before the start of the season. Ottenbreit would definitely do a lot when it comes to slowing down the likes of Howden, Steenburgen and others.  If you could  get those three and somehow keep Jake Leschyshyn, which I somehow think won't happen, you're laughing!

Here is the question for you Pats fans: What would your reaction have been last year if Paddock in the midst of what was the best season in the history of the club traded away players to make this year's team much better and more Memorial Cup worthy knowing it would have derailed that season?

A season that ended just two games away from a WHL title and gave Regina a May that we hadn't seen around here in a long, long time.  Never mind because I know the answer.  Paddock would have been crucified in every which way possible. Don't say no that wouldn't have been the case, because it would be a lie.  Trading the likes of a Connor Hobbs, Adam Brooks or Austin Wagner would have the Regina hockey fan seething.  Paddock did what he could to bring a title last year,  but he knew that might result in tough sledding this year. There was no guarantee you could get to the Memorial Cup last year, but there is this year.  Paddock knows what he needs, and he knows who he wants.  No matter who he gets, I can't see the WHL Championship being played inside the Brandt Centre this year, but the Memorial Cup team will be one that can compete with the best of the three leagues.

- I don't know how many Saskatchewan born players have played or coached in the NHL, but I know 27 players from our fair province have played in an NHL game this year, and I know there are 4 current head coaches from the 306.  Add the GM's and other front-office personnel and most teams if not all have someone from Saskatchewan in their organization. It has been this way for years.  With the NHL celebrating its 100th anniversary, it is safe to say Saskatchewan has had a large part in that century.  No one is complaining.

- Fair question asked this week:  The Riders are a "provincial" team with a presence in both Regina and Saskatoon with "The Rider Store" available for those in Saskatoon.  The Saskatchewan Rush claim to be a "provincial" team yet you can't find any Rush souvenir stores in Regina. If there are, where are they? There is a distinct southern Saskatchewan audience for Saskatchewan's lacrosse team.  They need an outlet in Regina for fans to buy merchandise.

- Here is the cyclical nature of baseball.  In 2013, the teams that had the first five picks in the draft -- Houston, Chicago Cubs, Colorado, Minnesota and Cleveland -- all were in the playoffs last season, while the teams that were in the 2012 World Series -- San Francisco and Detroit -- have the top two picks in this year's draft.

That's all I got.  Have a great weekend! Merry Christmas!

15 comments:

willy said...

Seems to me a year ago around this time Saskatoon was the Laughing City of the Province because all they had was a Professional Lacrosse team that draws approx. 11,000 to every game in Saskatoon. Regina laughed at this saying it would only last for part of a season and that would be it. YOU WERE SO WRONG REGINA.
Today on Rod Pedersen's blog and Scruffy's they are asking for a Franchise and wondering why they don't have a Rush store in Regina so they can purchase souvenirs. Funny How Things Change In Just One Year.

Anonymous said...

While I don't disagree that the Riders are a "provincial" team, I would suggest that they are much bigger; A few years ago I was in Brandon Walmart and met up with some Manitoba friends headed to the Banjo Bowl and looking for Bomber merchandise. They were not impressed that the store had nothing CFL except Roughrider stuff.
LF

Anonymous said...

The Pats surely do have a heap of issues. I also agree that there is likely going to be some big surprises at deadline date. Picks and prospects will only get you so far, however most teams will want a players who can help them right now, or in the near future. They can't get everything the need with just picks. Hajek is interesting but also an import. I do believe the first year imports are not tradable. Move Oksanen who is our fourth leading scorer with 31 points? Move Zamula our first round import pick. I doubt either are doable and it's doubtful they would be anyway. Skinner can come back as a 20 year old but perhaps even a 19 year old with his late birthday. They are building and since they added Zablocki who will be back, it's a very doubtful move.
Considering what they paid to get Fleury, there is little chance of landing Bean. They might have to give up everything they have to get one guy. They would be better served to break the bank and get Carter Hart. Guys like Ottenbreit or Skeoch are 20 year olds so the team would have to make room for them. Upgrading to a good 19 year old goalie would give them an extra overage skater. For the Pats to go anywhere they need to shore up what has been eloquently called "erratic" goaltending. I've seen the bench sag after a weak short side goal or one from outside the blueline on a weak wrist shot. anyone who doesn't think it's an issue clearly doesn't understand the game. Your goalie is everything.

Anonymous said...

LF, What do you know, two Bomber fans. LOL

Anonymous said...


Where the hell does Scruffy call for a lacrosse team in Regina? I'm sure not reading what Anon 1 is reading!

As for the Rush themselves, if they want to be a provincial team, they should do some things in Regina. Player appearances, training camp, exhibition game, etc. etc. etc.

If the Riders never did anything in Saskatoon, the cry coming from there would be immense.


Ron

Anonymous said...

Awww. Cute!

Anonymous said...

I listened to your comments on Sportscage regarding how bad Coach McLellan looks this year and he must be living on McDonald’s burgers and fries...watched him last nite and thought he looks great...maybe you should look in mirror and go on same diet he was on

Anonymous said...

It was Pedersen asking for a Franchise not Scruffy. Read the story right before you comment and continue Crying on here.

Anonymous said...


I am from Moose Jaw and have been to three or four Rush games since they started, but Ron brings up a very valid point and one that has been asked before.

If the Riders had no presence in Saskatoon, the crying and moaning from up there would be unbearable.

Merry Xmas RP and Scruffy. You make the drive back to the Jaw a great one every day.

Anonymous said...

Easy to support a winning team.

We will see how much support the Rush have when they are a losing team.

Have to remember they moved from Edmonton after many years of losing and 1 good year before going to Saskatoon.

The only Regina thing the rush do is have Rod toot their horn on the cage.

Anonymous said...

No different than the Pats from Regina. After the Memorial Cup is over and you go into next year with a team that will probably not even be close to the recent team (Which is bad ) do you think there will be 6000 for every game in Regina's Barn next year ? NOT A HOPE IN HELL BUDDY.

@mrt_man said...

Giftcard store... for me it would not be in the mall... because then it would not be saving me a trip to the mall.

Anonymous said...

Why all the anger?

Anonymous said...

And how many years did it take to get Rider stores in Saskatoon?

Anonymous said...

Mitch, tune in that non-Canadian sports city Saskatoon please. They are a cricket and lacrosse town forever more.