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Friday, January 12, 2018

10 THINGS I THINK I THINK

1 - ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: The first ever CFL winter meetings where the media was invited to attend played out successfully this week in Banff. These meetings have been held in Las Vegas and Florida in the past but Banff was chosen to accomodate the media. (I'm also a fan of the CFL keeping its $$$ in Canada).

70-some interviews were conducted and an avalanche of CFL stories were generated. Dave Naylor's mountain-side reports on TSN looked amazing. While no earth-shattering news was broken, the goal was achieved: plenty of CFL coverage in the dead of winter.

2 - HALIFAX SCHOONERS: There was next to no talk about a CFL expansion team for Halifax and as RedBlacks GM Marcel Desjardins pointed out, Nova Scotia hasn't even been awarded a franchise. However that seems inevitable and once an expansion draft is conducted, Desjardins says it should be a little different than Ottawa's draft in December of 2013.

"I think there would need to be certain tweaks," Desjardins stated. "I think the rules back then were okay but in certain instances guys that could be claimed were still set to become free agents. Those types of things would need to be cleaned up. I did a mock draft when I interviewed for the job and we knew the first wave of Canadians would put us on the map and then the Americans and second wave of Canadians would become a lot trickier. That's the way it played out. If the rules stay the same, it'll likely play out that way again."

3 - LIONS DEN: Ed Hervey has a reputation of being truculent with the media but the new B.C. General Manager was exceedingly gracious to me. It was fantastic to rub elbows with these guys "out-of-season" because from June-November, they're in Beast Mode and generally hot-under-the-collar 24/7. Anyway, Hervey knows that several critics are questioning the Lions' new organizational structure.

"Of course it's going to look awkward!" Hervey smiled. "People will say how can Wally report to me when he's my boss? But we had a month of discussions leading up to my hiring and we both agreed that the look of it doesn't really matter. The results on the field do. I've never been concerned about perception."

4 - JOHNNY FOOTBALL: Hamilton's pursuit of Johnny Manziel is a story which will unfold daily over the next several months. Ticats boss Kent Austin wasn't fazed by Manziel's agent's claim that the 25-year old quarterback should be one of the highest-paid players in the CFL.

"I wouldn't look to much into that," Austin winked. "You want a player at that position to have a very high opinion of himself! Haha. At least we do. We don't want a guy questioning his skillset! Having said that, this is not abnormal in a negotiating scenario. The agent is going to do whatever's best for Johnny. And things can change very quickly as everybody knows."

5 - THE GREEK FREAK: No question, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be a factor in the CFL West in 2018 with the addition of veteran pivot Zach Collaros. I asked Riders head honcho Chris Jones if Collaros is the missing piece to a Grey Cup championship.

"We'll see," Jones said. "We certainly hope that he is. We believe very strongly in him or we wouldn't have made the deal. Like I told Brandon Bridge after the trade, I wanted him to hear it from me first rather than seeing it on his phone or from someone else. It's not a slam dunk. We'll compete every single week and the best players will play. I don't think this trade came as a surprise to Brandon."

6 - NINE LIVES: One of the most interesting stories emerging in the CFL off-season is where free agent QB Kevin Glenn will land. Everybody knows the only team Glenn hasn't played for - or belonged to - is Edmonton but Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland says that won't factor into whether they sign him or not.

"No it won't," Sunderland advised. "That would be a very, very outside factor. We make every move to help the team win but it would be a cool story for sure. We do have interest and I've been in touch with him. Where that goes, we'll see. Everywhere he goes, he's won and we've done enough research to know he's a good person."

7 - 2019 GREY CUP: Commissioner Randy Ambrosie described the Calgary stadium situation as "horrible" during Grey Cup Week but this week he said dilapidated McMahon Stadium won't hinder Calgary's chance at hosting a Grey Cup.

"Right now, no," Ambrosie said. "That has not been part of the conversation. The issue of the stadium in Calgary is that the most successful franchise of the past two decades is deserving of a new stadium. You look at the cathedrals that have been built for football in this country, come on, it's time for Calgary."

So with that, the Stampeders feel they should be in line to host the 2019 Grey Cup but they'll likely draw strong competition from the Saskatchewan Roughriders and jaw-dropping New Mosaic Stadium. However this is now a bid process, so may the best bid win.

8 - D.C. CHILLIN': Chris Jones met Duron Carter for supper in Fort Lauderdale Thursday evening to find out where his head's at. Carter reportedly turned down NFL opportunities in Arizona and Baltimore which leads one to believe he'll be back in the CFL this season. Given the fact Carter loves his coach, his teammates, Rider fans and this stadium, I'd be stunned if he wasn't back in Saskatchewan for at least another season.

9 - GO PATS GO: The Regina Pats are rivaling the Roughriders for the #1 topic on coffee row in the Queen City these days. The Pats completed a massive makeover leading up to the WHL Trade Deadline and program sales will be at an all-time high with half the roster being overhauled. But the Pats and their fans can exhale. It would take an historic flop for the Queen City Kids to miss the playoffs in 2018 and I definitely don't expect that to happen. So we sit and wait, and watch it all play out. John Paddock's biggest task now is bringing the new faces together and keeping the culture he's built the past four seasons intact.

10 - BETWEEN THE PIPES: It's no secret that I've been a staunch supporter of veteran goalie Tyler Brown over the past four seasons and was dismayed to see him dealt to Saskatoon. People tell me that I get too attached to players but I'm not going to change now. But any WHL pundit will tell you the Pats are NOT better off in goal following all the trades and that will become an elephant in the room come Memorial Cup time, if not before.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

IMO Tyler Brown is a horrible goaltender but each to there own and not sure Rod how you can support his awful play. His numbers and soft goals do not lie and If he was any good he would of been drafted by someone by now being a 20 year old. We did not even upgrade that much in the goalie position on that trade as we are just average now instead of horrible.

Rod Pedersen said...

Sure Anonymous.

Anonymous said...

You just have to agree with Pedersen on here or you are NOBODY, and the same with Weppler.

Anonymous said...

If Tim Thomas was any good he'd have been drafted as well turns out he won a Stanley Cup with the Bruins. If Martin St Louis was any good he'd have been drafted too he was to busy winning a cup in Tampa and taking the Rangers to the final on his way to the Hall of Fame. Dominik Hasek if he was any good he'd have been drafted first round instead of 10th and backing up Ed Balfour. If Curtis Joseph was any good he'd have been drafted too, but he was to busy winning a Centenial Cup with Notre Dame then winning 400 games in the NHL.

If players like Tyler Brown who backstopped his team to the WHL finals listened to guys on blogs or call in shows or even Scouts it wouldn't be long before they were sitting in the stands watching games with the fans.

Anonymous said...

He'll be very comparable to Brown, who showed glimpses of good but never great. As with Brown last year, this kid will look real good with a great team in front of him. We saw with Brown this year with an average team in front of him that he is not a game changer. You can't use a 20 year old spot on an average goalie when you can have Hebig instead. It was a logical decision.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the comment from Ambrosie about McMahon Stadium. He says it is horrible and dilapidated. I agree it is a joke, especially for a city that claims to be a big city and leading city in Canada. Plus too boot, the fans in Calgary cant even fill that mess of metal with their fans. The riders can when they visit, so say thank you to us will ya Calgary. The great part is how some stamp fans, especially horsey fights tooth n nail for that stadium that is needs a meeting with a wrecking ball. He argues and argues but he is getting his ears boxed by lots of rider fans. teee hee Love it when horsey gets his ears boxed.

Anonymous said...

What do the Pats lines look like with all the big gunners here now? I think

Gabrielle Steel Henry
Legien Hebig Bradley
Holmes Leschyshyn Pratt

4th line will change with 5 guys spotting in(Mahovolich, Morriseau, Platt, Sidaway, Nijhoff). Oksanen will mix in on the top 3 lines somewhere once he is healthy again. Legien/Pratt spots might be the ones where he fits in and they will play who is better and working harder. My two cents.

Anonymous said...

Tyler Brown took the Pats to a league final. Nuff said.

Russell Cone said...

Rod,

I'm a Tyler Brown fan as well. Without him and some very timely saves, the Pats don't beat Swift Current or Lethbridge.

As a blades fan I'd love it if the Blades and Pats met in the playoffs and the Blades sent the Pats packing!! Haha. First time I've trashed talked about the Blades in years!!

Safe travels from Banff Rod!

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

If Tyler Brown was good enough he'd still be here. Let's get behind the goalies we do have and see what they can do. We might be in for a big surprise.

Anonymous said...

You Rider fans DO know that the money from the tickets you buy at McMahon go into the Stamps pockets, don't you?

Anonymous said...

Tyler Brown not "great"? really?? This kid was having a lot of 50-60 save games? Are you kidding me? This team will hopefully win games 6-3 or 7-4 with their scoring. But we all know that Defence really wins championships. Goalies that are above average become great once they know what their d-men do in front of them and how they play.

We will miss Tyler in the pipes....and hey, hopefully wesserman, paddock or kubick prove me wrong!

Enjoy the games people, have some fun. You know what's worse than a goalie who lets soft goals in?? A crowd that sits with their hands on their laps and needs a video board to wake them up!

czr

Anonymous said...

The Pats aren't "better" in goal but they are a BETTER team after making the many moves, including moving Tyler Brown. That's all that matters.

Anonymous said...

czr, do your homework. Brown had only 3 games where he had between 30-40 (not 50-60) saves this season, and ONE where he had over 40. He had ZERO over 50 save games.

Saw 50 (didn't save 50) only 2 times last year and both were OT games.

Very average, certainly not 'great' goaltender and he is 20 years old. Can't have an average goalie using a 20 year old spot. That would be a bad move.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #1 if your opinion mattered you'd sign your name.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm out to lunch on this one. Sure I don't think Hubic (?) is an upgrade over Tyler Brown. That being said though, look how improved the back end is with the addition of Hyman, Pouteau and Hajek. You already have Fleury and Mahura. Is it naive of me to say a great back end could make up some of the difference with an slight downgrade at the goaltender position?

Anonymous said...

Ty Brown is amazing but would you take him or Hebig and Kubic? Kubic looked really good live and has never played in front of a d like this. He also drove up that day and joined a whole new team. Lets see if they got better in goal in a few weeks. Brown was letting in 1-2 terrible goals a game.


Bill Mye the Hockey Guy

Anonymous said...

With a game changing goalie last year the Pats could of went all the way to Memorial Cup but maybe not winning it. Too many soft goals that extended a few series longer than they should of gone and Pats were exhausted by game 6 vs Seattle. I think i remember a few soft goals even in the Seattle series also with a overtime goal ringing a bell!! So glad he's gone and good luck to him in the future but its year too late!

Anonymous said...

HEY HORSEY, know that's your comment above. We do know the tickets we buy at McMahon go to the stamps. Are you that ignorant that we wouldn't think that. We know the stamps need the revenue so just say thank you to us. Maybe take some of it and build a new stadium. ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

In modern Pats history there is consensus Josh Harding is an all time great goaltender. Nobody that I talk too will say Tyler Brown is/was a better goalie than Josh Harding.

Tyler Brown backstopped the Pats to their all time best season. Tyler Brown took a Pats team to within one game of the Memorial Cup.

How far did Josh Harding take the Pats?

The only think I can surmise is they didn't plan properly and gave up something to get something, but goaltending was not the issue on this team.

Anonymous said...

Yawn... wake me when Duron Carter reups with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He's the game! He's the stir straw that makes that koolaid green. He's the best of the best that league has ever seen bar none. Mr. Jones, Mr Murphy, git err done. Duron Carter, nice guy good guy!

hybernator

Anonymous said...

Duron Carter is not the best this league has ever seen, unless you have never seen many CFL games. He only had one thousand yard season, and then just barely over a thousand yards. He is not in the same category of some of the greats this league has seen, like Ben Cahoon, Geroy Simon, Allen Pitts, Joey Walters, Milt Stegal, Ray Elgaard; I could go on. He isn't even the consistent receiver of some of the present day players like S.J. Green, Ellingson, Sinopoli or Zylstra. Again, I could go on. Maybe you should lay off that green koolaid and look around. Both the past and present has better players.

Anonymous said...

Holeheartly agree with the hybernator,
Duron Carter, anno perfectus. He's the best! He makes the CFL look great.

Bob

Anonymous said...

Are you outta your mind anonymous? If it wasn't for some terrible Brown goals allowed early in that Swift Current series, it wouldn't have taken a miracle Pats comeback to win that series barely.

Anonymous said...


If it wasn't for Brown, the Pats don't get by Swift Current in Rd 2. That is fact!

He outplayed Skinner in not one, but two playoff series. That is fact!

Seattle's defence wore Regina down in the final and injuries to Wagner, Henry, Lesyshin and Brooks were the difference in that series.

If MJ gets to the final this year and loses because they don't have a healthy Halbewachs, Howden and Brook are you going to blame it on the goalie. Of course you will, because you are uneducated and a simpleton.

Terry Flaherty said...

Boy I sure hope the Riders host in 2019!

Anonymous said...

You guys are all delusional, I'll check back in April to see who was correct.

Anonymous said...

Jaw dropping Mosaic stadium without water fountains and no beer selection... haha Rod you're such a homer.