2 - We'll be talking all things Roughrider on the show, not to mention the availability of linebacker Jerrell Freeman who was cut by the Chicago Bears on Tuesday. From what I'm told, the Riders are taking it slow on this one. Freeman still has two games left of an NFL suspension to serve, which has to be honoured by the CFL. Also the last time we heard from "Free", he was suffering from memory loss due to injuries suffered on the field of battle. NFL pundits call him a “tackling machine” and he’s made millions in The League, however those same pundits fear his career is over.
3 - I'm excited to interview Bridge on the show, particularly to see how his off-season training is going. Based on salaries, he's going into the 2018 season as the back-up to Zach Collaros however Brandon has the talent to out-perform Collaros in camp. As Chris Jones has stated repeatedly, the competition is wide-open and the top pivot will start in Week 1 regardless of salary. Bridge is an extremely charismatic personality and will be a hit among Rider fans at the Arizona party.
4 - While there seems to be a surplus of starting-quality quarterbacks in the CFL (James Franklin, Darian Durant, Travis Lulay, Brandon Bridge, Kevin Glenn, etc.), there's a scarcity in the NFL. Arizona Cardinals fans are in a state of panic after the retirement of Carson Palmer. Names which have come up are A.J. McCarron, Kirk Cousins, Chase Daniel, Sam Bradford or even Baker Mayfield. None are exciting anybody. And Johnny Manziel's name isn't even being mentioned. It still seems his best option is playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and proving himself all over again. The trouble is, he doesn't want to despite the baiting of Duron Carter.
5 - I'm interested to watch Thursday's Coyotes-Flames game. While still rock bottom in the NHL standings, the Coyotes have won 4 in a row including a thrilling 1-0 home victory over Edmonton on Saturday (it actually was thrilling, and played before a full house). The 'Yotes are a young, injury-free team who plays their hearts out on a nightly basis, and are tough to dislike. Had a visit with Coyotes radio analyst Paul Bissonnette and he said they're in Year 3 of a 5-Year rebuild. Is that how long it takes in the NHL?
With my friends gone from the organization, they're no longer my rooting interest but the franchise still has a place in my heart. We've had some great times here and the Coyotes are still big fans of the Roughriders.
6 - Those friends - Anthony Leblanc and Gary Drummond - are now spearheading the CFL expansion franchise in Halifax and, depending on who believe, an announcement is imminent. Perhaps as early as this week. Will they hire Dave Tippett as coach? :)
7 - On the topic of expansion, the NHL appears to be headed to Seattle. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has kicked off a season ticket campaign (similar to what Las Vegas's Bill Foley successfully did) and they plan to build a modern arena. Seattle will be an excellent NHL market because folks there love their hockey but it could mean the death of the WHL's Seattle Thunderbirds and Everett Silvertips.
8 - The Regina Pats have won three in a row and overtaken Brandon for third-place in the WHL's East Division. Could they have found their groove with 10 games left in the regular season? It seems like we passionate fans have always wrung our hands in February during the QCSEG regime, but John Paddock has always righted the ship in the nick of time. Patience is indeed a virtue, and In John We Trust.
9 - The Regina Pats 100th Anniversary Homecoming festivities were a tremendous success and it didn't hurt that the Pats swept Moose Jaw in weekend games. Friday's Alumni Gala at the Armoury was a first-class event and it was a true treasure to be able to rub shoulders with NHL Alumni and soldiers alike. The highlight of the night was watching Islanders greats Clark Gillies and Bryan Trottier sing a duet of The Gambler with Trottier strumming the guitar. The pair reminds me a lot of the likes of Glen Suitor and Bob Poley; they were born with an abundance of talents.
10 - At a movie theatre in Scottsdale this week, a young gal behind the counter had to pull out a pen and paper for some long math. I owed her $14.25 and gave her a $20 bill.
The end is near.