The Alouettes, who will miss the CFL playoffs for a fourth straight season, made two deals prior to the CFL trade deadline Wednesday. Montreal sent offensive lineman Philip Blake and fullback Patrick Lavoie, both Canadians, to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for Canadian receiver Joshua Stanford and a 2020 second-round pick.
Then Montreal dealt Canadian linebacker Chris Ackie to the Ottawa Redblacks for a 2019 second-round selection. The Alouettes (3-12) are on a bye week but have dropped four straight games.
Blake, Lavoie and Ackie were all veteran players with Montreal.
The six-foot-two, 311-pound Blake, a 32-year-old Toronto native, was selected in the third round, No. 23 overall, in the 2011 CFL. He had started all 57 games played through four seasons with the Als.
"He's a guy that can play all three (positions)," Riders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones said of Blake. "He can play centre, guard and tackle. He certainly brings a level of experience we're going to need down the stretch."
The 30-year-old native of Sainte-Flavie, Que., spent four seasons in Ottawa before being re-acquired by Montreal last January. Over seven CFL seasons, Lavoie has 138 receptions for 1,264 yards and seven touchdowns in 115 career regular-season games.
"He can play 'R', he can play fullback," Jones said of Lavoie. "He's certainly a good special-teamer. He's familiar with our offense because he was with Ottawa which has pretty similar terminology. It should be pretty seamless to try to get both those guys ready to play."
The six-foot-two, 205-pound Ackie, a 26-year-old native of Cambridge, Ont., was in his fourth season with Montreal after being taken in the first round, fourth overall, in the 2015 CFL draft. The former Wilfrid Laurier star had 81 tackles in 13 games this year while adding a sack, two interceptions, a forced fumble and touchdown.
The six-foot-one, 200-pound Stanford, a native of Mississauga, Ont., had 17 catches for 165 yards in 15 games with Saskatchewan. A 2016 eight-round pick, Stanford has recorded 21 catches for 243 yards in 22 career CFL games.
"We are very happy to have acquired a promising young receiver like Joshua and are looking forward to seeing him continue to develop within our organization,'' Montreal GM Kavis Reed said in a statement. "On behalf of the Alouettes family, I would like to thank Philip and Patrick for everything they have done for this franchise on and off the field and we wish them nothing but continued success.
"We would like to thank Chris for his dedication towards the Montreal Alouettes. He worked real hard to return to the field this season. We wish him all the best in Ottawa.''
Ottawa GM Marcel Desjardins said adding Ackie gives the Redblacks roster flexibility.
"Adding a national player with Chris's skillset makes us a better football team and provides us with ratio flexibility for the remainder of the season,'' he said.