Justin McInnis who was pegged at #1 in our Mock Draft a few weeks ago. He's been invited to tryout with the Indianapolis Colts. The CFL Draft gets more difficult each year but that's why GMs get the big bucks.
2 - LOCALLY #1: The same goes for Regina product Brayden Lenius-Dickey. The former UNM and UW receiver participated in the CFL National Combine and is pegged as a potential first round CFL pick. However we learned this week Brayden's accepted an offer to participate in San Francisco 49ers minicamp. Hours after the NFL Draft, Lenius-Dickey was offered invites from a handful of NFL teams however he chose the 49ers because he felt it presented the best opportunity. Plus, it was his grandfather's favourite team.
3 - LOCALLY #2: CFL scouts are scratching their heads that only the Alouettes and Argonauts will be allowed to draft territorial picks on Thursday, at the end of Round 2. Bringing back territorial picks (players in teams' backyards) is a great concept however why not make this option available to all nine CFL teams? For instance a great option for Saskatchewan would be Regina product Kade Belyk, a WR for the Guelph Gryphons. He was snubbed by the CFL National Combine despite putting up better regional numbers than some European prospects. Belyk will get a shot somewhere, but it should be in Saskatchewan. And if his area code was 514 or 905, he'd get the chance to play at home.
4 - GO JONNY GO: We are 3 weeks from the opening of CFL training camps, yet free agent punter Jon Ryan sits without a deal despite working out for a handful of teams earlier this month. As far as Saskatchewan goes, it all comes down to money and I can see both sides. The Riders have a cap-friendly punter whom they like in Josh Bartel while on the other hand, Jon Ryan wants to play in his hometown but also knows his worth. That figure doesn't match what Saskatchewan is offering. So, here we sit. It's completely understandable on both sides but this isn't how I envisioned the story of Jon Ryan finishing his career in Saskatchewan would go.
5 - FEEL THE RUSH: The Saskatchewan Rush open the NLL Playoffs at home to Colorado Friday night in the West Semifinal at SaskTel Centre. I was afforded the opportunity to spend 2 days with the Rush last week and as impressive as the franchise looks from the outside, it's even MORE magnificent from the inside. They have a staff that's been together for a long time and runs like a Swiss watch. Excellence doesn't come easy, but they put in the work on the field, in marketing, community engagement/charities, promotions, communications and public relations.
6 - "OWNERSHIP WINS": A Hall of Fame football man mentioned that phrase to me last week with regards to the NFL. In the CFL, I'd tweak it to say "Leadership wins" because there are so many community-owned teams. I discussed this concept with Rush owner Bruce Urban - gazing up at the 3 NLL championship banners in the rafters from the past 4 seasons - and he specifically detailed how he operates the franchise. The word which kept coming up was trust, and the Rush have that throughout their organization in spades.
8 - HOLLY: The Edmonton Oilers are poised to name their new General Manager and as I Tweeted on Monday, I anticipate it will be former Detroit boss Ken Holland. That report was flamed from coast-to-coast by national reporters and Oiler fans alike but I can take the heat. I've got big shoulders. I guess we'll find out.
9 - THE SNOWFLAKES WIN: This round. The fight in La Ronge Ice Wolves spring camp in Saskatoon on the weekend got 43,000 views before the team was directed to take it down. I get that. That's not the image the SJHL wants to project but let's not get carried away. It was a practice fight in a league that doesn't allow fighting. Plus, no one made them do it. One guy chastised the Wolves because it was "two children fighting". Look, I was a victim of bullying in a hockey camp and was told by the coaches and my family that I had to handle it myself. Old school. One punch to the nose in the dressing room ended the bullying in a hurry. Kenny Rogers had it right.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: One thumb up from the MMG for the movie The Mustang. It was good enough, but it was painful to watch if you have a connection to addiction. ... Will this economy ever turn around? ... Enough with the scorning of fans of Game Of Thrones! Maybe a lot of us aren't into it (I've tried) but that doesn't mean lots of people don't love it. ... I don't think it's the Drake Curse. It's the Toronto Curse. ... It's great to see Jordan Eberle answering the bell in pressure situations once again! ... The hottest new restaurant in Saskatoon is Wendel Clark's at the corner of Idylwyld and Circle Drive. Would the concept work in Regina? I have a feeling it would.