Sunday, April 7, 2019
10 WEEKEND THINGS FOR TEXTURED TERRAIN
2 - J.R.: Regina product Jon Ryan let it be known on Friday that his 15-year pro football career is not over. The former Seahawk and Blue Bomber punter will participate in the Saskatchewan Roughriders free agent open tryout this week but that's not all. He plans to audition for the Toronto Argonauts as well and, likely, any other CFL team who may be in the market for his services. The Riders could use the P.R. boost but Jon's not coming cheap. Also, he could likely punt for another decade. This will be fun to watch!
3 - JONES BUZZ: It's been fabulous to get out on the road across the province this spring and visit with sports fans in Zenon Park, Kipling, Estevan, Humboldt, Sedley, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Swift Current. But I've learned Saskies still haven't gotten over Chris Jones jettisoning Weston Dressler, John Chick, Darian Durant, Chris Getzlaf, et al several years ago. And with Jones leaving with considerable unfinished business left behind, it's a fair question to ask: Were those the right moves after all?
Fans seem so grateful to see us come to their community but the fact is we get FAR more out of it than they do.
4 - ODDS ARE: Golden Casino released its 2019 Grey Cup odds and they look like this: BC 300+, CGY 325+, WPG 550+, HAM 650+, SK 750+, OTT 850+, EDM 1100+, TOR 1400+, MTL 1600+. Depending on how you look at it, Saskatchewan will either be fighting for 3rd in the West Division or scrapping with Edmonton to stay out of 5th. But with all four East Division teams in the bottom six of the odds, a crossover is likely to be in play again. West Division predictions forthcoming ...
6 - ELIZONDO: The ugly departure of offensive coordinator Jaime Elizondo from the Ottawa RedBlacks this week illustrates the growing unrest between the coaching fraternity and their employers. With the institution of the salary cap on coaches and staff limitation, plus the refusal by Ottawa and Winnipeg to allow their coordinators to interview with other teams, several coaches are feeling oppressed. This is growth? At one point last summer there was talk of the formation of a coaches union with a strike to hit just before training camp. However I don't know if those talks went anywhere.
7 - HERITAGE CLASSIC: It's seven months away but the Winnipeg Jets opposing the Calgary Flames in an NHL outdoor game at Mosaic Stadium next October has lots of people talking. Out-of-market fans are blowing up my phone asking if this game will sellout, and if they should purchase their tickets now? Whether it sells out or not is a spectacular question. At an average ticket price of $250, you can get 10 junior hockey games for that. That's where my money will go, but how about you?
8 - x-JETS: Winnipeg, Calgary and Toronto will represent Canada in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many are asking who will go the furthest? My money is on Winnipeg despite their recent swoon. Their conference finals appearance last year gives them valuable experience and they're getting the adversity out of the way now. However it still says here San Jose will meet Tampa Bay in the Stanley Cup Final, and my playoff drafts will reflect that.
9 - e-OILERS: Edmonton star Connor McDavid got tongues wagging this week when he expressed his frustration at the season his team suffered through this year. McDavid referred to it as an "insane season" and that it's been "hard mentally to keep on going". At $19-million in salary this year plus $4-million in endorsements, we pray that he'll survive. He doesn't seem like the kind of kid who would ask for a trade but I sure hope he has a strong mental coach.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: When you see two people talking, don't walk up and interrupt them. ... The Melville Millionaires locked up Head Coach/GM Kyle Adams to a new multi-year deal this week. ... The Weyburn Red Wings have a Head Coach/GM vacancy and names being bantied about are Bob Beattie and Jamie Fiesel. La Ronge's job is open too and while Kevin "Killer" Kaminski is in the running there, he may opt for Weyburn which is a lot closer to his hometown of Churchbridge, SK. ... Kudos to former Roughriders voice Geoff Currier for being awarded the RTNDA's Lifetime Achievement Award this week. He - and Willy Cole - made me the broadcaster I am and while I get criticized for being a perfectionist and demanding the same effort around me, that's a trait I learned from those two legends. Not changing now. ... The movie Fighting With Family draws one reluctant thumb up from the Monday Morning Goalie. Perhaps if I was more of a wrestling fan, I'd have enjoyed it more but I'll pay to see anything featuring The Rock. ... New at Dairy Queen: Oh Henry Peanut Butter Blizzards. Y'er welcome.