Friday, April 5, 2019
SCRUFFY'S THIS N' THAT
--Has it really been a year? I don't think any of us will forget where we were late in the afternoon of April 6, 2018 when word started to trickle in what had happened to the Humboldt Broncos. The enormity of it all is still tough to comprehend. What happened at that intersection is something we wouldn't wish on anyone. 29 families saw their lives change in a heartbeat, a community had its soul ripped from them, a province mourned, a country mourned. Those directly involved haven't stopped mourning.
If you watched the TSN special, "29 Forever" on Wednesday night, the tears had to be flowing. What a production it was. Kudos to all involved at TSN for doing a very good job on the tribute.
Remember all 29 this weekend when doing what you'll be doing.
--Karma's a real bitch isn't it. I wonder if that's what Jaime Elizondo was thinking when he let the Ottawa REDBLACKS know he was heading to the XFL with no warning. There is no doubt Elizondo was pissed when the team wouldn't let him interview for the Riders head coaching job. Add that to the fact the team lost its starting quarterback, running back, top receiver and two offensive linemen and the timing was right for Elizondo to jump ship. The REDBLACKS can be choked if they want to be, but perhaps if they would have done the right thing, they wouldn't be in this mess.
--Luc Mullinder is right when he says the CFL is seeing a talent drain when it comes to coaches. The league has lost Wally Buono, Marc Trestman, Chris Jones, Jamie Elizondo. That isn't good!
--The AAF didn't even last a year. I will admit to being surprised at that. I thought the NFL would help this league and be the developmental league they are seeking. I guess not. At the end of the day, it would seem that as popular as the game of football is, if it isn't the NFL, no one cares. That says a lot about the power the league has.
Its too bad for those who took one more shot at the game they love that they have to see it end this way. One would have to think though that the talent drain CFL fans were worried about because of the AAF is no longer an issue. I would think you will hear about some free agents being signed from the league very quickly.
--Former Riders RB Trent Richardson will go down as the AAF's career TD leader with 11.
--Connor McDavid did what he wanted to Monday night after his team was eliminated from the playoffs. McDavid let it be known that his frustration level was very high and that he personally wants to be competing in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That is something every player should aspire to much less the game's best player. McDavid went on to say he was not happy with this season and it will be a long summer. SHOTS FIRED!!
McDavid isn't looking to leave Edmonton----at least not yet. However, he has let it be known with his outburst that this needs to change and change now. There is no more pissin around in Edmonton. It is time to hire the right GM who must hire the right coach with the right moves being made in the off-season. As bad as this season was, this team somehow made it to the last week of the regular season before being officially eliminated. Wins over some creampuff teams in the latter half of the schedule should have happened and if they had maybe just maybe a playoff spot could have come.
The Oilers are a long ways away from where they should be with the likes of McDavid and Leon Draisiatl, but they might not be as far away as some think. Get the hires made, get the moves done and then get ready for a season where you need to be successful. If not, don't be surprised if 97 says he has had enough. Would anyone blame him? As much as an Oiler fan as I am, I wouldn't.
It's interesting to note that the team that selected right behind Edmonton that year hasn't done anything of note either. Back in 2015, people were saying McDavid- Jack Eichel might rival Crosby-Ovechkin. That's a big swing and a miss as Buffalo has done nothing either. ESPN's Matthew Coller had a great story on how not only the Oilers have failed McDavid, but how the Sabres have failed Eichel. While Buffalo seems to have the better team on paper, Coller feels Edmonton has a better chance at winning first just because of McDavid. Does either team reach a Stanley Cup final or even a final four in the next 3 years. I don't think so.
--I would be selling any stock I had in the Winnipeg Jets. I have no clue what has happened to that team.
--Sam Steel has six points in his last four games for the Anaheim Ducks. This should not surprise anyone who watched Steel play his junior hockey with the Pats. He will be a solid contributor for the Ducks next year and he won't be bouncing back and forth between Anaheim and San Diego.
--Many of us will be in playoff drafts this weekend. Is Nikita Kucherov the overwhelming number one choice? I guess it is if you think the Lightning will get to the Stanley Cup Final. Will they? Once the playoffs starts, who knows!
--The reaction to the Kevin Pillar trade is somewhat baffling. Yes, Pillar made some highlight reel catches, but what did he do at the plate? Very little. There are many outfielders out there who can scale the wall and make the diving catch, but there are also many outfielders out there who are better than Kevin Pillar at the plate. The move was one of necessity for a Toronto team that wants to get younger and let their prospects do the talking in the future. The Jays are hoping to contend again in 2021. You might want to add at least a year that. Can Jays fans wait that long? Looking at the early season attendance, the answer is no!
--The Cubs are 1-5 to start the season. There's still 156 games to go. Thank goodness! I am guessing fans of the Red Sox and Astros are thinking the same thing.
-- Have you seen the New York Jets new unis? If that isn't the NFL's version of a Rider uniform I don't know what is. There really isn't much of a debate here is there?
--That's all I got. Enjoy your weekend!
(Follow Mitchell Blair on Twitter at @ScruffyRegina)