Sunday, May 5, 2019
10 WEEKEND THINGS
2 - THE GOOD: All we know about McInnis is that he's 6'6, 210 lbs, hails from Point-Claire, Que, played collegiately at Arkansas St. and has NFL tryouts lined up with the Colts & Titans. He joins this star-studded list of past 1st round Rider draft picks: Jeff Fairholm, Brad Elberg, Reuben Mayes, Dan Farthing, Scott Schultz, Andy Fantuz, Keith Shologan and Ben Heenan.
3 - THE BAD: McInnis also joins this list of not-so star-studded Rider 1st round draft picks: Shomari Williams, Matt O'Meara, Ducarmel Augustin, Mathew Quiviger, Mark Scott, etc. What scintillates me is the question of which of the above groups is McInnis going to eventually be a part of? Again, we won't know for years. I'm far more interested about the end of players' careers than the beginnings.
4 - THE UGLY: The addition of McInnis and Lenius-Dickey spells immediate competition for Mitchell Picton, Patrick Lavoie & Cory Watson. I think that's a great thing for Picton, whom I still believe could be the latest in the long-line of great Regina receivers which includes Getzlaf and Clermont. Hopefully his injury problems are behind him. However this probably means the end of the line for Rob Bagg. Next stop, the Plaza of Honour. Hey, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are a train. People get on and people get off, but the train always keeps going.
5 - O'DAY: On the surface, it seems quiet regarding the Riders in the Wheat Province right now but there's a steady undercurrent of buzz among the football people. There always is. And anyone who knows Jeremy O'Day feels he's going to be a huge success in this new role of Rider GM. "He knows what he's doing," is the comment I hear the most. The truth is he's been ready for years. Saskatchewan will struggle to make the playoffs this year but that's not Jeremy's fault. He needs time to build this thing his way.
6 - COFFEE ROW: I overheard on coffee row last week some skepticism over O'Day's hiring. "I don't think he has the contacts," the guy said. I snapped! Jeremy played 14 seasons in the CFL, won 2 Grey Cups as a player, has worked under 3 regimes (Miller, Taman, Jones) and somehow didn't form relationships with the movers and shakers in the game? PLEASE! There's more manure thrown on coffee row in this province than there is in the barns.
7 - STRIKE: Still can't see it happening. The biggest reason remaining, for me, is that there never has been a work stoppage in the CFL's 108 years and there has to be a reason why. The players simply don't have enough leverage here (at least, not that I've seen). Nobody wants to see a strike.
8 - NLL: A player strike disrupted the start of this current NLL season and that's because the players had far more leverage than CFL players currently do. That's an interesting story for another time. And this is a league that's getting bigger by the day. This year they expanded into San Diego and Philadelphia and now they've received an expansion application from the MGM Resorts group in Las Vegas. Bill Foley and his crew would like to fill more dates at T-Mobile Arena with an NLL team. Growth is key! I'm excited to be forging a great relationship with this league.
9 - STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: Some "sayings" have stood the test of time because they're true. One of the truest is that the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs is always the best. Remember the Ovechkin fight, the Kadri suspension and the Eakins major? Nothing that interesting is happening in Round 2 other than the meteoric rise of the Carolina Hurricanes. Meanwhile 'Canes coach Rod Brind'Amour isn't a finalist for Coach of the Year. Who votes on this stuff? Oh wait.
10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Want some fun? Sit in a Regina mall parking lot some weekend afternoon and watch the traffic accidents. My gosh we have some terrible drivers! ... I anticipate Ken Holland will be hired as GM of the Edmonton Oilers this week. Don't believe the rumours that Dave Tippett will be his coach. **UPDATE - I was told Sunday afternoon there is some merit to this report. Stay tuned. ** ... Why didn't I hear a thing about Vladimir Guererro Jr. this week? ... Hockey season, around here, is over. Good luck to the Portage Terriers who will represent the prairies at the National Junior A Championship (formerly the Royal Bank Cup) in May. ... P.A. isn't "around here" but we're following the Raiders' run to the WHL title very closely. A lot of comparisons are being made to the magical 1985 Raiders Memorial Cup team and my Dad was on that club. So happy for GM Curtis Hunt that he's finally been allowed to show what he can do. ... That's all. See you on the links!