Posts Tagged ‘CFL’

The Montreal Alouettes relieved Kavis Reed of his duties as general manager, on Sunday, the team announced.

Alouettes president and CEO Patrick Boivin said the reason behind the dismissal couldn’t be revealed because it could “potentially expose us at the legal level,” according to Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette.

Boivin also said the decision wasn’t related to the team’s on-field performance or the impending sale of the franchise.

“A number of things were brought to my attention over the course of the last number of weeks that made it such that we had to make this decision immediate, right now,” Boivin said. “It would be inappropriate to start getting into specifics of what that is.

“It has nothing to do with performance,” Boivin added. “We could have been 4-0 and the decision would have still been made.”

Day-to-day management duties will be split by assistant general manager of player personnel Joe Mack, head coach Khari Jones, and director of football operations Patrick Donovan.

“Joe Mack will now have oversight of all football operations, but the team will be jointly managed with Khari Jones,” Boivin said in a statement. “Specifically, coach Jones will now be responsible for our active roster on a daily basis, and Joe will oversee all player personnel and football operation matters, including salary cap, contracts, operations and logistics. Patrick Donovan remains Director of Football Operations. These are standout individuals and are steadfast on collaboratively doing what is best for this team to win.”

The Alouettes are 2-2 this season after beating the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday. They sit second in the East Division.

Reed had been with the club since 2015, first as the special team coordinator before being anointed as GM in 2016. He previously served as the Edmonton Eskimos’ head coach from 2011 to 2013.

In June, Montreal parted ways with head coach Mike Sherman and promoted offensive coordinator Khari Jones on an interim basis.

The Calgary Stampeders are placing quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell on the 6-game injured list, according to TSN’s David Naylor.

Mitchell suffered an apparent shoulder injury during the fourth quarter of last week’s game against the BC Lions.

The injury is week-to-week and will keep the star passer’s salary-cap figure off Calgary’s books until he returns. Mitchell can be taken off the list at any point.

One of the league’s top players, Mitchell is coming off a stellar 2018 campaign that saw him capture the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award before being named Grey Cup MVP. He signed a four-year deal with the Stampeders in the offseason after working out for several NFL teams.

With Mitchell sidelined, Nick Arbuckle will start at quarterback for Calgary, which trailed 32-21 when he entered last week’s contest before rallying for a 36-32 win over BC.

The defending Grey Cup champions will face off against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on the road in Week 4.

Anthony LeBlanc has tempered his enthusiasm.

LeBlanc said Friday the expectation now is for the CFL’s Atlantic Schooners to be ready to play in 2021 in Moncton, N.B., while a new stadium is being built in Halifax. This past winter, LeBlanc contended if all went well, the expansion franchise could begin play in 2020.

“We want to get started as soon as possible but we have to be cognizant of the work that goes into this,” LeBlanc said in a telephone interview. “It’s not a surprise it’s taking longer than we expected . . . and we just need to be realistic.

“I don’t think it’s realistic at this point to even consider 2020. Look, nobody’s more frustrated with the timing than I am but the last thing we want to do is rush this. We’ve got to ensure we’re good partners and whatever we provide we want it to be fully baked and give us the best shot at this working.”

LeBlanc is co-founder of Schooners Sports and Entertainment (formerly Maritime Football Limited), which is the group looking to secure a CFL franchise for Halifax. Also on Friday, LeBlanc announced SSE has lowered ticket prices for the Aug. 25 Touchdown Atlantic game in Moncton between the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts.

Admission now will be as low as $29. When the game was confirmed in March, tickets started at $65.

“Whenever it’s a single event versus season tickets or nine regular-season games, there’s always going to be some level of uptick,” LeBlanc said. “But I think we were way too aggressive when we first went out.

“Admittedly when the prices were suggested to me, my initial thought was, ‘Those seem high.’ It’s one of those cases that I wish I would’ve said something then but we still have two months to go so I think it’s fine.”

LeBlanc said early ticket sales were solid, especially with the higher-end ones, before fans in the region began voicing their concerns. The $29 tickets are in a general-admission area in one of the end zones at Croix-Bleue Medavie Stadium while those in the other end zone, also general admission, are $45.

“We started hearing from many people throughout the region that the ticket prices were just not accessible, in particular, for families and students,” he said. “So we decided to create a family zone so people could bring their kids.

“That allowed us to put together a much more fan-friendly price point. Then many key sponsors who we’re working with on this game put their hands up to help be a part of the ticketing package to kind of cushion the blow and it was their support that allowed us to come out and kind of re-launch.”

The cheapest grandstand ticket is $65. The stadium has 10,000 permanent seats and can be expanded to a capacity of 20,725.

The Ticketmaster seating map for the game Friday had large chunks of unsold seats on the sidelines.

Original ticket prices for the game — which will be the fourth CFL regular-season contest in Moncton — were significantly higher than what both the Argos ($21) and Alouettes ($26) have as their cheapest seats for their next home games.

Fans who purchased tickets at higher prices will be offered credit towards additional tickets, season tickets for the Atlantic Schooners inaugural season or a refund for the difference between the price points.

However, the biggest hurdle facing SSE is the construction of a suitable stadium for the CFL franchise.

The initial proposal called for a facility to be built at Shannon Park for between $170 and $190 million. In April, SSE unveiled a proposal for a scaled-back stadium that could be built for $130 million but expanded in the future.

SSE has signed a letter of intent with Canada Lands Company, the federal Crown corporation that owns Shannon Park.

“We’re basically hunkered down with Canada Lands Company,” LeBlanc said. “What we’ve done jointly is hire two or three best-of-breed consultants to come in and assist us with the business plan that we’re putting together for HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality).

“Basically when we present this to Halifax, it will have independent third-party analysis of what that site can support along with other things like traffic studies and environmental studies. We still feel confident we’ll be able to present and have Halifax senior staff review and hopefully get a recommendation to council by the end of the calendar year.”

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell has an MRI scheduled for Tuesday to provide clarity on what he believes is a pectoral injury, Danny Austin of the Calgary Sunreports.

Mitchell was holding his throwing shoulder after he exited Saturday’s win over the BC Lions. The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player was 23-of-34 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and one interception when he was sidelined.

The Stampeders evened their record at 1-1 despite losing Mitchell, who was replaced by Nick Arbuckle.

Mitchell signed a four-year deal with Calgary in the offseason after working out for several NFL teams.

The Montreal Alouettes have signed Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge to a one-year deal, according to TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

Bridge returns to the team that drafted him in 2015. The 27-year-old spent training camp with the Toronto Argonauts but was released prior to the start of the 2019 season. 

The veteran passer started four games for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last year, throwing for 131 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions while 110 yards on the ground. 

Bridge also became the first Canadian quarterback to start a playoff game since Gerry Dattilio in 1984. 

Montreal finished 5-13 in 2018 and is coming off a Week 1 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos. Antonio Pipkin started the contest, but left with an ankle injury.

Vernon Adams Jr. filled in admirably for Pipkin, completing seven of 10 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Kevin Glenn announced his retirement Wednesday after an 18-year career in the CFL.

Glenn famously became the first player in history to don the uniform of all nine teams in the league, though he only appeared in a game for six of them.

The 40-year-old first broke into the CFL in 2001 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He made his way to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2004, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2009, the Calgary Stampeders in 2012, and the BC Lions in 2014. Glenn then went back to the Roughriders in 2015 before trades sent him to the Montreal Alouettes that same year and to the Blue Bombers in 2016. He returned to Saskatchewan for a third stint in 2017 before finishing up his career with the Edmonton Eskimos in 2018.

Despite lasting 18 seasons, Glenn never won a Grey Cup. He led the Blue Bombers to the championship game in 2007, but an injury prevented him from playing for the title. He got another chance to win a ring in 2012 with the Stampeders, but fell to the Toronto Argonauts.

In 268 career appearances, Glenn threw for 52,867 yards with 294 touchdowns and 207 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,580 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Glenn was a CFL East All-Star in 2007.

The Ottawa Redblacks have named Dominique Davis their starting quarterback to begin the 2019 season.

Davis had been competing with former BC Lions pivot Jonathon Jennings for the right to start Week 1 versus the Calgary Stampeders.

The 29-year-old was efficient in the Redblacks’ preseason opener, completing 5-of-7 passes for 118 yards. Jennings was less effective versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, tossing four completions on eight attempts for 75 yards.

Davis spent last season with the Redblacks backing up Trevor Harris following two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He was utilized in a number of short-yardage situations as a runner.

Ottawa kicks off its season June 15.