FIVE: CFL off-season headlines
Changing coaching staffs: A number of teams overhauled their coaching staffs this off-season. The Edmonton Eskimos, fresh off the disappointment of not making the Grey Cup as a host team, hired Kavis Reed as their head coach. He soon added Marcus Crandell as the team’s offensive coordinator. The Saskatchewan Roughriders were also in the market for a head coach, and decided on Greg Marshall. Jim Daley, the struggling special teams coordinator, was released.
Calling it a career: The most notable player to retire this off-season was Ben Cahoon, who spent his entire 12-year career with the Montreal Alouettes. The slotback is the all-time leader in receptions (1,017), sixth all-time in receiving yardage (13,301) a three-time Grey Cup champion, and a two-time most outstanding Canadian. His departure will leave a hole in Montreal’s offence. Also retiring has been receiver Ryan Thelwell, an ex-British Columbia Lion and Calgary Stampeder, and Alouettes offensive lineman Skip Seagraves.
Ottawa’s quest for a team: The last team Ottawa had in the CFL was the Ottawa Renegades. The team was suspended in 2006. However, there is hope in the nation’s capital. The team is tentatively set to return for 2013 and Frank Clair Stadium would be redeveloped by then. Recently, a new plan for an expansion draft when Ottawa returns to the league has been set out. The expansion draft is formatted to give Ottawa a competitive team from the start.
The Hamilton fiasco: Will they agree to build a new stadium? Will they fold or relocate? These have been the big questions surrounding Hamilton this off-season. However, things are looking good as it was recently determined that Ivor Wynne Stadium will be rebuilt. While it has not yet been determined where the Tabbies will play during construction, the important thing is Hamilton will stay in the CFL. Now if they can only start winning big games.
Calvillo battles new foe: Anthony Calvillo truly rode a rollercoaster of emotions when the season ended. While his Alouettes won their second Grey Cup championship in a row, it was learned that Calvillo was suffering from thyroid cancer. Every fan of the CFL was rooting for a speedy recovery. After a little bit of treatment, Calvillo appears to be stable and will likely not even miss a game.