Top five Canadian sports stories

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January was a busy month for Canadian sports fans

Colton Hordichuk
Contributor

From local and national milestones to the return of Canada’s game, the first month of the New Year hasn’t failed to please Canadian sports fans.

Surely, the first month set the bar high for the 11 months to follow, but it should come as no surprise that Canada delivered a handful of memorable sports headlines to start 2013.

Why? Note the talent, comebacks, and story lines that were displayed in the eventful month of January.

5. ‘It’s hockey, it’s Canada.’

After 16 hours of negotiations on Jan. 6, 2013, the National Hockey League and its players association came to terms on a tentative collective bargaining agreement. This announcement ended the NHL lockout. After both sides ratified the new CBA, a 48-game season was set to start on Jan. 19, 2013. The third lockout in NHL history lasted just under four months.

The return of the NHL received mixed reception from fans. Angry fans across Canada threatened to boycott the new season, while other diehard fans proudly rejoiced that their homeland’s game was finally back.

Every Canadian NHL team had their arena sold-out for its first game of the 2013 campaign.

4. Nash Dished the Basketball 10,000 Times

On Jan. 9, 2013, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash passed the basketball for an assist for the 10,000th time in a Lakers loss to the Houston Rockets. Nash, who was born in Victoria, B.C., was only the fifth player in the National Basketball Association history to reach such a milestone.

Fellow Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant tweeted after the game, “I have to step outside this frustration and say congrats to Steve Nash 10,000. Amazing accomplishment. Wish we could have gotten the W.”

Other players that have passed for 10,000 assists in their careers were Magic Johnson, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd, and John Stockton. Kidd and Nash are the only two active players.

3. Ewen Jumped His Way To CIS Standard In Long Jump

The University of Regina’s track and field teams faced off against Saskatchewan on Jan. 12, 2013 at the Prairie Dual in Saskatoon. At the event, Cougars member Lex Ewen became the first Canada West athlete to meet the CIS standard in long jump this season.

Ewen’s career-best jump was 7.09 metres. He also claimed first place in the meet, and was only the third athlete in Canada to hit the standard. Ewen solidified a spot for himself at the CIS Championships at the University of Alberta in March.

2. Familiar Faces Returned To The Riders

A handful of players were re-signed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in January. Offensive lineman Patrick Neufeld and receiver Scott McHenry were resigned on Jan. 8, 2013. Two days later, the Riders re-signed receivers Rob Bagg and Limas Sweed; but the Green and White weren’t done yet.

On Jan. 15, 2013, the Riders brought back a pair of veterans. Linebacker Mike McCullough and fullback Neal Hughes resigned for the 2013 season.

Former Riders offensive coordinator George Cortez returned to the team on Jan. 21, 2013. Cortez was the offensive coordinator for the Riders in 2006.

The Riders busy month most likely came in proactive preparation for the 101st Grey Cup, which will be held in Regina, Saskatchewan in 2013. It is the third time that the championship game will be played in the Queen City.

1. CFL Head Coach Headed to the NFL

Former Montreal Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman was introduced as the Chicago Bears head coach on Jan. 17, 2013. Trestman coached the Alouettes for five seasons in the CFL and led them to a pair of championships.

Bears general manager Phil Emery expressed his excitement to work with Trestman, expressing that he has many attractive qualities to add to the Bears coaching staff.

The last time the Bears made the post-season, they finished first in the NFC North division in 2010 with a 11-5 record.

Photo courtesy of stylephotographykelowna.blogspot.ca

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