There has been a lot of player movement in key positions during the off season in the CFL as the teams gear up for the regular season starting on June 29 for the right to appear in the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto on November 25. Let's take a peek at some of the bigger moves.
, who lost his starting job in Calgary last season, moves to Hamilton in a trade that sees Kevin Glenn head west to Calgary. The much travelled Glenn will provide the backup for Calgary's number one quarterback Drew Tate. Henry Burris will be looking for some of the old magic that he had in 2008 when he led the Stamps to a Grey Cup victory over Montreal. He'll be throwing to ex Rider Andy Fantuz who opted to sign with the Cats in Hamilton. Calgary also released Joffrey Reynolds after they were unable to make a trade. Reynolds led the CFL in rushing during the Stamp's 2008 championship season and was also their all-time leading rusher. Punter Burke Dales has also left Calgary and has resurfaced in Edmonton.
Speaking of Edmonton,is no more. Ray will now be the starting quarterback for the Toronto Argonauts. Veteran QB's Kerry Joseph and Steven Jyles are now in Edmonton. Ray was the all-time leader in completions, passing yardage and passing touchdowns in Edmonton history. The Esks also released veteran lineman Patrick Kabongo and kicker Damon Duval. Kabongo has joined the 2011 Grey Cup champion BC Lions. Grant Shaw, obtained by the Eskimos in the Ricky Ray deal, will handle the kicking duties for Edmonton
Running back Fred Reid was released by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Reid, who led the CFL in rushing in 2010, was attempting to come back from a knee injury that he sustained in 2011. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes but was recently released by them as well. The Bombers also parted ways with last season's "Mayor of Swaggerville" Odell Willis who has landed on his feet in Saskatchewan. Former Bomber linebacker Joe Lobendahn has also reappeared as a Calgary Stampeder.
In Montreal the Als are trying to rebuild a defence that simply gave up too much yardage in 2011. Gone are veterans Diamond Ferri and Etienne Boulay. Veteran receiver Kerry Watkins has retired. In BC the Lions have released their long-time backup quarterback Jarious Jackson. He's now in Toronto backing up Ricky Ray. BC also released veteran defensive back Tad Kornegay who remains a free agent.will now be place kicking for the Hamilton Tiger Cats after being injured and finally released by Saskatchewan.
Confused? I watched the pre-season game between Hamilton and Toronto a few days ago. I have to admit that it sure looked strange to see Ricky Ray in an Argos jersey and just as weird seeing Burris lining up under center for the Tabbies.