Canadian Football League

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Canadian Football League figure passes away

Annis Stukus, the Canadian Football League figure who enjoyed a varied career in sports, died Saturday. He was 91.
The Edmonton Eskimos said Stukus died at his home in Canmore.
Nicknamed Stuke, he was best known for helping build CFL franchises in Edmonton and Vancouver. He also was general manager of the World Hockey Association's Winnipeg Jets, and signed Bobby Hull to a $1 million contract.
Stukus was a versatile player during his 12-year career with the Toronto Argonauts, playing numerous positions including quarterback. Along with brothers Bill and Frank, he helped the Argos to Grey Cup victories in 1937 and '38.
Stukus went on to coaching, becoming head coach of the Eskimos in 1949. He took over the B.C. Lions in 1953, holding that job until 1956.
"This is a tremendous loss for fans of the CFL and for the B.C. Lions," Lions president and CEO Bob Ackles said. "Annis was an outstanding player and coach and an even better person off the field."
A member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, Stukus was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a builder in 1974.

Canadian Football League All-Star announces retirement

Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Joe Fleming announced his retirement from the Canadian Football League on Friday, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.

Fleming announced his retirement Friday after nine seasons in the CFL. Fleming played 145 games over his nine-year CFL career with the B.C. Lions, Calgary Stampeders and Blue Bombers. In that time, he counted 273 defensive tackles, seven pass knockdowns and 70 quarterback sacks.
"It was a very hard decision to make," Fleming said in a statement. "I had the opportunity to play for three great organizations in the CFL, many great coaches, and have amazing teammates. Except for my wife Stacy and my kids Madelyn, who was born in Canada, Erin, Joe Jr., the CFL is the best thing that ever happened to me."
Fleming broke into the CFL with the Lions in 1996 and signed as a free agent with the Blue Bombers in 1998. He moved on to the Stampeders before a blockbuster trade brought him back to Winnipeg in the 2004 season.
Fleming was named a CFL all-star four times (1998, 2000, 2001 and 2003) and was a four-time West Division all-star (2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004). He was awarded the CFL's most outstanding defensive player in 2003 with Calgary. That year he registered 33 defensive tackles, 11 quarterback sacks and three tackles for losses.
Blue Bombers general manager Brendan Taman said a player of Fleming's calibre will be greatly missed.
"Joe Fleming is the epitome of what a professional football player should be," Taman said in a statement. "He worked tirelessly for this football club, both on and off the field.
"But there comes a time when a player has to move on with his life and the Blue Bombers organization wishes him the best of luck in the next phase of his life."

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Canadian Football League Grey Cup Odds

Bowmans International issued its early odds and the Edmonton Eskimos are tabbed as 3-1 favourites to repeat as Grey Cup champs.
The Argos and Calgary are second choices at 7-2. Montreal, which lost to Edmonton in last year's Cup, is fourth choice at 4-1, followed by B.C. at 5-1, Hamilton at 13-2, Saskatchewan at 8-1 and Winnipeg at 15-1