Two weeks ago the CFL Players Association advised their membership to refuse any travel arrangements for training camp until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement was in place. Last week the Union announced the membership had voted 97 per cent in favour of taking strike action if a new deal could not be negotiated. And yesterday the league responded by sending letters to contracted members of the three teams in Ontario, and the two based in Alberta — basically threatening to get their butts to training camp on May 19 or else — because labour laws in those two provinces are such that players under contract on those five teams are not in a legal position to strike, or withhold their services.
The CFL has threatened to suspend players from Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary, and Edmonton if they are not in camp on time. And those players will also NOT be reimbursed for their travel expenses, and they risk losing their “report and pass” bonuses.
And while those letters were being received by the players, the latest round of CBA negotiations were wrapping up in Toronto yesterday afternoon — with the two sides finally talking dollars in addition to the non-monetary issues that were the focal point of previous sessions. A total of six, and possibly seven more days of negotiating are scheduled to take place over a 10 day period, starting next Monday. The current agreement expires two weeks from Saturday on May 18.
In the meantime, the nine teams are preparing for tomorrow night’s CFL Draft and Winnipeg Blue Bombers GM Kyle Walters, who has the fourth and fifth picks in the first round, says it should be a good night for three members of the University of Manitoba Bisons.
Williams was voted the No.1 Canada West Prospect for the draft by the six conference coaches, while Ross has been invited to a NY Giants Mini Camp that will take place after the draft. And as you’d expect, Walters offered nothing of what he plans on doing with those picks, other than sticking with the tried and true philosophy of taking the best player available.
The BC Lions finally got around to making it official. Often injured, but still talented linebacker Solomon Elimimian has been released. More surprising was recent first round picks — O Lineman Charles Vaillancourt and Receiver Danny Vandervoort — also being included in a group of nine players who were cut loose by the Leos.
Logan Couture scored a hat trick, including the winning and tying goals in the third period, as San Jose doubled up on Colorado 4-2 to take a 2-1 series lead. And Matt Duchene’s powerplay goal midway through the second period was the difference in a 2-1 victory for Columbus over Boston, giving the Blue Jackets a 2-1 series edge in that match-up.
It might go down as “The Miracle in Morris.” The Pembina Valley Twisters rallied from a 4-0 deficit to edge St. James 5-4 in Game Seven of the Manitoba Major Jr. League’s McKenzie Trophy Series. Jeremie Goderis completed the comeback when he scored the eventual game winner with 8.5 minutes to play.
Defenseman Ty Barnstable had a goal and three assists in leading the Portage Terriers to a 5-3 win in Game Three of the Anavet Cup at North Battlefords. Winnipegger Chase Brakel added two goals for the MJHL champs, who now lead the series 2-1.
Milwaukee blasted Boston 123-102 to even that NBA second round series at a game apiece. And Golden State went up two games to none on Houston with a 115-109 victory over the Rockets.
And Brian Goodwin hit a game winning solo homer in the eighth inning for Los Angeles as the Angels beat the Blue Jays 4-3 to put a damper on the homecoming of Vladdy Guererro Jr.