Bridge the next big hope for a great Canadian QB ... Duchene looking like a lost talent ... Japanese phenom Otani a fascinating prospect ... Eightieth birthday party for George Chuvalo brings out some stars
Russ Jackson. I grew up on He was a regal figure in the Canadian Football League, revered by so many. He was the Canadian who could do what no other could master. And we still talk about him today in glowing terms because of the way he played quarterback and carried himself. And because no one else has done anything like him ever since. Jackson’s last game was in 1969 — almost half a century ago — and all this time we’ve been waiting for another Canadian quarterback who could make a difference, who could grab our hearts. We have watched and
Greg Vavra hoped for and Gerry Dattilio Luc
and Tousignant Jesse
and Palmer Tommy
and Denison Dan Feraday
and Giulio Caravatta and and Larry Jusdanis Bill
and Robinson Jamie Bone
and Kyle Quinlan Justin and and Dunk
and many others and then watched each of them disappear, one by one. And now, hope again,
Brandon Bridge with in Saskatchewan, throwing for three touchdown passes against Hamilton on Friday night, the first Canadian to throw that many since Vavra did it for the Stampeders in 1984.
Bridge is an athletic kid from Mississauga via Alcorn State, South Alabama and the Montreal Alouettes. He’s only 24. This is really just the beginning for him.
Does he have a chance to be the next Jackson? Does anyone, really?
But does he have a chance to play long-term in the CFL? That’s possible. And for Canadian quarterbacks post-Jackson, that may be as good as it gets.
THIS AND THAT
Two things to know about Mike Babcock,
if you didn’t know this already. 1) He’s incredibly loyal; 2) He’s incredibly stubborn. So all those already screaming
Zach Hyman about playing
Auston Matthews, alongside my best advice: Save your voice and your venom ... Call me suspicious, but before
Joffrey Lupul I believe flunked his medical before Leafs camp, I’d like to speak to Lupul, who is nowhere to be found ... By my count, the Leafs have 16 NHL-calibre forwards in training camp — and that’s without including
Frederik the injured Gauthier and intriguing
Jeremy prospects such as Bracco Miro Aaltonen.
and Coaches love this because it makes for great competition. What it can also make for, though, is griping about opportunities. That’s the fine line for Leaf management. Keeping this many players and keeping them happy is a challenge ... First time I saw Matt Duchene
play, skating for the Brampton Battalion, I was mesmerized by his game and the joy he played with. You couldn’t take your eyes off him. All these years later, I wonder where that player and that joy went. Who is Matt Duchene, wanting out from Colorado Avalanche, anymore? Honest, I wish I knew who he is and what he is ... I think I went to high school with a girl named Calle Rosen
... This isn’t a second guess, it’s a first guess. If the Leafs were going to spend $6 million a year on a veteran player, I would rather spent the money
Andrei Markov on rather
Patrick Marleau. than I’d
Morgan much rather see Rielly
playing beside 38-year-old Markov, a first line defenceman his entire
Ron Hainsey career, than ... There were no 50-goal scorers in the NHL last season. I’m betting there
Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Brandon Bridge threw three TD passes on Friday against Hamilton.