City hosts junior football
Hamilton, Windsor to play CJFL game Saturday at Bisons North Park complex
he signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. “He came directly from us.” Players, such as Coates, make the league strong, said Samuel.
“The level of play is fantastic,” he said. “A lot of these guys have been in university football programs. For whatever reason, they’re not there anymore. “There’s a lot of great players.” The Hurricanes include five players who played for the Bisons minor teams - Matt Verbrugge, Austin Wagenaar, Ty Kelly, Carter Walsh and David Adeniran.
Adeniran is a 21-year-old North Park Collegiate graduate who recently completed his studies at Niagara College, where he earned an associate degree in sports management.
In his two years with the Hurricanes, Adeniran has been out because some of the younger players coming up are going to be a little cheaper. The (salary) cap hasn’t gone up a lot the last few years and it just seems as it inches along with the salaries of the topend guys going up, guys who seem to be paying the price are the middle guys.”
While most players on tryouts are trying to extend their career, 37-year-old Ryan Malone is using one to attempt a comeback.
Malone last suited up in the NHL in 2014-15 with the Rangers, but is attending Minnesota training camp. impressed with the league.
“I like the level of competition,” said Adeniran, a five-footseven, 175-pound tailback, who is among the OFC’s leaders in rushing. “Some CFL teams recruit out of our league so there has to be a good level of competition for that to happen.”
Saturday’s game is taking place in Brantford because Hamilton, which normally plays out of Tim Hortons Field, didn’t have a place to play. And Samuel has a history with Kelly Ireland, Bisons vicepresident of football operations.
Ireland said he hopes the game will give local players something else to shoot for.
“A lot of kids think that if they’re not going to university, they can’t play football anymore,” Ireland said. “This will give them some more ideas. They can see how good the football is and how good the Hurricanes program is.
“They can understand there is another opportunity.”
Saturday’s game showcases a “big rivalry,” said Adeniran.
“I’m looking forward to the game. Hopefully, we can get a big crowd out, not just to support the Brantford players but the whole team in general.”
Windsor is 4-1 and Hamilton is 3-1.
“My whole focus is to bring my best,” said Adeniran.
As for bringing a junior football team to Brantford, Ireland said the idea has crossed his mind.
“I haven’t looked at the cost of it but obviously we have a facility now we could play it in,” he said. “It would take you a couple of years to get up and running and to be able to recruit.
“There always could be a possibility but at this time there’s nothing definite.”
Admission to Saturday’s game is $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors.
Current Bisons players wearing their jerseys will be admitted free.
Meantime, several high profile free agents, including Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr, Brian Gionta, Jiri Hudler and Dennis Wideman, aren’t going to camp on tryouts.
Defenceman James Wisniewski, who spent 2016-17 with Chicago of the American Hockey League, is hoping to generate some buzz on social media.
“Still looking for a job or an opportunity, anyone want a former 50 PT right handed d man lol #nhl #olympics,” he tweeted on Sept. 5, before following up two days later with: “Might have something last chance people.”
Former Brantford Bisons minor football player David Adeniran now plays for the Canadian Junior Football League's Hamilton Hurricanes. Adeniran and four former Bisons will be back in Brantford on Saturday as the Hurricanes host the Windsor AKO Fratmen in a 4 p.m. regular-season game at Bisons Alumni North Park Sports Complex.
Brooks Laich, then of the Toronto Maple Leafs, during a pre-game skate at SaskTel Centre before facing the Ottawa Senators, on Oct. 4, 2016. After spending last season buried in the minors in Toronto, Laich is one of many veterans looking for another shot at the NHL.