Ti­cats trade Ple­sius for for­mer McMaster star Shor­till

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW ED­WARDS ded­wards@thes­pec.com 905-526-2481 | @scratch­ing­post

The Hamil­ton Tiger-Cats have traded Frédéric Ple­sius to the Mon­treal Alou­ettes in ex­change for Nick Shor­till, in a swap of Cana­dian lineback­ers.

The 29-year-old Ple­sius was se­lected in the se­cond round (10th over­all) of the 2012 Cana­dian Foot­ball League draft and played 66 games with Hamil­ton over four sea­sons, reg­is­ter­ing 58 spe­cial teams tack­les, 25 de­fen­sive tack­les, one sack and one in­ter­cep­tion.

He fin­ished se­cond in the CFL with 23 spe­cial-teams tack­les last sea­son.

In Shor­till, the Ti­cats get a younger, less ex­pen­sive ver­sion of Ple­sius.

Just 24, the for­mer McMaster Ma­rauder played in all 18 of Mon­treal’s games, last sea­son, post­ing five de­fen­sive tack­les and 17 spe­cial teams tack­les.

The six-foot-two, 223-pounder has played 35 ca­reer CFL games with the Alou­ettes since be­ing drafted by the team 13th over­all (se­cond round) in the 2015 CFL draft.

He has ac­cu­mu­lated 22 de­fen­sive tack­les and 29 spe­cial teams tack­les dur­ing his two-year CFL ca­reer.

The move makes sense for both teams. Ple­sius is a Que­bec na­tive who, de­spite re-sign­ing with the Ti­cats last sea­son af­ter ex­plor­ing free agency, is look­ing for an op­por­tu­nity to start on de­fence some­thing he wasn’t go­ing to get in Hamil­ton with all-star Si­moni Lawrence and se­cond-year man Larry Dean in front of him.

The Alou­ettes, ea­ger to re-en­er­gize their fan base, add a Fran­co­phone who played at Laval.

Shor­till is still on his rookie con­tract and will al­low the Ti­cats to see a salary cap sav­ings of ap­prox­i­mately $50,000. A na­tive of Noble­ton, north of Toronto, Shor­till is well-known as a for­mer McMaster star, who played in three Vanier Cups, win­ning one. Again, a lo­cal kid is eas­ier to mar­ket to the fan base.

Both play­ers will be free agents af­ter this sea­son, and are now more likely to re-sign with their ex­ist­ing clubs — no small con­sid­er­a­tion at a time when Cana­dian tal­ent is more valu­able than ever.

JOHN RENNISON, HAMIL­TON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO

Nick Shor­till, in his Mac days, mak­ing a tackle against Ot­tawa.

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