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Bulldogs Brantford Bound

According to various sources familiar with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the team will be moving to Brantford for the 2023-24 season. The move is subject to approval from the city council, which is expected to approve the proposal during their special council meeting on Tuesday, February 7.

The report comes after over two months of searching for a temporary home following a leaked story about the miscommunication between First Ontario Centre owner HUPEG and the team last November. The arena owners told the tenants Bulldogs, Toronto Rock and Honey Badgers to relocate for two years as the arena undergoes major renovations.

As for Brantford, the Telephone City will be hosting the Ontario Hockey League for first time since 1984, when the Brantford Alexanders competed from 1979 to 1984 at the soon-to-be Bulldogs home arena – the 3,000-seat Brantford Civic Centre.

In order to prepare for the Bulldogs transition to the new city, Brantford is committing over $3 Million from the casino fund with the Bulldogs footing the remaining balance of the proposed $7+Million dollar upgrade to the 57-year-old arena.

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My Time As An Intern

Today, December 17, marks my last day as the Communications Intern for the Mississauga Steelheads Hockey Club. After four months, I’m covering my last game with the team.

When I first started with the Steelheads back in middle of September, I was determined to make an impact and enhance my writing craft. During the internship, I adjusted my writing ability to better suit for the story making needed to unravel for the season. Furthermore, doing Stats Guide for home games were a great challenge every time, but with the necessary adjustments advised by the great team of Michael Hastings and Sam Fleming, I made great strides as the internship whined down.

I can’t be appreciative for what Hastings, Fleming, and the Steelheads organization have done to me and my pursuit of a sportswriter career. At the age of 33, I felt like a 25-year-old doing the things I wouldn’t had envisioned doing. I will forever be indebted to them.

To the internship team of Brielle, Cosmo, Michele, Ryan and Maurice, it was a pleasure working with all of you during the home games. May I wish you the best in your future.

Meeting the likes of Matt Cullen, Victor Findlay, Tony Ambrogio, and Lukas Weese was a honour. Working in the same press box as these top-notch pros is something that couldn’t be taken for granted.

The Steelheads are a great team this season. The on-ice product is among the elite in the Ontario Hockey League, let alone one of the top goaltending duos in the country. To counted the notable first OHL points of Owen Beck, Luke Misa, Zander Veccia, first OHL shutouts of Joe Ranger and Roman Basran, Evan Brand’s 200th game, and Ethan Del Mastro’s first goal.

Whatever happens in the coming months remains to be seen, but it has been a blessing and a honour to work with an incredible organization. If they need someone to write for the team in the playoffs, I’m available to do it.

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Hamilton Punches Playoff Ticket

The Hamilton Bulldogs have clinched their fourth consecutive trip to the playoffs following North Bay and Kingston defeats this afternoon.

This is indeed the most positive news for the team who are spiring downward in the last few weeks.

But the record following the Christmas break, in the last 28 games, the Bulldogs have only won ten games, but pick up points in 16 of them (10-12-6 record). For an Eastern conference that is relatively weak this year, that should be a mulligan.

The goaltending duo of Marco Constantini and Zachary Roy has struggled mightily allowing five or more goals in the last seven starts each. The Bulldogs D hasn’t stepped up in key games as well, looking doormat for the top ranked opponents to captivate their opportunities.

Hamilton has three-in-three next weekend beginning on Friday as they travel to Kingston to take on the Frontenacs. On Saturday and Sunday, the Dogs conclude their home portion of the regular season with games against Mississauga and Sudbury.

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My Personal Connection to Mental Health

Lot of you folks may know today is Bell Let’s Talk Day. It’s the single most influential and informative day of promoting conversation for mental health in Canada.

For ten years, I have overseen articles, notes, and pictures of people telling their stories about their mental health situation. It is remarkable to see such courage and strength to tell their story. For one, I admire those people.

But I want to personally disclose my personal battle with mental health. On May 2019, after decade-plus of contemplation, I morally decided to seek help. One day at my doctor’s office, I asked my doctor about doing a specialized test for depression and anxiety.

After the results, I was diagnosed with mild depression and anxiety.

Mild depression shares the same symptoms as severe depression, but in a lesser form. My depression is based on the psychological abuse and bullying throughout the last 20-plus years of my life.

The anxiety is based on many years related to the mentioned details. As a result, I at times lose confidence with some people, especially in event of confrontation.

For the last several months, I have enclosed my personal issues with a counsellor at my doctor’s office after the diagnosis.

I just want you all to know that I’m okay, and I’m only asking for goodwill and peace towards each other. Also have the courage to invite me to participate in any discussion about my state of mind, and I’ll gladly discuss.

I have many good friends and family for support in which I’m thankful everyday.

Let’s talk, and together we can end the stigma, and respect one another.

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BREAKING NEWS — HENRY BURRIS TO RETIRE

Henry Burris, one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the CFL, will announce his retirement tomorrow (Tuesday) after 20 CFL seasons. 

For more, here’s the link from the CFL. 
HENRY BURRIS TO RETIRE

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Reason for sabbatical from writing

Hello folks….

In case of those who have missed my writing since my start writing for the Hamilton Bulldogs at OTSN mid-September, the blog site there has been shut down and the head of the group has been ongoing. 

Since my last write up for them late October, I have been noticeably absent due to other work commitments and health issues. 

I’ll be able to write, for the time being, on this very site until the new site is open, or otherwise. It has been too long since I last wrote, and I can’t go any longer. For those who want me to do the podcast, I can’t do it for the forthcoming future. 

The next blog piece will be the Bulldogs mid-season review. 

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2016 Tiger-Cats Season Uncategorized

Thoughts on Stefan Ptaszek to Ticats and CFL Draft Ticats Preview

Last week, the Hamilton football community was jaw dropped when the news broke out that Stefan Ptaszek, the man who established the McMaster Marauders football team as a national collegiate powerhouse, was hired as the Offensive Coordinator for the Tiger-Cats.

In regards to the hiring, I like the move. He has the Canadian football knowledge and the prescence as a respected head coach who can quickly adapt to the pro level, with proper due diligence regarding the transition. His track record in the CIS shouldn’t go unnoticed, as well as the offensive production the team delivered as being one of the top teams in the CIS.

Only time will tell if he can produce results in the pro level. Hope for the best.

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The CFL draft commences tonight. The Ticats clearly need a complimentary player in the position of offensive line, receiver, and in the secondary.

My suggestion is, barring trade, take Offensive Lineman Dillion Guy from Buffalo or fellow OL Charles Villiancourt from Laval in the first round at #5. Then, the team selects a receiver as a successor to Andy Fantuz. If they couldn’t go with a receiver as their next pick, they can go for a defensive back.

The team needs to keep drafting, then producing quality talent that will take them to the Grey Cup once again.

 

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Message to Hamilton Bulldogs AHL

i would like to say it was a pleasure attending several games during the 19 years of AHL hockey in the steel city. I remembered December 27, 1998 when I attended my first pro hockey game against the St. John’s Maple Leafs. The environment was a major exposure and played a big factor for me to watch hockey. I still think the late great Bill Sturrup is the best Public Announcer/Play-By-Play in sports history. 

Even though it was an AHL team, not a NHL team, Hamilton clearly deserved better fanfare and proper respect the organization deserves. The fanbase shouldn’t critique the team based on its affiliation and colours, it should’ve been supported as our own pro team. Mad props to the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens organizations that sent players to this franchise and came out of Hamilton as better pros. 

I hope many of the fans go through the turnstiles this Saturday for the final game (pending playoffs) of the history of the AHL club before becoming the OHL incarnation. 

However, this city has become an epitome of disgrace of a pro hockey city. 

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Hamilton Tiger-Cats Free Agency 2015

Here is my five recommendations I would personally like to see Kent Austin do come free agency in which commences tomorrow afternoon at noon eastern time….

1) Receiver position. With guys like Ellingson and Giguere likely be heading for new destination, my recommendation would be Nic Lewis and Brad Sinapoli. Lewis will be an immediate upgrade and insurance policy with Fantuz and Tasker, but his age and injury-plagued status in the past recent years would make this acquisition a huge risk, but a bargain one year deal wouldn’t mind. Regarding Sinapoli, he would be a situational guy with only there as a national ratio player.

2) Secondary Position. With Delvin Breaux taking his deserved praise and talents to New Orleans, the secondary position has a hole to fill. Enter Johnny Sears. He’s a versatile defensive back, like Rico Murray. His natural position is half back. If Stewart becomes the new corner, Sears will be a nice fit at Stewart’s previous position, even though Stewart’s natural position is cornerback.

3) Sign Justin Hickman. He loves Hamilton, the fans, and he’s committed to get back to Canadian football style of a form he was prior to departure to the NFL a few years back. If he comes back to steeltown, imagine the repercussions the opponents offensive lineman will endure (Hickman, Laurent, Bulcke, and Norwood)

4) Sign Nic Grigsby short term. Grigsby will be a major contributor to the Offense of the Tiger-Cats, and be a feature second down back with sharing duties with Gable. If Buffalo can be good with Jackson and Spiller, why can’t Hamilton do the same?

5) Sign Brett Jones. Despite continued reports of Jones heading to the NFL, signing Jones will be a huge asset if his NFL future is in doubt. He’s a proven centre with a great track record and establishing a potent offensive line.

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Regular Season Game 14 — Hamilton vs. Ottawa Game Preview

This Friday will mark the continuation of the important leg of the season for the Ticats as they host Ottawa Redblacks at Tim Hortons Field. A win by the Ticats reassured control of first place ahead of Toronto and Montreal, with three games remaining.

Here are the three keys to victory…

1) Motivation from last week into advantage
2) Cut Down Penalties
3) Ruthless Aggression on all phases (offence, defense, special teams on full assault for sixty minutes)

Be sure to read the game review post starting this Saturday.

Update — Here is the latest episode of Tigers Den Podcast https://twitter.com/tigersdenpod/status/522951301442056192