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2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2021 Season Preview

For the first time since the 2019 Grey Cup, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats return to action as the Canadian Football League resumes action after a long, COVID-19 layoff.

Since the resounding defeat in the hands of Winnipeg, the team, like the league itself, has seen a profound turnaround of talents via retirement, or in between clubs. With the Grey Cup scheduled for mid-December, the Tiger-Cats inherit expectations of winning the championship at their home turf.

Hamilton will take to the field on Thursday at Winnipeg with the returning QB Jeremiah Masoli leading the team. It will make the first time in over two years the incumbent played in a game. Surrounding Masoli will be a potentially-potent offence anchored by the reigning league MOP Brandon Banks, Braylon Addison, DeVier Posey and Jaylen Acklin.

The offensive line will feature a mix of returnees and youth with Brandon Ravenberg and Chris Van Zeyl leading the core, while Darius Ciraco takes over retiree Mike Filer under centre.

Like the offence, the defence will feature familiar faces from the 2019 team. The front seven is set to feature the returns of Ted Laurent, Dylan Wynn, JaGared Davis and Julian Howsare in the line,.

Simoni Lawrence anchors the linebacker group that’ll feature free agent signee Jovan Santos Knox (formerly of WPG) in the middle, and former NFL player Kameron Kelly at the SAM spot (right side position linebacker).

The secondary should still be formidable with Mike Daly, Frankie Williams (2019 Special Teams MOP), Jumar Rolle, Trune Adaleke and free agent acquisition Ciante Evans. The depth could be contested following the retirements of Rico Murray, Delvin Breaux, and Courtney Stephen.

Perhaps the newest core of talent in the team will be in the special teams. Doing the kicking duties will be the former NFL kicker Taylor Bertolet and global selectee Joel Whitford doing the punting. 2019 CFL draftee Gordon Whyte replaces longtime veteran Aaron Crawford as the long snapper.

With the mixture of youth and experience, the 2021 Hamilton Tiger-Cats hope to renew their dominance of the Eastern Division and eventually the overdue cultivation of winning the most lucrative prize in Canadian football.

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Rock City Rock Lacrosse

Hutchcraft, Slade Re-Signs with Rock

The Toronto Rock announced team re-sign the contracts of Goaltender Riley Hutchcraft and Defenseman Brandon Slade to one-year contracts.

The third round selection from the 2017 NLL Draft pick, Hutchcraft appeared in limited action in the 2019-2020 season, appearing in only one game.

Slade appeared in five contests during the 2019-20 season, registering one goal and three assists. The Orangeville, ON native was acquired by Toronto via free agency in 2017.

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Rock City Rock Lacrosse

Rock Retains Eleven Ahead of NLL Expansion Draft

On the day of the current NLL clubs sending a list of protected players ahead of the Panther City Expansion Draft, Toronto Rock has retained 12 players.

The players obtained in the protective list by the club were as follows…

Goaltender Nick Rose

Defence Challen Rogers, Mitch De Snoo, Latrell Harris, Brad Kri, Adam Jay, Josh Jubenville, and Jason Noble

Forwards Rob Hellyer, Tom Schreiber, Zach Manns and Dan Craig

In total, Toronto keeps four Fowards, seven Defence, and one goaltender.

The draft will take place June 29th. Panther City will be playing its inaugural season in the fall at Fort Worth, Texas.

After the draft, the next major date on the league schedule is August 1 as the league’s Free Agency opens.

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Rock City

Toronto Rock to Hamilton

An iconic, big-name Canadian lacrosse franchise heads back to where it all began.

Last week, the Toronto Rock announced the team is moving to Hamilton. The six-time National Lacrosse League champions will be playing in the First Ontario Centre, effective 2021-22 season.

The news broke Tuesday night via Twitter during the team’s town hall session, and officially announced to the public by team owner Jamie Dawick the following day.

If you are a fair-weathered, casual sports fan, this announcement may not strike as significant as to those who long supported the franchise. The reaction to the move was mixed, but when Dawick mentioned the team will remain Toronto Rock, the social media buzz was mostly negative.

Let’s put it out this way, if you are a Hamiltonian who is familiar with sports, Toronto is the Zod to Hamilton’s Superman. After all, Toronto is the metropolis of Canada, while Hamilton is the underdog city with the national perception equivalent of Rodney Dangerfield. As much as Dawick is invested in promoting the brand in the region, the team name citing as Toronto Rock isn’t a long term stability initiative.

A name change from Toronto Rock to The Rock or Rock City would be ideal if Dawick and the team public relations department wants this brand to survive with efficient support from the Hamilton area. This is not the kind of city or part of the region Dawick wants to alienate.

Just like I gave OHL Hamilton Bulldogs owner Michael Andlauer a chance to integrate the fanbase into the OHL over pro hockey (which turned out well), I’ll give Dawick at least two years to materialize the product. After all, this is the franchise with a loaded roster ready to compete for the 7th league championship next season.

Rock-Hamilton Announcement