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CFL labour situation still unclear with first pre-season game nearing

The dark cloud of labour negotiations continues to hang over training camps across the CFL.

The latest report comes from Gary Lawless of the Winnipeg Free Press and TSN Radio where he has been told that the players association could be going on strike on Tuesday (June 10). That's the date that's kind of been floated around for a while because of timing with Alberta labour laws and other factors.

Retirements mean open battle at middle linebacker

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are looking for a middle man.

Like many other positions on the field the linebacking corps has had a lot of turnover from last season. Middle linebackers Rey Williams and Mike McCullough have both retired and Ejiro Kuale was released and signed in Winnipeg. Outside linebacker Craig Butler has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Diamond Ferri has returned to Montreal.

Game action likely to settle running back battle

There's no battle in training camp better than at running back.

A lot has been made about star running back Kory Sheets no longer being with the team after signing with the Oakland Raiders of the NFL. But, Sheets isn't the only tail back out the door; both Jock Sanders (who signed in Calgary) and Chris Garrett (released) are gone as well, meaning every running back that saw the field in 2013 are gone.

Corey Chamblin looking for more attention to detail

On Tuesday morning the players picked up the intensity level.

Now, it's the coaching staff that's starting to show the players some tough love to try and take them to the next level.

As practice came to a close on Wednesday afternoon head coach Corey Chamblin gathered the entire team for a post-practice chat, something he does every day. This time however the message was a little different than it had been up to now.

Handful of Prairie players competing for Stanley Cup

Saskatchewan is well-represented in the Stanley Cup finals.

Michael Dorsett, older brother of Derek Dorsett of the New York Rangers, said his entire family is extremely proud to see Derek play in the finals against the Los Angeles Kings.  It’s also very exciting for the small town of Kindersley, where Derek grew up.

Rider rookies going all out to make it

Every year a new crop of rookies make their way to training camp looking to crack a CFL roster.

Some years those chances are better than others. Last year the odds were stacked against most of the rookies coming to Saskatoon to make the Saskatchewan Roughriders thanks to all the veteran talent they added to load up for a run at the Grey Cup in their own backyard.

Simon calls it a career

 
Superman is turning in his cape.
 
The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Geroy Simon officially announced his retirement on Wednesday after 15 seasons in the CFL. He said he's retiring on his own terms.
 
"I felt that I could still play, but for me I didn't want to try to chase the opportunity just to play one more year," he said.
 

Brendon LaBatte getting to practice in style and comfort

The most popular rider right now at training camp for the Saskatchewan Roughriders likely isn't a player or even a coach.

Quite literally it's something you ride, and it's not bicycles which most of the green and white are using to get around the University of Saskatchewan campus.

It's offensive lineman Brendon LaBatte's scooter.

"It's been sitting in the garage there, and I thought it would be way to convenient. So, I went and got a couple of batteries and put it in," he said.

Physicality picks up on day 3 of Riders camp

The sounds of physicality were echoing throughout Griffiths Stadium on Tuesday morning as it was time for the Riders to get physical.

In the end zone near the locker room and clubhouse part way through practice it was time for the offensive and defensive lines to get to know each other. The drill is called "inside run" and it's exactly as it sounds; the offence tries to run the ball up the gut and the defensive line tries to stop it.

"We call it inside fun," said offensive lineman Chris Best. "That's what we live on, we really enjoy that drill."

Blades enter new era with new coach, GM

The long search for a new bench boss and general manager for the Saskatoon Blades is over.

“We’ve heard from 100 people and at the end of the day we all thought there was one man for the job and we offered the job to one person who we thought had everything we were looking for in a new head coach and (general manager),” Blades’ president Steve Hogel said.

On Monday the owners introduced former NHL assistant coach Bob Woods as the WHL team’s new coach and general manager.

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