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Circle Your Calendars: CFL releases 2022 schedule – CFL.ca

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TORONTO — Following the successful completion of the 2021 season, which culminated in the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers were crowned back-to-back champions, the CFL has unveiled the 2022 regular season schedule.

Launched just in time for the holiday season, games to the upcoming campaign are the perfect stocking stuffer for CFL fans from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

“With marquee matchups, holiday traditions and plenty of divisional clashes, the 2022 season has something for everyone,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “It’s never too early to circle big dates on calendars and to start planning fun, family football trips.

“2021 was our comeback season and our fans welcomed back our great game with energy, excitement and enthusiasm. Our players and teams answered with action and entertainment, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to begin the journey to Saskatchewan for the 109th Grey Cup on Sunday, November 20!”

Information regarding 2022 season tickets is available here.

RETURN OF THE PRESEASON
Fans will get a sneak peek at the 2022 editions of their favourite teams. A full slate of nine preseason games will provide teams with authentic game action as players and coaches finalize preparations for the upcoming season.

OPENING WEEK INTRIGUE
The Montreal Alouettes will head west to McMahon Stadium to take on the Calgary Stampeders on June 16 as Thursday Night Football officially opens the upcoming season. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will begin their title defense on Friday Night Football with the Ottawa REDBLACKS in town. The reigning East Division champion Hamilton Tiger-Cats kickoff the 2022 campaign by visiting the Saskatchewan Roughriders, before the Edmonton Elks face off against the BC Lions to wrap up Week 1.

GREY CUP REMATCH
Week 3 will see the defending back-to-back Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers face the opponent they defeated in the 107th and 108th championships – the Tiger-Cats. Hamilton will enter IG Field in hopes of gaining a measure of revenge in, what is sure to be, a classic Friday Night Football affair.

CFL FOOTBALL ALL SUMMER LONG
The 2022 season will feature Saturday contests on 20 of 21 weeks, including a Saturday 7 p.m. evening kickoff on 17 occasions. Across 12 Thursday Night Football contests and 14 Friday Night Football matches throughout the summer months, fans will be able to see the league’s brightest stars and their favourite teams with greater consistency for more appointment viewing.

HOLIDAY SHOWDOWNS
The CFL will honour the country’s 155th birthday with a Canada Day matchup between the Elks and the Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field. The Labour Day Classics will return with a trio of all-too-familiar foes taking the field: Winnipeg will host Saskatchewan in a Sunday evening tilt, before the Toronto Argonauts make their way to Hamilton on Labour Day for a matinee matchup and the Elks visit the Stampeders to close out the holiday doubleheader. The following weekend will see a pair of rematches with the teams in the Banjo Bowl and the Battle of Alberta aiming to split the back-to-back sets. The Thanksgiving Classic will see the REDBLACKS and the Alouettes go head-to-head in a matchup to determine which side of the Ottawa River reigns supreme.

FOCUS ON PLAYER SAFETY
The 2022 campaign furthers the CFL’s commitment to player safety by continuing the league’s trend of providing more recovery time before games. In 2016, teams played with less than seven days of rest on 55 occasions; that figure has decreased in every season since and 2022 will see that number reduced to 38 – representing a 31 per cent decrease over the span of six seasons.

DIVISIONAL RIVALRIES DOWN THE STRETCH
Every game in the final two weeks of the season will feature heated divisional contests as teams jockey for positioning ahead of the 2022 Grey Cup playoffs. Throughout the season, there will be an increased emphasis on playing divisional opponents to reduce the burden of travel and to add urgency to key matchups. The defending champions will be the only team to travel to every CFL market as they chase a third consecutive title.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO SASKATCHEWAN
The Grey Cup Playoffs get underway with the Division Semi-Finals on the first weekend of November before the Division winners are crowned the following weekend. The 109th Grey Cup championship will be contested on Sunday, November 20 at Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan with kickoff slated for 6 p.m. ET.

The entirety of the CFL’s 2022 season will be broadcast exclusively in Canada by Bell Media on TSN and RDS. Games will be available in the U.S. on the ESPN network, and the rest of the world will be able to tune in via international streaming options. Details to be released soon.

The CFL – a proud part of Canada’s sporting and cultural fabric with millions of fans across the country – has been the nation’s home of elite-level, professional Canadian football since 1958. Teams have competed for the league’s ultimate prize, the iconic Grey Cup trophy, since 1909.

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TRAIKOS: The NHL apparently wants McDavid and the Oilers to miss the playoffs – Toronto Sun

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Edmonton’s playoff hopes took a serious hit on Thursday, with the 13th-place team losing 6-0 to Florida. It was the Oilers’ seventh straight loss — and their 13th loss in the past 15 games — and it put them six points back of San Jose for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

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The team needs Evander Kane more than ever, as well as an upgrade in net and possibly a new voice behind the bench.

Based on what lies ahead, it could also use a ventilator.

On Wednesday, the league released its revised schedule for all the games that had been postponed due to COVID-19. Mostly, the NHL’s schedule makers just crammed a bunch of games (95 in total) during the three-week window that was originally blocked off for the Olympic break.

Now, there is no break. And for the Oilers, who play their final 46 games over 98 days — roughly a game every other day for the next three months — there’s little chance to take even the slightest of breaths.

Seriously, what did Connor McDavid ever do to Gary Bettman to get him so angry? Edmonton’s path to the post-season is not just an uphill climb — it’s now also littered with potholes, as well as several back-to-backs and a couple of insane stretches where they will play three games in four nights.

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Even if they manage to survive this gauntlet and sneak into the playoffs, what’s the point if they won’t have anything left in the tank?

Of course, it’s not just Edmonton that will be challenged in the weeks ahead.

Every team got a bunch of games dumped on their lap next month. Winnipeg now has 10 games in 17 days, while Montreal will play eight games in 15 days.

All it means is that February, which typically represented the dog days of the calendar might now be the most pivotal month on the schedule.

Depth is going to be tested like never before. You better have a backup goalie, because you’re going to need him. And you better have a fourth line that plays more than six minutes a night.

For Edmonton, this could be just a little problematic.

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The Oilers don’t have a backup goalie. These days, they don’t even have a No. 1 that they trust. As for spreading the minutes around, Oilers’ defenceman Darnell Nurse is averaging the second-most ice time of any player in the NHL, while Leon Draisaitl and McDavid are logging more minutes than any other forward.

With the team chasing the pack — and playing from behind in most games — there’s little chance that their ice time will be decreased. If anything, it’s probably going to be going up, especially if Dave Tippett is still coaching.

After all, the Oilers can’t afford to have another losing month. They can barely afford to have another losing week.

With so many games scheduled in so few days, the playoff picture is coming into focus faster than ever. By the end of the month, we should have a clear indication of where teams stand heading into the March 21 trade deadline.

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That is, if any teams are left standing by then.

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*****

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Record: 24-10-3, 51 points (3rd in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: From Jan. 31 to Feb. 27, Toronto plays 12 games in 29 days. But that is still less than the 14 games they played in the month of November.

What it means: The Leafs got off real easy. They now have two back-to-backs scheduled, but one is a home-and-home against Devils — meaning both teams will be at a disadvantage — and the other features the 10th-place Blue Jackets and the last-place Canadiens If anything, this could be Toronto’s chance to put points in the bank.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Record: 11-20-2, 24 points (9th in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 15

The result: The Senators’ schedule looks completely different. They now have 10 new games in February — including two that were originally scheduled for April and got moved up. Too bad fans won’t be allowed in the building for most of those games.

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What it means: Though Ottawa is probably not going to make the playoffs, there had been talk that the Senators would be playing games in May. That didn’t happen. But there are 16 games in April, at a time when the 31st overall team could be playing meaningless hockey.

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Record: 8-25-6, 22 points (10th in Atlantic)

Games rescheduled: 12

The result: During a three-week span in February, Montreal will play eight games in 15 days. All but one of those games is at home, which might not be a good thing based on how the team has been playing.

What it means: Not a whole lot. It’s a pity the NHL even bothered to reschedule Montreal’s games. All it does is delay the inevitable.

CALGARY FLAMES

Record: 18-11-6, 42 points (5th in Pacific)

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Games rescheduled: 10

The result: The revised schedule includes three back-to-backs in February and increases the number of games they’ll play in the month from four to 11. But Calgary also gets seven straight games at home.

What it means: Compared to the teams they’re jockeying with for playoff positions, the Flames got off relatively easy. Their toughest stretch is a back-to-back against Vegas and Toronto. But they are book-ended with games against Arizona and the New York Islanders, which should allow Calgary to breathe while others might be running out of breath.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Record: 18-18-3, 39 points (6th in Pacific)

Games rescheduled: 7

The result: Vancouver will play six of the seven rescheduled games during what was supposed to be the Olympic break (Feb. 7 to 22). All but one of those games are at home. Consider it payback for what the league put the Canucks through a year ago.

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What it means: If you were hoping the Canucks had a shot at grabbing a wild card spot, you’re probably feeling optimistic right now. Sure, they still have to win those games. But considering that the team is 10-3-1 since Bruce Boudreau stepped behind the bench, would it surprise anyone if Vancouver ends up with the most points out of the Canadian teams out West?

EDMONTON OILERS

Record: 18-16-2, 38 points (7th in Pacific)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: Someone in the league office does not appear to be an Oilers fan. How else do you explain that Edmonton now comes out of the All-Star Game (in which Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are both attending) and immediately plays eight games in 13 days? Or that the team twice plays three games in four nights?

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What it means: Kiss those playoffs goodbye! Seriously, this schedule is going to reveal what the Oilers are made of. This has already been a difficult season for McDavid and Draisaitl, who are feeling the pressure like never before. Now, they have to chase a playoff spot while running on fumes, with the team staring down a five-game road swing at the end of February against Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, Philadelphia and Chicago.

WINNIPEG JETS

Record: 17-13-6, 40 points (5th in Central)

Games rescheduled: 9

The result: From Feb. 11 to Feb. 21, Winnipeg plays seven games in 11 days.

What it means: After playing six times in the past four weeks, the Jets are going to be busy in February. There are now 12 games scheduled, with 11 of them coming in the final three weeks of the month. The team will pretty much be playing every other night — or every night, considering there are three back-to-backs also scheduled. And because six of those games are against divisional rivals, this should be a make-or-break month for Winnipeg.

mtraikos@postmedia.com

twitter.com/Michael_Trakos

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Bombers sign All-Star OT Bryant – TSN

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The two-time defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers re-signed another cornerstone player on Friday, inking All-Star offensive tackle Stanley Bryant to a one-year contract. 

The 35-year-old was selected as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman for a third time in his career this season in addition to being named to his sixth All-Star team.

The Bombers also signed All-Star linebacker Adam Bighill as well as starting quarterback and Most Outstanding Player Zach Collaros to extensions this week. 

Bryant had played in 103 consecutive games for the Bombers since arriving in Winnipeg in 2015 before that streak came to an end in November. 

The East Carolina product also won a Grey Cup with the Calgary Stampeders in 2014. 

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Soccer-Brazil to stop unvaccinated footballers playing in top leagues

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The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Friday players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to take part in this year’s league championship,

The CBF said it was in constant contact with health bodies and had sent an updated list of requirements to member clubs.

“One of these is the obligation to present a full vaccination certificate against COVID-19 to the CBF’s Medical Commission,” it said in a statement.

The top four national divisions kick off in the second week of April.

Brazil coach Tite has said he was not selecting Atletico Madrid defender Renan Lodi for his squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers because he was not fully vaccinated.

The issue of athletes’ stance on vaccines has dominated sports headlines recently after tennis player Novak Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, was deported ahead of the Australian Open.

 

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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