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Report: Maple Leafs to ease up on dress code restrictions for game days –



The Toronto Maple Leafs are apparently planning to loosen up on dress code restrictions for players on game day.

Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to and from the arena, as outlined in the CBA, however, teams can ease up on the mandate if they choose.

The Arizona Coyotes were the only team that opted to do so entering the season, but the Maple Leafs now plan to follow suit, according to Lance Hornby of The Toronto Sun.

The decision comes just a few days after ESPN published an article on Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews, who has shown a flair for unique fashion while away from the arena, discussing his displeasure with the NHL’s strict dress code.

“I don’t mind wearing a suit, but it gets old pretty quick,” Matthews said. “I think it’d be fun to wear different things and be able to express yourself, similar to what the NBA does or even the NFL a little bit.”

The 24-year-old Matthews, who led the NHL with 41 goals in 52 games last season, missed the first three games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery and is expected to make his 2021-22 debut Monday night against the New York Rangers on Sportsnet.

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Blue Bombers advance to Grey Cup after wild 21-17 West Final win over Roughriders –



The Winnipeg Blue Bombers will have the chance to run it back.

The Canadian Football League’s top regular-season team will play for the Grey Cup after defeating their bitter rival, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, 21-17 in the bitter cold at Winnipeg’s IG Field during the CFL’s West Final on Sunday afternoon.

It was a game that had all the makings of December football in Canada – including a wind-chill of minus 18 before kickoff.

The Bombers looked set to open the scoring on the game’s first drive, but wide-open receiver Nik Demski bobbled the catch, the ball landing in the hands of Saskatchewan defensive back Ed Gainey.

The bad luck struck again just moments later.

After a Riders two-and-out, Winnipeg receiver Drew Wolitarsky fumbled the football just inches from the goal-line, which Saskatchewan returned into Bomber territory.

Two plays later, Saskatchewan running back William Powell opened the scoring on an inside run.

Receiver Rasheed Bailey capped a 71-yard drive by the Bombers with a touchdown to tie the game – and the first quarter ended tied at 7.

Winnipeg would turn the ball over three times in the second quarter, but the Riders could only turn that into a single field goal, leading 10-7 at halftime despite the 5-0 turnover margin.

Saskatchewan started the second half with the football and the lead, but their opening drive was halted by a fumble from quarterback Cody Fajardo that the Blue Bombers recovered – their first turnover of the game.

Riders kicker Brett Lauther missed a 36-yard field goal for Saskatchewan, and returner Janarion Grant brought it out to the Winnipeg 40-yard-line – kickstarting a Bombers touchdown drive highlighted by a magical Kenny Lawler catch and running back Andrew Harris’ first major since Oct. 8.

Saskatchewan needed just two plays to respond with their own score, a 67-yard touchdown by receiver Duke Williams.

Winnipeg didn’t pull any punches on their next possession, a 72-yard touchdown drive finished off by CFL rushing touchdown leader, backup quarterback Sean McGuire.

Read more:

Hamilton Tiger-Cats advance to Grey Cup after beating Argonauts in Toronto

Fajardo led the Roughriders on an extended drive that included a controversial catch on third down by Williams, where Bomber fans thought the ball hit the ground.

But on the Riders’ third third-down on the drive, defensive back Nick Taylor stepped in front of the pass from Fajardo to force a turnover on downs.

Demski ran a sweep for one more Bombers first down to seal the win.

“We go in at half, we’re only down by three after giving the ball away that many times,” Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea said on 680 CJOB after the game. “I thought the temperature in the locker room was pretty good. I thought we were going to be on the right side of the score (at the end of the game).”

Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros, the West Division’s most outstanding player nominee, finished with 17 completions on 21 attempts, totaling 229 yards, three interceptions and one touchdown.

“Definitely had some plays that we left out there and I thought we were a much better football team than them,” Collaros said on the post-game show. “Happy to escape there with a victory. Should have been worse.”

On the other side, Fajardo finished 19 of 27 for 265 yards and one touchdown.

Andrew Harris, who returned from a knee injury that sidelined him for the final four games of the regular season, led the game in rushing with 136 yards on the ground, while also hauling in one pass for nine yards.

“Something about the playoffs just gets me going, puts a little spark, a little extra energy, a little more enthusiasm, a little more focus, and I felt that all the way through today,” Harris said.

“We gave the ball away too many times in the first half, it was a little frustrating. But our defence flexed on them in the second half and we were able to finally punch it in there in the third. I thought our defence kept us in it and offensively we’ve gotta be a lot better than that next week for sure.”

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‘It’s just time’: Legendary Winnipeg Blue Bombers broadcaster Bob Irving ready for last call

Williams was the games leading receiver with four catches for 108 yards – nearly half of them (52) after the catch.

Winnipeg is back in the Grey Cup game for the second straight year, sealing a rematch of the 2019 championship game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Sunday, December 12th from Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.

Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

Bob’s final call

It was only fitting that the Bombers sent legendary radio play-by-play man, Bob Irving, off with a win.

After a five-decade broadcast career, including 48 years at 680 CJOB, Irving’s iconic run came to an end when the fireworks sounded at IG Field on Sunday night.

Irving became the 13th member of the Bombers’ Ring of Honour before the game.

“I’ve loved every minute of what I’ve done … particularly covering the football and particularly being the voice of the Blue Bombers,” Irving said after announcing his retirement earlier this season.

Winnipeg loves you too, Bob. There will never be another like you.

Click to play video: 'Legendary broadcaster Bob Irving prepares for last call'

Legendary broadcaster Bob Irving prepares for last call

Legendary broadcaster Bob Irving prepares for last call

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Blue Bombers, Tiger-Cats to vie for 108th Grey Cup –



TORONTO – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the hometown Hamilton Tiger-Cats are set to compete in the 108th Grey Cup in a rematch of the 2019 championship. The host team has not made the Grey Cup since 2013. This marks the tenth time in the history of Canadian Football that the modern-day incarnations of the two clubs have played for the iconic trophy after having met in 1953, 1957-59, 1961-62, 1965, 1984 and 2019.

108th GREY CUP
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Sunday Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. ET

• The Winnipeg Blue Bombers own an 11-14 (.440) record in the Grey Cup. Their most recent appearance in the championship game came in 2019 at the 107th Grey Cup, where they defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33-12. With this Grey Cup appearance, Winnipeg will surpass Edmonton for the most all-time.
• The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are 8-13 (.381) in the Grey Cup. They last won the Grey Cup in 1999 by a score of 32-21 over Calgary.
• This is the first Grey Cup rematch since Montreal and Saskatchewan played in 2009 and 2010, with the Alouettes claiming both victories. The last time that two teams met back-to-back and split the contests was 2002-2003 with Montreal and Edmonton.
• Hamilton owns the longest championship drought with their last Grey Cup win coming in 1999.
• Since 1980, this will be the third time that the same two coaches have met in consecutive Grey Cup games.
• Teams from Hamilton and Winnipeg have met in the championship game 11 times, including their past incarnations as the Tigers and ‘Pegs in 1935, and as military service teams in 1943. They have met nine times as their modern-day incarnations.
– 1935 (Winnipeg won 18-12)
– 1943 (Hamilton won 23-14)
– 1953 (Hamilton won 12-6)
– 1957 (Hamilton won 32-7)
– 1958 (Winnipeg won 35-28)
– 1959 (Winnipeg won 21-7)
– 1961 (Winnipeg won 21-14)
– 1962 (Winnipeg won 28-27)
– 1965 (Hamilton won 22-16)
– 1984 (Winnipeg won 47-17)
– 2019 (Winnipeg won 33-12)

• Winnipeg and Hamilton met once this season, when they kicked off the 2021 campaign:
– Week 1: HAM 6 – WPG 19 in Winnipeg

• Orlondo Steinauer and Mike O’Shea will each be making their second appearances in the Grey Cup as head coaches. Steinauer played in three Grey Cups, winning twice (1999 and 2004). He also won the Grey Cup as the defensive backs coach of the Toronto Argonauts in 2012. O’Shea played in and won three Grey Cups with Toronto, and he also won one as a Special Teams Coordinator in 2012.

• This will be the third time that Hamilton has hosted the Grey Cup since 1950 when the Tiger-Cats were formed.
–  In 1972, Hamilton defeated Saskatchewan 13-10
– In 1996, Toronto defeated Edmonton 43-37.

• This will be the first Grey Cup at Tim Hortons Field.

• December 12 will be the latest date that the Grey Cup has been played since 1937, when it was contested on December 11 in Toronto.

The 108th Grey Cup from Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field, featuring Arkells and special guests, The Lumineers, in the Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show, will be played on Sunday, December 12 at 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS – Canada’s home of the CFL. A limited number of tickets are still available at

The 2021 edition of Grey Cup Week will feature a number of free fan events, including the CFL Awards, the Grey Cup Arrival delivered by Canada Drives and the Commissioner’s Fan State of the League address, as well as, fan favourite celebrations, such as the Spirit of Edmonton events, the CFL Alumni Association Legends Luncheon, and much more. Additional details and registration information can be found at

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Canucks hire Bruce Boudreau as head coach to replace Travis Green –



The Vancouver Canucks have fired head coach Travis Green and hired Bruce Boudreau to replace him, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports.

The move came Sunday, after the Canucks lost for the 10th time in 13 games, falling 4-1 to the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre says the deal for Boudreau is for this season and next which is what was left on Green’s contract.

MacIntyre also reports that more changes could be coming soon for Vancouver.

It was a particularly ugly night with fans chanting “Fire Benning” – making their feelings known about general manager Jim Benning in the third period. Later, one fan tossed a jersey on the ice as a modest two-game win streak – against two of the weaker teams in the league in Montreal and Ottawa – came to an end.

The Canucks are 8-15-2 on the season, last in the Pacific Division.

Boudreau, 66, has coached the Washington Capitals, Anaheim Ducks and, most recently, the Minnesota Wild. In 984 games coached, he has 567 wins, 302 losses and 115 overtime losses. In 2007–08, while with the Capitals, Boudreau won the Jack Adams Award as top coach, but his inability to take an Alex Ovechkin-led team deep into the playoffs, combined with an early-season slump, led to his dismissal on Nov. 28, 2011.

He wasn’t out of work for long: Two days later, the Ducks hired him to take over from another former Maple Leaf, Randy Carlyle (Green is also a former Maple Leaf), setting an NHL record for quickest to be rehired after being fired. Boudreau coached the Ducks to four consecutive division titles but not much success in the playoffs, resulting in his firing on April 29, 2016.

It took a bit longer for Boudreau to get his next job. Less than two weeks later, on May 7, 2016, he was hired by the Wild, but had middling success over four seasons. After being fired by the Wild on Feb. 14, 2020, he spent part of this season as an analyst with the NHL Network – which is appropriate for a guy whose nickname is “Gabby.”

Over 14 total seasons behind the bench, Boudreau has never had a losing season. He has, however, never coached a team to the Stanley Cup Final, getting to the conference finals once.

Boudreau was born in Toronto and played for both his hometown Marlies as well as the Maple Leafs. His playing career was spent primarily in the minors, however, over 779 games between 1972 and 1992 in the AHL, CHL and IHL. In 141 NHL games, all but seven with the Leafs (he also played for the Blackhawks), he had 28 goals and 42 assists for 70 points.

The 50-year-old Green, a native of Castlegar, B.C., became the second head coach fired in the NHL this season after Chicago’s Jeremy Colliton (Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville resigned in amid the Blackhawks’ sexual abuse scandal).

Hired to replace Willie Desjardins after the 2017 season, Green missed the playoffs in three of four full seasons with the Canucks.

The lone playoff appearance came in 2019-20 when the Canucks made the deepest run of Canadian team, falling in Game 7 of the second round against Vegas.

But the Canucks followed that up by finishing last in the all-Canadian division last year following a COVID-19 outbreak that created a hectic late schedule.

Green signed a two-year extension with the Canucks in May.

Green was hired by the Canucks after he coached the team’s AHL affiliate in Utica for four years, highlighted by a run to the Calder Cup final in 2015.

Previously, Green guided the Portland Winterhawks to the Memorial Cup final in 2013.

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