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Tiger-Cats had many reasons to get Mitchell deal done

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Bo Levi Mitchell is a Hamilton Tiger-Cat.

That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed the recent history of the Canadian Football League when it comes to teams trading for the rights to pending free-agent quarterbacks.

Mitchell is the fourth quarterback in the past decade to have his rights dealt before free agency, joining Mike Reilly, James Franklin, and Nick Arbuckle. All of them signed with the teams that acquired their rights.

In the case of Hamilton, there were loads of reasons to get it done.

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The Tiger-Cats suffered through a difficult 2022 season with Dane Evans as the starter. Tim Hortons Field will be the sight of the Grey Cup this November, and the Tiger-Cats carry the mantle of the CFL’s longest Grey Cup drought.

From the moment they made the trade with Calgary in November, there was just no way Hamilton was going to allow Mitchell to walk out the door.

The tone for the courtship was set during Grey Cup week in Regina when Ticats assistant GM Ed Hervey sat with Mitchell and explained the club’s rational for acquiring his rights, stressing that both sides needed time to get to know one another for a move of this magnitude to happen.

Hervey was following the script he used when he traded for Reilly’s rights from B.C. ahead of the 2013 season while he was general manager in Edmonton. Mitchell made a visit to Hamilton in December and time spent later that month with Ticats CEO Scott Mitchell in Hawaii.

In paying Mitchell just north of $500,000 per season on a three-year deal, the Tiger Cats aren’t getting a bargain, per se. But there is no doubt he would have fetched the same on the open market. So, by definition of market setting the price, the Tiger-Cats didn’t overpay. They also got clarity three weeks before the start of free agency.

The other way of looking at is it they just gave a $100,000 raise to a soon-to-be 33-year-old quarterback who lost his starting job last season to his sophomore backup.

But the market rules and right now the CFL starting quarterback market is stretched thin, after two of last year’s starters – Evans and Saskatchewan’s Cody Fajardo – may have played themselves out of starting roles. With Nathan Rourke gone to the NFL, there aren’t enough proven high-quality starters to go around.

Would Mitchell have fetched substantially more than $500,000 by going to the open market and listening to offers from Saskatchewan and perhaps even Toronto, given his Calgary past with Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie? Were BC and Edmonton completely out of the picture?

We’ll never know. But he wouldn’t have got less, which is what really matters from Hamilton’s perspective. And as they get set to wade into free agency, Mitchell becomes the Tiger-Cats’ best advertising as a place to be. He also qualifies as one of the few CFL players who should be able to help a team move its season-ticket needle.

Mitchell no doubt understands the situation in Hamilton, the recent and not-so-recent history, and how he fits into the picture on a team good enough to make a run in 2023.

He’s going to a stable organization with a coaching staff intact from the past few seasons. It’s also a chance to write a new chapter in his illustrious career.

That’s only possible if Mitchell can recapture the form that set him on pace to become one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in CFL history. His drop-off following the 2018 season has had a lot to do with injuries, playing through stretches during which he was never truly healthy, and it showed.

More than a few ascending football careers have been derailed by that sort of thing. But the Ticats are as aware of his history as anyone and have clearly made their bet that Mitchell can regain much of the form that once made him great.

It also raises the question of what happens to Evans, the player Hamilton anointed its franchise quarterback a year ago, when it opted to re-sign him instead of Jeremiah Masoli.

Evans carried the torch for the Tiger-Cats while Masoli was injured in 2019, leading them to a 15-3 season and a Grey Cup appearance in just his second season.

But he struggled early in 2022 amid the pressure of being the No. 1 guy. Although he appeared to regain some of his confidence down the stretch, it wasn’t enough to keep Hamilton from jumping the queue for Mitchell.

The Roughriders have the most obvious need for a starting quarterback. But if Evans had trouble handling the pressure in Hamilton, is he really right for the CFL’s fishbowl market at a time when all eyes will be on the offensive staff and personnel, given what transpired at the end of last season?

That’s a situation that will play itself out over the coming weeks.

For now, it’s happy times in The Hammer and a bit of a charge put into the 2023 season.

The last time the Calgary Stampeders gave up on a starting quarterback it was Henry Burris, who went on to throw for 40 touchdowns in a season for Hamilton and win a Grey Cup MVP with Ottawa.

The Tiger-Cats would happily take both of those results for Mitchell.

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Discover the Best Online Casino in Canada

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Are you the one who loves to play at a real online casino? Win big with the best online casino for Canadian players. Gambling games are created to give you great gameplay moments. If you are not yet familiar with the different types of casino slots and how to play them, it’s time to learn about the reels and the pay-line.

Types of Games at an Online Casino in Canada

There are many different types of online casino games in Canada:

  • slots;
  • poker;
  • roulette;
  • blackjack;

The most popular top casino online games are slots. So, we will describe them in more detail below.

Types of Online Slot Machines in Canada

We are interested in this last game because it has two beautiful variants, the three-reel, and five-reel slots.

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Three-Reel Slots

These are the classic slot machines, the ones that have flooded casinos and bars since their creation in 1898, by Charles August Fey. Today, you can find these slot machines directly on your connected devices.

Canadian three-reel online slot machines are distinguished by their quality graphics, atmospheric music, and payouts. These include Colossus Fruits and Jocker’s Corners, both of which are high-value slots.

Five-Reel Slots

The more reels, the better the gameplay. Five reels allow you to win via a variety of combinations, which we’ll discuss below.

Five reel online  games in Canada increase the odds of winning and multiply the amount of real money you will pocket.

Just go to an online slot machine in Canada, like Book Of Demi Gods III, and you’ll enjoy a clean player interface and a great atmosphere.

And with five-reel slots, big wins are certain. We’ll explain it to you now.

How to Play Online Casino Games in Canada?

You can play gambling games in Canada without downloading them at the best online Canadian casino. Games on a server allow you to play on all your devices. You spin the reels, you land on a good configuration, you win a bonus and you pocket the winnings directly into your account.

The other advantage of playing online is the availability from all regions of Canada. Accessing the site of a Canadian online casino allows gamblers to enjoy their favourite games from the comfort of their homes.

How Does the Payline Work?

Top online casino games allow you to win large amounts of money. The 243 different combinations of five-reel slots offer right-to-left, diagonal, and left-to-right combinations.

Plus, they are regulated by law. Online slot machines in Canada must:

  • be games of chance;
  • have a displayed minimum stake;
  • have a return rate of more than 93%.

You can choose the games at a casino online and play for real money for big wins! At King Billy, the best online casino in Canada, you can get up to $2,500 and 250 spins for the first four deposits. Play casino online games and win big with generous King Billy!

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Novak Djokovic’s father won’t attend Australian Open semi-final after Russia flag controversy

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Novak Djokovic’s father Srdjan said on Friday he would not attend his son’s Australian Open semi-final and would instead “watch from home,” after a video emerged showing him posing at Melbourne Park with fans holding Russian flags.

The video caused controversy in Australia, leading to the country’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday reiterating Australian support for Ukraine and criticizing supporters of Russia’s invasion.

“I am here to support my son only. I had no intention of causing such headlines or disruption,” Srdjan Djokovic said in an e-mailed statement.

“So there is no disruption to tonight’s semi-final for my son or for the other player, I have chosen to watch from home.”

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Novak Djokovic declined to comment.

“I will make this point, that Australia stands with the people of Ukraine,” Albanese told a news conference after a reporter asked if Srdjan Djokovic should be deported after he was seen posing for pictures with fans holding Russian flags.

“That is Australia’s position and Australia is unequivocal in our support for the rule of international law.

“We do not want to see any support given to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, that is having a devastating impact on the people of Ukraine.”

Albanese did not respond directly to the question about whether Srdjan Djokovic should be deported.

Police questioned four fans seen with “inappropriate flags and symbols” after a quarter-final match on Wednesday between Russia’s Andrey Rublev and favourite Djokovic, organizers Tennis Australia said.

The Serbian player, who was at the centre of a storm of controversy over his COVID-19 vaccination status at last year’s Australian Open, has not commented on the incident and his spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A video emerged on social media showed a fan on the steps of Rod Laver Arena holding up a Russian flag with the image of President Vladimir Putin on it.

Photos also showed one fan with a large “Z” on his shirt. Russian forces have used the letter as an identifying symbol on their vehicles in Ukraine following their invasion. Some supporters of the invasion have also used the sign.

Srdjan Djokovic was seen in some posts posing with the Russian supporters.

Australian Open organizers on Thursday issued a reminder to players and their entourages about their policy on flags after the video of Djokovic’s father emerged.

On Friday, Tennis Australia said they “continue to strive for the safety of fans at the event and reiterate our position banning flags from Belarus and Russia.”

Russian and Belarusian athletes are able to compete as individual athletes without national affiliation at the Australian Open, though their flags are banned from the tournament grounds after a complaint by Ukraine’s ambassador last week.

Djokovic was deported on the eve of the tournament last year for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 and received a three-year Australian travel ban.

That ban was rescinded in November, allowing him to compete this year.

Djokovic will continue his bid for a record-extending 10th Australian Open title and 22nd Grand Slam crown to match Rafa Nadal when he takes on unseeded American Tommy Paul in their semi-final later on Friday.

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Falcons hire defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen from Saints

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — The Atlanta Falcons found their new defensive coordinator from an NFC South rival’s coaching staff on Friday by hiring Ryan Nielsen, the former New Orleans Saints co-defensive coordinator.

Nielsen replaces Dean Pees, 73, who retired on Jan. 9 following two seasons in charge of the defense on coach Arthur Smith’s staff.

The Falcons also announced three defensive assistants will not return next season: defensive line coach Gary Emanuel, outside linebackers coach Ted Monachino and secondary coach Jon Hoke.

Nielsen will be reunited with Falcons general manager Terry Fontenot, who worked 18 years with the Saints before he was hired by Atlanta in 2021.

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Nielsen, 43, interviewed with the Falcons on Tuesday. He had worked on the Saints’ staff since 2017 and was the defensive line coach this season.

Nielsen’s success with the Saints’ pass rush may have impressed Fontenot. The Falcons ranked 31st with only 21 sacks this season after having the league’s fewest sacks in 2021. Atlanta ranked 27th in total defense, allowing 362.1 yards per game while finishing 7-10.

The Saints have recorded 282 sacks since Nielsen joined the staff in 2017, the second-most in the league during that span. New Orleans finished in the top 10 in sacks in five of the six seasons. The Saints finished in the top four in rushing defence in four of the last five years.

In Nielsen’s six seasons working with the Saints’ defensive line, Cameron Jordan became the first New Orleans defensive lineman to be named a first-team All-Pro. Jordan also earned two second-team All-Pro honors and was named to five Pro Bowls.

Nielson was a defensive assistant and recruiting coordinator at North Carolina State from 2013-16. He also coached at Northern Illinois, Tennessee-Martin, Central Connecticut State, Mississippi, Idaho and Southern California.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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