George Alexander sports column

George A PortraitI consider myself an eternal optimist, so I’ll lead with good news first following a busy weekend of sports in Treaty 4 territory.

Ethan Bear, a beloved son of Ochapowace First Nation, has been selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round of NHL Draft held this past weekend in Florida. Bear has toiled for the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL for the past couple of seasons and has appeared on and even captained Team Canada international squads as well. Therefore, it was no surprise that the steady 5’11 201 lb. defenseman was picked up a club that thoroughly needs and lacks talent on the back end. I think the two-way playing youngster is in a great situation to potentially crack an up and coming squad within a couple of seasons.

The Oilers have one of the worst D’s in the entire NHL and are working hard to fix and patch holes in their system. With another year upcoming in Seattle and some minor league seasoning, Bear will be well on his way to a potential National Hockey League career. Congratulations, Ethan!

Not to be outdone, another young Aboriginal hockey star from Saskatchewan was also selected in this years NHL Draft. Ryan Pilon, 6’2 207 lbs. out of Duck Lake, SK and the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings was also picked in the fifth round by the New York Islanders. Pilon has good bloodlines as well, his cousin Rich starred on the Islanders blue line throughout the ’90’s.

GA Riders O DD  vs Bombers June2715 copy

Riders vs Bombers June 27. 2015. Photo credit: George Alexander.

I hate to be a bearer of bad news but by now, we are all aware that the star quarterback of Saskatchewan Roughriders is done for the season. Yes, our beloved DD, Darian Durant suffered a ruptured achilles tendon against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this past weekend. Durant was well on his to a great game with 2 TD strikes and 165 yards passing when disaster struck. Durant, certainly snake bitten after last years injury-riddled campaign may even find his entire CFL career in jeopardy now. We can only offer hope and prayers in a another long season of rehab for Durant.

Left to take over the Riders reigns at QB is another elder statesman of the CFL, Kevin Glenn. At 36 years old, Glenn is no stranger to quarterback rescue in the Canadian Football League. Some even say it may even be curse to the starters that Glenn has filled in for in Calgary and B.C. over the past few seasons. However, Glenn did fill in adequately for Drew Tate of the Stamps and Travis Lulay of the Leos. Glenn has the tools at receiver positions and the new offensive line and running game looked good against the Bombers in a 30-26 home field loss at Mosaic. However, after seeing what unraveled last season without Durant, many fans feel an impending doomsday coming on for the Riders. Yes, DD is the heart and soul of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but I’ll give Kevin Glenn the benefit of the doubt into potentially saving the teams season. We can only wait and watch with bated breath as the CFL season unravels to know if we’ll all still be feeling that old, “Rider Pride”.

Follow George Alexander on Twitter @Big_G_09





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