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The Mike Kelly era, as short-lived as it was, kicked off a troubling five-year perio
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The Mike Kelly era, as short-lived as it was, kicked off a troubling five-year period for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Randall Cobb Super Bowl Jersey . Save for the season after their Swaggerville run to the Grey Cup – one that ultimately didnt pan out – Bombers fans have been subjected to the same hope-filled off-season rhetoric; what makes this the year they turn it around when the same pre-season confidence a year ago led to just more troubling results? And in a lot of ways this year could be similar. New general manager Kyle Walters was part of the old guard and new starting quarterback Drew Willy, he of just 147 career CFL passing attempts, cannot be considered the for-sure answer at quarterback. That isnt to say these things wont turn around this season, but old GM Joe Macks hiring got a lot of people excited in 2010, returning to the city where he won a Grey Cup before gaining extensive experience in NFL front offices; and Stefan LeFors, Buck Pierce, and Alex Brink all had failed tenures as quarterback of the future. But there is some tangible evidence the team could be breaking out of their five-year fog. Mike OShea leads the list of smart moves the team made in the off-season to quietly start a foundation that could lead to success. Its been a while since the Bombers landed a coveted candidate at head coach. OShea has been ticketed as someone to watch for years now after following up a very impressive playing career with a promising stint as special teams coordinator in Toronto. The Canadian football lifer oozes leadership and has the opportunity to set the standard for the Bombers roster as he helped to do with some strong Argonauts rosters the past couple years. Keeping Marcel Bellefeuille around as OSheas offensive coordinator gives the team a play caller with both head coaching and successful coordinator experience on his resume. And adding Danny McManus, by all accounts an up-and-comer in the player evaluation world, should be of benefit to Walters in the front office. And aside from losing out on the Zach Collaros sweepstakes – Willy was a decent consolation prize – the team added some important free agents to help in the culture change Winnipeg is undertaking. Nick Moore, who some had tabbed for the NFL after his breakout season, should be a fine replacement for Terrence Edwards as the go-to option in the receiving corps. And Korey Banks, who was added after a contract squabble with the BC Lions, still has a lot of game left to go along with his leadership and winning mentality. Maybe this year wont be any different than ones previous, theres really no way of knowing if the new regime fits together to make a winner or not. And there likely wont be an easy team to pick off in the East Division. But aside from bringing with them a fresh air and new way of thinking, OShea and company have a winning attitude that could finally reverse the fortunes in Winnipeg. If youre apt to believe a change of culture is a noticeable step on the way to respectability, the Bombers could finally be making the first moves towards contending this season. Notes West Division The Blue Bombers are returning to where many CFL fans feel they belong, the West Division. With the Ottawa Redblacks joining the league and East Division, Winnipeg will jump back to the West, alongside the Lions, Stampeders, and Eskimos, and of course their longtime rivals in Saskatchewan. Terrence Edwards Retires Blue Bombers fans havent had a lot to cheer about the past couple years but one constant was Terrence Edwards tremendous play at receiver. Edwards spent seven of his nine CFL seasons in Winnipeg, five of which he surpassed 1,000 yards receiving, scoring a combined 46 touchdowns. Expansion Draft The Redblacks used the first two rounds of the expansion draft to nab from Winnipeg a promising young receiver in Wallace Miles, and a strong special teams player in FB James Green. The Bombers didnt suffer a loss in the third round however as the Redblacks selected impending free agent Rory Kohlert, a non-import receiver. Ottawa never signed Kohlert to a contract extension and he returned to Winnipeg just months later as a free agent. Free Agency Winnipeg should be relatively pleased with their off-season haul. They locked up some solid players on their own roster and landed a star receiver to replace Edwards in former BC Lion Nick Moore, and a quarterback they hope can lead the team now and in the future in former Saskatchewan Roughrider Drew Willy. CFL Draft With the second overall pick the Blue Bombers landed a solid offensive line prospect in Matthias Goossen, who they hope will be a mainstay for years to come. Winnipeg also selected McGill LB Jesse Briggs in the second round, Simon Fraser DB Derek Jones in the fourth round, Mount Allison DL Quinn Everett in the sixth round, and McMaster LB Aram Eisho in the seventh round. Dean Lowry Super Bowl Jersey . Virtanen opened the scoring at 6:45 of the first period, then gave Canada a two-goal lead with a power-play goal 1:03 into the second. Sweden cut the lead in half when Daniel Muzito Bagenda scored a power-play goal at 10:57 of the second. Davante Adams Super Bowl Jersey . Louis Cardinals are one of Major League Baseballs model franchises. http://www.packersonlineteamstore.com/ja...ersey.html . This week, they discuss the NCAAs revenue sharing, Don Zimmer, soccer language and Super Bowl 50.WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Will ONeill is making a name for himself in the American Hockey Leagues Calder Cup playoffs. The second-year pro is tied for the league lead with 10 post-season assists. Hes playing key minutes for a defence that is allowing fewer than two goals a game. Just about the only thing missing from his resume was a goal. ONeill fixed that in a dramatic way Thursday night, breaking a scoreless tie late in the second period and assisting on the winner in the third as the St. Johns Ice Caps won a third straight game in the Eastern Conference finals, beating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 2-1 in Game 4 Thursday night. The IceCaps can advance to the Calder Cup finals with a win in Game 5 on Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre. "It feels nice to get a goal, but it feels great to win," ONeill said. "Weve got a long way ahead of us here, but well enjoy it for a little bit." Josh Lunden also scored for the IceCaps, who went 2 for 9 on the power play. "I thought we did a good job drawing penalties, getting to the net," ONeill said. "Thats the key to getting to any goalie." Brian Dumoulin scored a third-period goal for the Penguins, who went scoreless on six power-play opportunities. "Our power play had some good looks, but at the end of the day, myself and our unit definitely have to put some in the back of the net," Dumoulin said. "Its not just getting chancess anymore. Oren Burks Super Bowl Jersey. We have to score." The Penguins were called for six minor penalties in the second period, contributing to a massive 19-2 shots advantage for the IceCaps in the period. Penguins goalie Peter Mannino stopped the first 18 shots he faced, but the 19th was a one-timer from ONeill from the top of the left faceoff circle that trickled past his pads with 26.1 seconds left in the period. ONeills goal came on a 5-on-3 advantage after centre Zach Sill took a double minor for high-sticking IceCaps winger Andrew Gordon with 1:07 left in the period while the Penguins were already killing a penalty. "We were getting a lot of chances," ONeill said. "It was just a matter of time before one went our way. We had a 5-on-3, had good traffic at the net and we buried one." The Penguins tied the score 1-1 at 6:49 of the third when a Dumoulin shot from the blue-line that looked to be headed well wide of the left post hit defenceman Brenden Kichton and skipped past goalie Michael Hutchinson. The Penguins took another penalty less than a minute later, however, and St. Johns retook the lead with a second power-play goal. Lunden collected the rebound of an ONeill shot behind the net and wrapped it inside the post with 10:41 left. "They had some momentum going their way," ONeill said. "It was good to draw a penalty, get back into it and bury one on the power play." ' ' '
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