The annual cavalcade of U.S. college bowl games kicked off lastnight and, unlike past years, CFL general managers are more than slightly interested.

There’s a serious dearth of talent at the quarterback position in the CFL, you see, so the GMs and their aides willscout bowl games in unprecedented fashion. The objective is to recruit fresh blood to replace aging QBs such as Danny McManus and Damon Allen.

"The knock on this league right now, and I think rightfully so, is that we don’t have enough quality young quarterbacks," Blue Bombers GM Brendan Taman said. "Most teams in our league, other than B.C., are finding they’re not very deep at quarterback. We’ve got to do everything we can to get some more options."


Scouts consider this an average year for graduating quarterbacks.

• Toronto entrepreneur Frank D’Angelo was perceived as too much of a showboat to merit serious consideration by the CFL in his bid to become the owner of a new Ottawa franchise, but the NHL views him as an authentic candidate to buy the Penguins. Go figure ... New Hamilton head coach Charlie Taaffe is seriously thinking of bringing Rod Rust out of retirement to become the Tiger-Cats’ defensive co-ordinator. Rust, 78, was the Alouettes’ head coach in 2000 and first served as a CFL assistant under ex-Montreal head coach Marv Levy in 1973 ... The Ticats are trying to figure out what to do with Ron Lancaster, the club’s former GM and head coach. He’ll be offered a token position, possibly in the broadcast booth, but must agree to stay out of management’s way.

•Remember when the Blue Jays were marketing Vernon Wells, Roy Halladay and Eric Hinske as the club’s nucleus? Well, Wells and Halladay are in Toronto for the long run and are multimillionaires, while Hinske is being dangled in trade talks these days by the Red Sox, who hope to snatch relief ace Mike Gonzalez from the Pirates ... Looks like the Mets are putting the finishing touches on a mind-boggling deal worth megabucks for free-agent pitcher Barry Zito... Speaking of the Mets, Lee Mazzilli will join them as their lead TV analyst. The ex-Jay recently was fired as the Yankees’ bench coach ... And did you know the Jays’ scouting staff includes ex-Expos’ manager Jim Fanning and former Toronto and Montreal outfielder Rob Ducey?

•Mid-season coaching changes aren’t supposed to help teams, but Denis Savard and Ken Hitchcock are bucking the trend in the NHL, turning around Chicago and Columbus, respectively ... There are rumblings about Montreal acquiring Sergei Fedorov in a trade ... And there’s talk about New Jersey dealing Scott Gomez to Detroit for Pavel Datsyuk.

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