It could be a record-setting weekend for the B.C. Lions and Joe Smith, but that still won’t satisfy some of the tailback’s teammates.
With two more touchdowns, the league’s leading rusher will set the CFL record for most scores in a season with 20, but a number of his teammates are upset that Smith wasn’t chosen as the Western nominee for Most Outstanding Player. For the record, Smith doesn’t have a problem with the selection of Kerry Joseph and neither do I. Would Smith have been a good choice? Yes, but I don’t believe he is the overwhelming choice.
A strong case can be made for Stampeders’ pivot Henry Burris, who has the highest passer rating in the league and will likely end up throwing for more touchdowns than anyone in the past five seasons.
Kerry Joseph got the nod and why not? He has thrown the fewest interceptions in the CFL (8), and will likely break Doug Flutie’s record of most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season (14). Smith, Burris and Joseph all have plenty of evidence to support their respective cases, and, therefore, I have a tough time saying that Joe Smith got jobbed.
• If you’re wondering why the Canucks called up Jannick Hansen ahead of Mason Raymond and Ryan Shannon, here’s the reasoning. Raymond has struggled to produce offence at the NHL level and needs to rediscover his scoring touch in the minors. And while Shannon has shown he can find the back of the net in the NHL, he just injured his knee in Manitoba and will be out of action for the next four to six weeks.
That all said, Hansen may have been the choice anyway, as he brings more size to the team, at six-foot-one, 201 pounds, and impressed management and fans alike with his play in last year’s playoffs. GM Dave Nonis said that Hansen would most likely have made the team in training camp had he not broken his thumb.
• While the Canucks have struggled out of the gate, the Vancouver Giants have not. The defending Memorial Cup champs have the best record in the WHL’s Western Conference and have lost just three times in regulation through 17 games. Hats off to the Chilliwack Bruins also; the Bruins have 21 points through 15 games in just their second season in the dub. Both teams are on the road tonight with the Giants at Tri-City and the Bruins in Kelowna to face the Rockets.
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