Stampeders GM-head coach Matt Dunigan still had a burr under his saddle yesterday over Joe McGrath's departure to Edmonton.
"Disappointed," said Dunigan of the Canadian offensive lineman's decision to sign with the Eskimos last week after being placed on Calgary's practice roster.
"Joe was a player who we spent a lot of time with in the off-season trying to get him here, talk him into coming here, telling him the National Football League said he should come here."
McGrath, drafted second overall in 2003, arrived June 22 but was apparently disgruntled to not get placed on the roster.
"Edmonton plucked him off in the rules of the game, so to speak, so he's in Edmonton. Are we disappointed? You never like to lose a Canadian offensive lineman but Joe's situation kind of dictated the whole series of events."
Dunigan said the University of Miami product, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., was a long way from earning a Stamps' roster spot, forcing the decision to place McGrath on the practice squad.
"You have to learn the system, one, then you've got to step up and play professional football and (prove) you have the ability to and get acclimated within the system," Dunigan said, adding McGrath's father played a meddlesome role.
"To have four days with a professional football team at this level is not giving yourself much of an opportunity," Dunigan said.
"His dad or somebody, somehow, was in touch with the Edmonton Eskimos and next thing you know, Tom (Higgins, Eskimos head coach) calls and said the McGraths are heading (to Edmonton) and I just want to let you know what's transpired.
"I said, 'Hey, good luck with Joe Sr.'
"I washed my hands of that and said 'Thank you very much, see ya.' "
Dunigan acknowledged an unwritten rule among CFL GMs deterring prized players from being intercepted from other team's practice rosters, a guideline Higgins may have overstepped. Ironically, the Esks had speedy returner Ezra Landry scooped from their practice roster a week earlier by the Montreal Alouettes.
"The intent and the gentleman's agreement is, if you do take a player off another team's roster, you contact the club and ask them if they have plans for these guys (allowing us) to put him on (the roster)," Dunigan said.
"That's the understanding."
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ALFORD JOINS STAMPS: The Stamps yesterday announced the signing of former Toronto Argos import receiver Ted Alford, 33.
Alford played for the Double Blue under offensive co-ordinator John Jenkins, compiling 1,172 yards in receptions in 2001. He could be placed on the roster this week but Dunigan said he isn't anxious to replace any of his receivers.
"He's familiar with this offence, which we think is key in order to have somebody waiting in the wings to step in and operate in this offence," Dunigan said.
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REST WAS WELCOMED: A bye week after the loss to Hamilton allowed the Stamps to heal some minor injuries.
"They're huge," Dunigan said of the days off. "We had some guys banged up who needed some time off."
Defensive back Omar Evans, who broke his wrist in the second pre-season game, practised yesterday and could return within three or four weeks. Long-snapper Marc Mitchell, out last week with a sore groin, might not be ready to go against Montreal.