Fortin a nice safety net

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

The Calgary Stampeders offered Stephane Fortin the one thing he said the Montreal Alouettes wouldn't: A tryout at his favourite position.

So the Laval, Que., product will try to continue his career while uprooting his family and job as a financial advisor to play in a seventh CFL season.

Fortin arrived in Calgary yesterday after signing with the club but wasn't in time to participate in the mock game. He still must pass a physical but he can't wait to get on the field after being off since his release from the Als Tuesday.

He clearly wasn't in the Alouettes' plans at safety as the team was using two younger Canadians at the position.

"They brought me here for a chance to compete with the team. That's the way I want to begin my time with the Stampeders," Fortin said. "I will challenge for the spot to be at my natural position at free safety."

The starting safety job is a question mark with the Stamps but there seems to be several options for head coach Tom Higgins and defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan.

With Canadians starting across the offensive line, one on defensive line and one at linebacker, putting a non-import in the secondary won't be a priority.

Still, Fortin provides a safety net and would be a valuable player on special-teams coverages, according to Higgins.

"We'll put him in a position where he can push for playing time," Higgins said. "If we can find a Canadian that can step in and start, we would like to find those options. But you can never have enough good special-teams players."

Fortin's job as a financial advisor never stops and he is married with three daughters, so heading west wasn't an easy decision. What helped was Stamps GM Jim Barker had a history with the 30-year-old.

Barker was the co-offensive co-ordinator with the Als in 2002, when both helped Montreal win the Grey Cup.

"I had to talk with my wife and make sure she agreed with the situation," Fortin said. "The family will be here for part of the summer, at least before the kids start school, so that makes it easier."

His job also will travel with him.

"I will keep talking with my clients and if there's anything major, then my assistant will handle it," he said. "I can do everything by computers and phone. If there's some moves to do, I can just do it by phone."

- - -

EXTRA POINTS: Import DB Brandon Heaney was released yesterday along with QB Michael Souza ... The following players sat out with ailments, all thought to be minor: WR Mike Juhasz (hamstring), WR Nik Lewis (ribs), DL Sheldon Napastuk (shoulder), DBs Nashville Dyer (ankle), Jermaine Chatman (knee), Jeremy Pearl (hamstring) and Rashard Anderson (knee).


Videos

Photos