Hellard looking forward

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

The pain of a crushing playoff defeat kept Calgary Stampeders president Ted Hellard up all night tossing and turning but he now has all off-season to rest.

The first year of a new ownership group was considered a success even after the Stamps lost 33-26 to the Edmonton Eskimos in the West semifinal Sunday.

"On the football side, we had a wonderful season but a disappointing ending," said Hellard, who is also a part owner of the 11-7 club.

"I told the players this today, if the journey was to buy the team and win the Grey Cup the next year, it really wouldn't be that good of a journey.

"To me, the journey is 10 years long, not one year long. The journey is to create stability to put ourselves in the position to take a shot at the Grey Cup. This is one chapter in the long book.

"I'm extremely happy with the year."

It would seem the Stamps off-season will be a quiet one as all but two players are locked up with contracts for 2006.

The franchise is also back on solid footing on the business side, with Hellard saying he is extremely pleased with the staff in club operations.

The only hurdle will be keeping the football operations personnel intact and deciding on a succession plan.

When the ownership group took over in January, the thought was senior vice-president of football operations Tom Higgins would move upstairs and defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan would become head coach after a season.

As well, original plans called for Hellard to move into another capacity after one season as president.

"Until I flush that model out, I don't want to get into details," Hellard said. "There's more than one way to run a football organization. We're looking at a model that is a lot less traditional but we feel very strongly that works. We've got to get everybody to buy into that."


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