Stamps line up

IAN BUSBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

Dimitri Tsoumpas was so ready to become a member of the Edmonton Eskimos, he was waiting at the Commonwealth Stadium offices yesterday morning for confirmation.

The Calgary Stampeders changed those plans dramatically.

By swinging a huge trade moments before yesterday's CFL Canadian College Draft, guard Tsoumpas will instead suit up for the Eskimos' biggest rival this season.

"I've kind of changed my ties now," said the Edmonton native. "Everything happened quickly. I haven't had a lot of time to let it sink in. It caught me a little off-guard.

"Just go with the flow, right?"

In a rare Battle of Alberta trade, the Stamps addressed their biggest need by dealing for the second-overall pick, owned by the Esks, and taking the guard from Weber State.

With their own pick at No. 3, the Stamps took tackle Jesse Newman out of Louisiana-Lafayette. Both o-line players are expected to show up at training camp and should compete for starting spots.

The Stamps have holes, especially at left guard with the retirement of Jay McNeil.

In the deal, they sent offensive lineman John Comiskey, rookie receiver Kevin Challenger (a second-round pick in 2007), plus the Nos. 11 and 19 overall picks to get No. 2 and No. 16 from the Eskimos.

It was a move new head coach John Hufnagel felt the Stamps had to make.

"It was the best for our football team," Hufnagel said. "Those two players gave us the best ability to secure our offensive line.

"We were hoping to get one of the two players. To get both of them, it was something we couldn't pass up.

"It was a deal that is good for both teams. We're happy with our depth at the receiver position. I like the future of Kevin Challenger, but there are four Canadian receivers on our roster already, so there is going to be good competition at camp anyway."

As for dealing Comiskey: "To get good people, you sometimes need to give up good people.," Hufnagel said.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats took safety Dylan Barker with the first pick, making him the first Saskatchewan Huskies player ever taken that high.

Then the Stamps began a run on o-lineman that never seemed to stop. Seven o-lineman were chosen in the first 12 picks, but the Stamps felt they got the two who'll make the most immediate impact.

With the 16th overall pick, the Stamps took Western Illinois defensive end Fernand Kashama. They rounded out their draft by grabbing Western Michigan defensive end Fernand Kashama (16th overall), Buffalo defensive tackle Ronald Hilaire (27th), Boise State o-lineman Jon Gott (35th) and Montreal fullback Jonathan Lapointe (43rd). Of those four picks, only Lapointe is expected to report when camps opens June 1.

Tsoumpas was a four-year starter at Weber State but only played right guard, so he's not sure where he fits with the Stamps. Bobby Singh is pencilled in on the right side, but there is talk he may retire soon.

Hufnagel said it's an open competition at left guard, and Tsoumpas could win it.

Calgary native Mike McEachern of Western Illinois went to the B.C. Lions with the 22nd overall pick, while Dinos O-lineman Mark Dewitt went to the Toronto Argonauts in the sixth round.


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