It's way too soon to say au revoir

SERGE TOUCHETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:07 AM ET

MONTREAL -- No matter what happens in today's Grey Cup game against the Calgary Stampeders, the Montreal Alouettes stand to lose a few feathers along the way.

Star quarterback Anthony Calvillo could be playing the last game of his career. And sure-thing slotback Ben Cahoon, too.

The future also seems uncertain for centre Bryan Chiu, a 12-year CFL veteran. And who knows if an NFL team will come knocking on coach Marc Trestman's door?

In short, the East Division-champion Alouettes could look a lot different in 2009.

Jim Popp has to be ready for a busy winter. But if the Montreal Alouettes GM is worried, he hasn't been showing it this week at Olympic Stadium.

But that's no shocker coming from him.

"I'd be surprised if Calvillo used the Grey Cup game to put the finishing touches on his career," Popp said.

"I'm confident we'll see him back with the team next season.

"Calvillo never said that Sunday's game was his last. He just said it could be his last Grey Cup final. There's a difference."

At age 36, the Alouettes QB is about to wrap up one of his best seasons of his career, if not the best.

"And I haven't noticed any sign of him slowing down," Popp added. "It's not uncommon to see a quarterback in their 40s do well in the Canadian league. Whereas Calvillo is still the best quarterback in the league."

Popp also thinks Cahoon has a few more good seasons ahead of him.

The veteran receiver turned 36 in July, but that didn't stop him from topping 1,000 yards for the sixth time in his career.

And what about Trestman? He signed a three-year deal when he came to Montreal, but that kind of contract always comes with a clause that lets the player -- or coach, in his case -- better his situation if a team from the NFL comes to call.

"Trestman will be at work next year," Popp said. "I have confidence that he will respect his three-year contract with the team."

It seems like Popp expects to keep the nucleus of his team intact.

Let's wait and see.


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