Another blow to the Stamps' offence

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:22 PM ET

The Calgary Stampeders offence has taken another huge blow.

Veteran right tackle Jeff Pilon has hung up the cleats after a decade-long career with the Stamps that included starting for a Grey Cup victory in 2008.

Pilon has taken a job with former Stampeders centre Jamie Crysdale’s company Gridiron Blasting and said the offer was too much to pass up.

This is another loss to an offence that will look much different this season than it did a year ago.

With receiver Jeremaine Copeland traded to Toronto, right guard Dimitri Tsoumpas off to the Miami Dolphins and offensive co-ordinator George Cortez with the Buffalo Bills, the Stamps have major holes to fill.

“His retirement definitely creates a void on the right side of the line, but it also creates an opportunity for someone to step up, attempt to fill his big shoes and try to have a career as prolific as his was,” said GM-head coach John Hufnagel.

“You always hate to lose a player who has contributed as much as Jeff has over the years, but he has a fantastic opportunity to transition into a new career and we wish him the best. Jeff gave everything he had on every snap in every game. He played through pain and was always a valuable member of our team on the field and in the locker-room.”

Pilon, 34, spent all 10 of his CFL seasons with the Stampeders and retires with 147 regular-season games under his belt. He won the 2008 Grey Cup as the team’s starting right tackle and was also a member of the Stamps’ 2001 Grey Cup championship squad, although he was unable to play in that game due to injury.

Prior to retiring, his 147 games played ranked first among all active Calgary players and 25th on the Stampeders’ all-time list.

“It’s just been an unbelievable ride but this new career opportunity was one I just couldn’t pass up,” said Pilon. “It’s been an absolute honour to be part of the best organization in the CFL and to play for the best fans in the CFL. Playing professional football was I dream that I had and I was able to fulfill it.”

ian.busby@sunmedia.ca


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