Ending Winnipeg whammy Stamps’ lone motivation

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:51 PM ET

The Calgary Stampeders have clinched.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have been eliminated.

Outside of individual achievements, what could the Stamps possibly use as motivation for next weekend’s meaningless trip to Manitoba?

“You mean, to a stadium where we haven’t won in a decade?” questioned Stamps head coach John Hufnagel.

Apparently, there is one thing.

“We want to win football games,” Hufnagel said. “We’ve played meaningless games before. In 2008, our last game was against B.C. and it was a nothing game for us but a big game for B.C., because it determined whether or not they hosted a playoff game. We played the game to win, and I expect to do the same.”

After Friday’s 55-24 thumping of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at McMahon Stadium, the Stamps don’t have much — if anything — to prove in next week’s regular-season finale.

Just don’t tell that to the boss.

The Stamps actually won twice in Winnipeg in 2005 — three seasons before Hufnagel assumed the head-coaching duties — but they’ve lost seven of their past nine contests at what’s now known as Canad Inns Stadium.

Although Milt Collins suffered a shoulder strain, Hufnagel didn’t reveal any serious injuries during Saturday’s off-day chat with the media.

He did say, however, that several players are banged up and could be candidates for extra rest.

“I will not risk a player that is hobbling to play the game, because it’s not a lose-and-go-home game. It doesn’t have that type of implications,” Hufnagel said. “But we do have a long break in between that last game and the Western final, and I’m concerned about having too much time off for our players, so I expect to take everyone that is healthy to Winnipeg and play them. For how long? That’s a coach’s decision.”


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