Stamps' snowbirds return

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

CALGARY - They are trying to create a new Canadian Air Force, but two parts of the group could be considered American-made for this year.

This off-season, Johnny Forzani bolted Canada for the sun of California. Chris Bauman makes his home away from football in toasty Florida.

Both went hard with training, without having to plug in their cars.

“It’s not bad,” said Bauman, who signed with the Stampeders after being released by the Edmonton Eskimos. “I’m not complaining.

“I golf and train.”

Despite being from Brandon, Man., Bauman and his fiancee, Katie, live in Cape Coral, Fla., during the winter months.

Forzani is from Calgary, but there are relatives on his mother’s side in the Los Angeles area, so he went to stay there over the winter.

No one can really blame him, especially since he’s returned to the team in great shape.

“I want to run a lot, and there is training in California that you can’t do here,” Forzani said.

Forzani had a breakout 2011, when he caught 45 passes for 761 yards and five touchdowns. That’s pretty good for someone who had just one college season.

Heading into a third year, Forzani feels poised for big things, and he looks around and sees a strong group of Canadians who can be among the league’s best.

If 2011 first-round pick Anthony Parker takes another step, and Bauman and fellow 2007 first-round pick Jabari Arthur come into their own, this could be the new Canadian Air Force.

“Hamilton has probably bigger names since they signed (Andy) Fantuz and got (Sam) Giguere from the NFL,” Forzani said.

“They still have Dave Stala. We have a good group. We have the brotherhood part down.

“We’re all friends.”

Not only is Bauman adapting to a new playbook and new teammates, he’s also getting used to the Canadian spring again.

The 27-year-old wasn’t exactly liking the cold, wet weather on Tuesday.

“Right now, I’ve been dressing with sweats and long sleeves every practice,” Bauman said.

“Hopefully, I start getting acclimated and I can shed some layers.

“It’s tough to sweat in this weather. You would like to sweat because it gets the body temperature up.”

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