Gamble pays off for St. Pierre, Stamps

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

CALGARY - A week in Las Vegas is usually enough to leave a visitor exhausted and ready to to head home.

But for Tim St. Pierre, Vegas is home.

Or it was for about a year.

The Calgary Stampeders non-import fullback lived in the City of Lights while his wife worked as a special-events planner.

“We were five minutes from The Strip,” St. Pierre said. “It was a whole different world when you're away from (The Strip).

“But when you drive around, you remember how close you are.”

The Hamilton product said there’s never a lack of things to do in Sin City. But he said a lot of his activities revolved around his off-season training program.

“It’s cool,” St. Pierre said. “But when you live there, you don’t want to be on the strip all the time because it’s so busy and there’s tourists everywhere.

“But it’s, obviously, a fun city. They have the best (gyms) in the world, the best training facilities … all the UFC guys are out there. There’s all kinds of athletes there.”

St. Pierre and his wife, who opened her own event-planning business, recently moved to New Hampshire — quite the contrast from Vegas.

Regardless of where he calls home, however, the 26-year-old hopes to play a bigger role with the Stamps this season.

“I just want to contribute more,” said St. Pierre, who played university with Saint Mary’s.

“I think every year you go along — I’m in my fifth year now — you have to keep building and contribute more, whether it’s starting or being a special-teams guy or being able to relieve somebody if they get hurt.”

The 6-foot, 235-pounder said he’s working on staying mentally sharp through training camp.

“Camp is long, but it’s mostly mental,” St. Pierre said. “You break down, and it’s tiring. But it’s about knowing your assignments.

“We’re all here because we can play ball and we can execute. You just have to be up to speed mentally.”

The Stamps will finally get to hit someone for real a week from Friday when the Edmonton Eskimos visit McMahon Stadium for the first of two pre-season tilts.

And the converted linebacker can’t wait to face his former team.

“I still have a few friends left,” said St. Pierre, who was the Esks’ most outstanding special teams player in 2010 before joining the Stamps last season.

“They say, ‘Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo.’ I guess, but when you’re playing for Calgary, you have to push that to the side.”

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