Maas unaware, unconcerned by trade talk

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- Even if his rumoured trade to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is true, Jason Maas says he isn't aware of it.

And he's not concerned with it, either.

Maas was asked yesterday about the rumour -- and the latest stories that it's a done deal -- that he will be traded to Hamilton.

"I haven't been told anything by Hamilton," he said yesterday after the Eskimos' final workout before today's Grey Cup game against the Montreal Alouettes.

"I thought I saw him at the Spirit of Hamilton last night," Maas' fellow quarterback, Ricky Ray, said jokingly.

Maas has played well in relief of Ray in the past two games and is trying to stay focused on the task at hand.

"I know that as a player, any play can be your last," he said. "Any game can be your last as a player or as a starter. I'm very focused on the now."

Ray, who has been put in a somewhat uncomfortable role even though Maas has been professional and has not bellyached about being a backup, is aware today's game could be their last as teammates.

"He's one of my best friends on the team and he has been my roommate on the road," Ray said. "You're losing a friend if that's the way it goes (with the trade). But we both deserve to start. If one of us is to go, we're both going to be happy for that guy."

ROSTER MOVES

The Als have activated running back Jonas Lewis to replace Robert Edwards, who cracked two ribs in last Sunday's East final win over the Argos.

The Eskimos opted to stick with rush end Charles Alston instead of activating Rashad Jeanty, who has been sidelined for several weeks with a hamstring injury.

RINGS AND THINGS

Montreal's Don Matthews, who is going for a record sixth Grey Cup victory as a head coach, doesn't wear his championship rings.

He has given away his five rings, three of them to his children, one to a loyal team supporter from Baltimore, which won the championship in 1995.

Matthews said another ring went to a friend who along with his family were good to him at a time when he was ill with a sickness he didn't disclose.

Matthews also has five rings from his days as a defensive co-ordinator with Edmonton, which won consecutive Cups from 1978-82.

"I don't really live very much in the past," he said. "I enjoy the moment and the future. My own personal saying is, 'Live for today, but yesterday is forgotten and tomorrow is for fools.' That's how I live."

CROWD ADVANTAGE

Because the game is in the West, Edmonton coach Danny Maciocia is hoping the crowd cheers for his team, even though the Eskimos beat out the B.C. Lions.

The Als prepared as they would for any road game, with simulated noisy crowd conditions and using a silent snap count.


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