Lineman's chance

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Spurned by the Edmonton Eskimos on draft day, Dimitri Tsoumpas is staring at a golden opportunity in Calgary.

Now the Stampeders offensive lineman has to take advantage.

Sitting in the Eskimos' office on draft day (April 30) waiting to be announced as the club's second-overall selection, Tsoumpas was ushered out of the building when the club traded that pick to the Calgary Stampeders just before the draft started.

The Cowtown team wasted no time taking Tsoumpas with that second choice, hoping he would eventually become a cornerstone piece to their line.

But a tricep injury to Derek Armstrong - which is expected to leave him on the shelf for six more weeks - has suddenly left Tsoumpas as the starting right guard tonight.

What a difference 300 kilometres makes, because if the 22-year-old Edmonton native had become Eskimos' property, he would likely be battling with all-star veteran Patrick Kabongo for the starting right guard position.

"Camp is going great," said Tsoumpas.

"There have been some injuries, so I have just had to step up and fill the spot."

Of course, the learning curve from Weber State to the pro game has been rather significant.

"It has been quite an adjustment - getting accustom to the higher level of intensity," he remarked.

But there could be some added fire burning within Tsoumpas tonight as he's playing the team that sent him out the door at the last moment.

But the raw rookie is acting like a seasoned pro when it comes to choosing his words about the Eskimos.

"I am not sure what the emotions are going to be like," he explained.

"But I know I have a job to do."


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