Esks say Joyeux Noel

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

Veteran kicker Noel Prefontaine liked his experience with the Edmonton Eskimos so much that he's signed up for another tour.

News that Prefontaine has re-signed with the Green and Gold leaked out last week, but yesterday it was made official that he signed a contract for three years plus an option.

"I don't know how productive I'll still be after the three years," said the 34-year-old Prefontaine from his home in the Toronto area.

"Who's to say it will be my last contract? All I know is I'm going to be in Edmonton for the next three years."

After he was unceremoniously dumped after spending the first 10 years of his CFL career with the Toronto Argos, Prefontaine made no secret of the fact he was disgusted with how the Argos handled the situation,

Already stung by a bad experience, he cautiously signed a one-year deal with the Eskimos last season.

First, he had to confirm in his own mind that the Eskimos organization was as solid as he'd been led to believe.

"Over the years, I've probably talked with 100 players who had come through the Edmonton organization," said Prefontaine.

"Nobody ever said anything negative about it. I've just had a chance to experience it first-hand. Because of the stability of the organization, it made coping with my situation a lot easier."

Prefontaine was supposed to be a stop-gap measure and a mentor to possible kicker of the future Derek Schiavone.

But after producing one of the best statistical seasons of his career, Prefontaine's extension now leaves Schiavone's future with the team in doubt.

"From a personal level, it was a pleasure to be able to work with Derek," said Prefontaine.

"Whether or not he'll be able to stay in Edmonton, I can't answer that. I know one day he will be a legitimate starter in the CFL and having worked with him, I know he'll be one of the best."

The fact the team was one win away from being in the Grey Cup game also made this season a fun experience.

"Edmonton hadn't been in the playoffs for a couple of years, so it was nice to be in a final," said Prefontaine.

"People tend to forget there were a lot of new faces on this team, so you have to give a lot of credit to coach (Danny) Maciocia and the coaching staff for getting the team as far as they did."


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