Stokes sent packing

Keith Stokes was traded by the Toronto Argonauts to the Montreal Alouettes on Tuesday in exchange...

Keith Stokes was traded by the Toronto Argonauts to the Montreal Alouettes on Tuesday in exchange for Richard Karikari. (File Photo)

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

For the past week, the bulk of Adam Rita's work days have been spent finding ways to trim the Argos roster.

So it had to be nice to get something in return yesterday when the team swung a trade with their CFL East Division foes, the Montreal Alouettes.

The Argos GM sent import receiver/kick returner Keith Stokes to the Als in return for Canadian defensive back Richard Karikari.

Raised in Pickering, Karikari joins his hometown team after four seasons in Montreal, including a 2005 campaign in which he was named a CFL all-star safety.

"I always told my parents I wanted to play for the Argos and this is my chance," Karikari said. "This is a great opportunity to get the team over the hump and win another Grey Cup."

For the Argos, it was a solid opportunity to add a proven Canadian to the lineup at a defensive skill position while getting rid of a marginal import player on offence.

In 2005, the 27-year-old Karikari finished second in the league with nine interceptions and was a key component of a defence that made it to the Grey Cup.

HEC CRIGHTON FINALIST

Drafted in the second round of the 2003 Canadian draft, Karikari had a standout CIS career while at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. In 2002 he was a finalist for the Hec Crighton Award as Canada's top university player.

Stokes, a New Jersey native who played for the Alouettes in 2002 and 2003, still has an off-season home in Montreal.

Stokes signed with Toronto this season after two years in Winnipeg, but the Argos already were deep in running backs, receivers and returners. He caught 20 passes for 253 yards.

"It was a rough year for me in Toronto," he said. "I didn't get to play as much as I wanted.

"I was injured some. It was tough on both sides but we both felt it was time for a change and realistically, there was only a couple of teams I could play for.

"I figured, my family's here, what better place than Montreal?"


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