TORONTO - The Canadian Football League’s expansion into Ottawa came into sharper focus on Wednesday.
The CFL’s board of governors have approved an expansion draft plan for the Ottawa franchise, which is hoping to get on the field in time for the 2013 season.
The draft would consist of three rounds, including one for imports and two for non-imports. From the eight existing teams, Ottawa will have an opportunity to select a total of eight imports and 16 non-imports, including two quarterbacks.
In the first round, teams may protect one quarterback and 10 more imports.
Ottawa would select one import from each team.
In the second round, each team would protect six non-import players, and Ottawa would pick one from each team.
For the third round, teams would submit a second list of six non-import players for protection, and Ottawa would choose one from each club.
The expansion draft tentatively is scheduled for Dec. 13, 2012, which is timely, as some doomsayers predict the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012.
At least football fans in Ottawa will go, if that’s what happens, knowing their football team had taken shape.
Ottawa won’t be able to pick more than two quarterbacks and not more than one kicker or punter. None of the eight teams can lose both a quarterback and a kicker or a punter from its roster — and no team can lose more than one quarterback.
Provided it starts play in 2013, the Ottawa franchise would have four picks in the 2012 Canadian draft. In the 2013 draft (or in the first year of it playing), Ottawa would have the first pick in every round, including the first pick overall.
The date of the expansion draft will be solidified once the ownership group and the city of Ottawa finalize plans for the re-development of Lansdowne Park, including the refurbishment of Frank Clair Stadium.
Around the league
The future of defensive end Mike Labinjo is cloudy, as he has been returned to the Calgary Stampeders after he had been traded to the Montreal Alouettes on Jan. 12 for future considerations. The trade was voided when Labinjo failed his physical, but Stamps general manager/head coach John Hufnagel said he will decide soon how he will proceed with Labinjo ... The Alouettes re-signed slotback S.J. Green, who had been entertaining offers from the NFL. Green, who signed a deal for two years plus an option, was third in the CFL last year with 10 receiving touchdowns. The Als released centre Paul Lambert, who had an arm injury last year and then had knee surgery in the off-season ... The Stamps have hired Tony Missick as their defensive backs coach ... The Saskatchewan Roughriders re-signed defensive back Chris McKenzie.