Argos must make a pitch for Printers

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

The plan to acquire quarterback Casey Printers has to be begin now.

The Argos need a succession strategy for Damon Allen, as difficult as that may be emotionally.

Allen can get them through this season, maybe win another Grey Cup, maybe not, but there has to come a point where they look to the future. And that future should include the most outstanding player not playing in the Canadian Football League.

Printers won't sit around another year with the B.C. Lions so the Argos need to be pro-active in their pursuit of the unhappy quarterback. They made a brief attempt to sign Ricky Ray this season but understood the timing wasn't right with Allen coming off a Grey Cup MVP season. One year later, they can't afford to let another all-star slip by.

Much as he hates hearing it, Allen is 42 years old. Printers is 24. The Argos need him and can build around him: Not now, but next year.

THIS AND THAT

So what are the expectations for Jason Allison? Twenty goals or 20 games? ... Why I'm not among those picking the Calgary Flames to win the Stanley Cup: Don't think you can win a Cup when your No. 1 centre is Daymond Langkow ... The more Jeremy Roenick gets hit the less sense he makes. And he has been getting hit a lot lately ... Best reason to ignore the results of pre-season hockey: Mike Craig always looked like a star in exhibition hockey ... The NHL season starts Wednesday. Any day now the league will determine what the rules are, what the goalies will wear and what its plans are for Hockey Night In Canada on a network locked out. Aside from that and about a million injured players, all is well ... Soon to be determined: Brandon Bochenski, Ottawa Senators, real or imagined ... John Grahame now is the No. 1 goalie with the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning, having beaten out Sean Burke in training camp.

HEAR AND THERE

If every Blue Jays player overachieved the way Josh Towers and Gregg Zaun did, they would have made the post-season. For Towers, winning 13 games with a sound earned-run average represents a monster year for the likable Jay ... The major league season ends today and with it certainly comes the end of suddenly sad career of the finger-pointer, Rafael Palmeiro ... Training camp opens Tuesday for the Raptors. New team motto: Low expectations or no expectations? ... Riddle me this, Dick Pound? How are we to believe in drug tests if the labs doing the testing aren't even capable of keeping information confidential? ... Ted Saskin would be home and cooled off as head of the NHL Players' Association if the process to hire him wasn't so sneaky and the contract so long and so large.

SCENE AND HEARD

Now starring in the role of NHL village idiot: Sean Avery of the Los Angeles Kings ... "Don't you get it?" Senator John McCain screamed at baseball union leader Donald Fehr, who apparently doesn't ... Michael Vick is a dangerous player. What he has yet to become is a dangerous passer ... This is where marketing trumps sport and blurs the lines of competition: Having not won a LPGA tournament, Michelle Wie will earn more for playing the Tour this coming season than Annika Sorenstam, the most dominant player in the game ... This is the kind of impact Canadian pitcher Rich Harden had when he was hurt in Oakland. He missed 15 starts: The A's were 2-13 in those games. Had they won half those games, they'd be battling the Los Angeles Angels right to the wire.

AND ANOTHER THING

It's fun watching the Boston Red Sox, it's like a Blue Jays fantasy camp. David Wells pitching, Mike Timlin closing and John Olerud at first base ... If they ever make a Boomer Wells movie, doesn't Dennis Franz have to play the lead? ... Perspective is a wonderful teacher: The much forgotten Cito Gaston, with two world championships, has more managerial rings than Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Lou Piniella and Earl Weaver and the same number as Billy Martin, Tommy Lasorda and Dick Williams ... P.S. Somewhere Cito must be smiling with Mike Mussina tripping all over himself ... Had Ray done more in New York, he'd be the Jets backup quarterback right now ... And hey, whatever became of John Ogrodnick?


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