More growing pains

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:10 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- The Blue Bombers' rocky start this season is familiar territory for Winnipeg native Wes Lysack.

The all-star safety, drafted by Calgary in 2003 and shipped to the Blue late last season as part of a five-player trade, has been handling turmoil since entering the league.

During his rookie season, the Stamps managed just five wins while Calgary found the winner's circle only three times in 2004 before he was moved to Winnipeg in October.

Now with his second CFL club in three seasons, Lysack entered last night's contest against the Stampeders playing alongside new halfback Brad Franklin, while also being reunited this season with former Calgary teammates William Fields and Omar Evans, the starting cornerbacks.

Franklin was one of six lineup changes instigated by head coach Jim Daley as the Bombers search for a winning combination.

"In the secondary, continuity is a huge part of playing well and whenever you have new guys together it takes a little while," said Lysack, 27.

"You've got growing pains and then when changes are made again you're starting at ground zero.

"I don't know how chemistry happens but last year (in Calgary) we were kind of forced into it, being on the field so much and the offence being as bad as it was and all the front office bull(crap) that was going on. We were forced into being such a tight unit and it worked."

The Stampeders sent sure-handed receiver Travis Moore to Saskatchewan on draft day in 2003 just to acquire the former Manitoba Bison, throwing a spotlight on his arrival into the league.

This season Lysack finds himself searching for chemistry in a rebuilding Bombers lineup while still overcoming the bitter memories of being traded from a city he'd hoped would be his one and only CFL stop.

Magnifying the misery was a long-term lease on a condo he needed to get out of to move back to his home province. Although traded players get $1,000 compensation from the team and assistance from the CFLPA, the swap was a financial blow for the hard-hitting safety.

"We had to break the lease and that was something like $1,000," Lysack said.

"The whole trade, the move, breaking the lease, moving our stuff back here, travelling back and forth, my cellphone bill ... I ended up losing so much money on that trade. That's probably what makes me more bitter than anything.

"I loved that town and the fans and on defence we had an interesting nucleus in Calgary," said Lysack, who had formed a tight bond years earlier with Stampeders defensive co-ordinator Denny Creehan while both were at Rutgers University.

"I loved it in Calgary and I loved the defence, so it was tough leaving but it was easy coming here because it's home."


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