Not long after the anniversary of the CFL trade that brought him to Winnipeg, Wes Lysack was sent back to Calgary yesterday.
The Blue Bombers dealt the non-import safety to the Stampeders for import defensive back Anthony Malbrough and future considerations.
"There's a whole lot that went into this trade but you have to trade a good player to get a good player, and good inside DBs are hard to find," said Winnipeg GM Brendan Taman, who had acquired Lysack along with defensive lineman Joe Fleming and fullback Scott Regimbald in the deal that sent quarterback Khari Jones, fullback Randy Bowles and a draft pick to Calgary last year.
The Bombers were in danger of losing Lysack who is in his option year and have been in dire need of an inside halfback ever since Ricky Bell was a training-camp holdout and Tim Carter failed to live up to expectations.
"The contractual thing was a factor and who knows, we might have a chance to get (Lysack) back in February (when he becomes a free agent)," said Taman, who indicated that the 4-10 Bombers had expected more from Lysack.
"I'm a little mixed about it," said Lysack, 27. "The same type of thing that I went through when I got traded by Calgary after working so hard to help my teammates. It's been a frustrating season and it's tough leaving the team because we fought together so hard all year.
"But I had heard some rumours and I knew something was up so I wasn't that shocked. Going back to Calgary is exciting because I had a great time playing there and they're in the playoff hunt."
That means the Winnipeg native will likely get some playoff money, something he would not get in Winnipeg.
However, Lysack does not plan to move his family back just yet because he is indeed playing out his option.
The Stamps apparently want Lysack to play special teams and become a backup linebacker. He is currently fourth in the CFL in defensive tackles and has one interception.
Unconfirmed reports out of Calgary said the Bombers had also offered both Fleming and Regimbald back to the Stamps, too.
"That's a joke," said Taman of the rumoured offer.
IN HIS OPTION
The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Malbrough, who missed Calgary's last five games with a hamstring pull, will be in his option year next season.
"Halfbacks are very hard to find in this league and Anthony's one of the better ones in the league," said Taman, who had pursued the free agent last winter. "But Calgary got to him first.
"Obviously, our plans are for him to be here beyond next year."
Malbrough, 27, could not be reached for comment. He has recorded 19 defensive tackles, two knockdowns and two interceptions with Calgary this year.
Shawn Gallant will replace Lysack as the starting safety with the recently-acquired Ryan Folk as his backup, Taman said. He would not say, however, which side Malbrough will play.
The Winnipeg Rifles, by the way, will need a new secondary coach now that Lysack has left.
Taman is likely done trading now, although he would like to bring in some NFL cuts, including quarterback Craig Ochs.