Nothing about strange saga surprises Taman

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:34 AM ET

Officially, Kyries Hebert remains on Winnipeg's suspended list.

But the Blue Bombers will free him from the new CFL contract he agreed to last week if the import linebacker still cannot enter Canada after his appeal.

"That's another twist hopefully we don't have to get to," Bombers GM Brendan Taman said yesterday. "But if we do, you can't prevent a guy from working. If he can't get into Canada, I don't think it's right for us to prevent him from working in the States. I don't think it's going to come to that, quite honestly, but if it does, well, nothing will surprise me in this saga."

Although Hebert had originally refused to report, then demanded arbitration, Taman does not believe he purposely sabotaged his border crossing to get what he wants.

"Had he wanted to do that, he would have done that a couple of months ago," Taman said. "He wants to be here and be part of our team. But it can get a little frustrating after everything that's gone on."

J.R. Rickert, Hebert's agent, concurred.

"He was in very good spirits to come up there and join the team," he said. "He was ready to play (in Toronto) on Saturday."

Taman remains optimistic.

"I don't know where it's going to go but hopefully it's for the positive and we can get a guy working here," he said. "Based on some of the people who have gotten into this country to work, I would hope it can get resolved. But I really don't know. It's really out of our control."

Taman pointed out that Vinnie Sutherland, a receiver who had criminal charges in the U.S., was initially refused entry at the Winnipeg International Airport last year, but was approved two days later.

However, Taman was told that Hebert's appeal could take as long as six months.

"Our lawyers assured us we can expedite that timeframe," he said.

Bombers head coach Doug Berry was not planning to play Hebert this week anyway.

"It doesn't change my life at all," Berry said. "Like I've maintained all along, until he shows up here, he wasn't part of my plans and if he showed up here, it would have been a bonus. I'm sorry he's not here right now but it really doesn't affect anything that we had been planning on doing or that we are doing."


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