No Canada as Bombers release defensive end

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:12 AM ET

There will be no Canada to show on the Jumbotron during the national anthem at Winnipeg Blue Bombers home games this season.

The local CFL club officially released import defensive end Tom Canada yesterday.

It's the second time they sent Canada packing after trying to deal him to Hamilton for import linebacker Zeke Moreno. That deal fell through when it was discovered Canada was suffering from an enlarged spleen.

While some suggested Canada may never play pro football again because of the problem, the Bombers said that wasn't the reason he was released.

"I spent the entire month of December analyzing our personnel and making evaluations along with the coaching staff and (director of player personnel) John Murphy because we want to put the best players on the field," Bomber head coach Mike Kelly said. "We're really excited about the play of (defensive ends) Kai Ellis and Gavin Walls.

"Shawn Mayne will fit in well with Doug Brown and Tyrone Williams on the inside, and Tom just didn't fit into our plans."

Canada was also due a bonus, which had some effect on the decision.

Canada had apparently been promised a chance to win his old job back in training camp once he rehabbed but that was by the old regime of GM Brendan Taman and head coach Doug Berry.

"I'm making all my statements (today) via e-mail so I'll give you a statement then," Canada responded. "Have to let it all sink in before I say anything stupid."


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