- Free Agency
HAMILTON — Hamilton offensive lineman Peter Dyakowski is a man who knows what he wants.
And what he wanted was to stay in Steeltown as a member of the Tiger-Cats.
“This is what I wanted all along; to be able to remain a Tiger-Cat is fantastic. Not a lot of guys get to play for the same team for so long so I’m really fortunate,” said Dyakowski on Ticats.ca.
Dyakowski enters his seventh season with the Ticats since arriving in Hamilton in 2007. A second round choice in the 2006 CFL Draft, he has suited up in 96 regular season games and four playoff games.
The Vancouver, British Columbia native was named an East Division and CFLPA All-Star in 2012 after being named the Ticats’ Most Outstanding Lineman in 2011.
Since that fateful draft day in 2006, Dyakowski has gradually become of the game’s top offensive lineman.
And alongside fellow offensive lineman – centre Marwan Hage – the two provide the Tabbies with a fairly stable one-two Canadian punch in the trenches.
Like Dyakowski, Hage signed on the dotted line to remain in Hamilton earlier this week, an event that Dyakowski says played a big factor in his decision to remain as well.
“That was a huge part of my decision, knowing that Marwan was staying here,” Dyakowski told reporters.
“We’ve had a great relationship, we’ve played next to each other for the last six years and when you play next to the same guy for so long you really mesh and you really work well together so him coming back was a big part of my decision,” he added.
Dyakowski has been a model of consistency since joining the Ticats, missing just 10 games since 2007.
He is widely known as one of the more intelligent players in the league, an attribute that allows him to not only lead his teammates on the field, but off of it as well.
“Leadership is something that anyone can acquire. Nobody is anointed a leader, leadership is really an issue of your character and your integrity and anyone can learn to do that,” said Hamilton head coach and general manager Kent Austin.
“But obviously if we have guys that have already figured that out and are already respected on the football team then we want as many of those guys as we can,” he added.
With their contract discussions now out of the way, Dyakowski and Hage can now focus on making things right on the field for the Ticats and their fans.
Dyakowski admits that 2012 wasn’t the best season in Hamilton, but hopes that a new year will breed better results.
“We had a few injuries (last year) and that tripped us up a bit. But if you look at the personnel we have (Marc Dile) who really stepped up and played some nice football for a young guy, you got Tim O’Neill who’s a big strong veteran guy as well as Marwan and I,” said Dyakowski.