CALGARY -- The 2013 season began with a lot of promise in Calgary, as the Stamps looked like the team to beat in the West.
But after finishing atop their own division with a league-best 14 wins, the Stamps' season came to an abrupt end in the post-season, dropping a 35-13 decision to the eventual Grey Cup Champion Saskatchewan Roughriders.
However, true to form, general manager and head coach John Hufnagel didn't panic, instead opting to efficiently re-sign several of his key playersl; a true sign that he believes in his current roster.
With their season ending earlier than expected, the Stamps went to work on securing their foundation from top to bottom.
After rumours swirled that offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson could be leaving the team in favour of one of the several vacant head coaching positions, Hufnagel squased all chatter by signing the former CFL QB to a three-year contract.
The Stamps entered the final month on the 2013 calendar with their eyes set on the Expansion Draft, and the league fixated on which quarterback they would choose to protect from Ottawa's grasp.
After rampant speculation, the Stamps were forced to part ways with veteran Kevin Glenn, who was scooped by Ottawa alongside J'Micheal Deane and Eric Fraser during the one day Draft.
It wasn’t all losses for the Stamps, however, as the team locked up two weapons in the passing game.
First, speedy receiver Maurice Price was handed a new contract, while Hufnagel also secured the likes of veteran Jabari Arthur. Both receivers were slated to become free agents in February.
The Stampeders also named Rich Stubler their new defensive coordinator. Stubler recently held the same position with the Lions.
Other December Transactions:
Signed Brander Craighead, OL
Released Derrius Brooks, DB
January saw the Stamps continue to cross items off their off-season to-do list.
Looking for someone to compete with Drew Tate and Bo Levi Mitchell under centre, Hufnagel brought in experienced QB Adrian McPherson into the fold, signing the former Alouettes backup to a contract.
Hufnagel then signed both Bo Levi Mitchell and Drew Tate to extensions.
Slowly but surely, Hufnagel continued to retain the services of his key contributors, signing Juwan Simpson, Jeff Fuller, Rob Cote, Jamar Wall, Joe West, Fred Bennett, Jeff Hecht, Keon Raymond, Spencer Wilson, and Randy Chevier all to extensions throughout the month.
Along with these extensions the Stamps added a few players to their roster, signing a backup to Jon Cornish in Martel Mallet.
They also got into the trade market, by shipping Spencer Armstrong to Hamilton for receiver Simon Cahrbonneau-Campeau.
With February around the corner, the Stamps said goodbye to a longtime member of the team, as Dmitri Tsoumpas announced his retirement.
While the players took a lot of the focus during the month, the coaching staff continued to take shape. Pat DelMonaco was named the offensive line coach after spending four years in Winnipeg.
Other January Transactions:
Signed Charlie Power, WR
Signed Yannick Morin-Plante, WR
Signed Brad Edros, OL
Signed Coryell Judie, WR
Signed Raymond Radway, WR
Signed Ryland Smith, LB
Signed Akeem Whonder, LB
Re-Signed Tim St. Pierre, FB
Just before free agency got underway, the Stamps prevented a key defensive standout from hitting the open market, as they announced an extension for Demonte' Bolden.
Later in the month, they completed their third trade in three weeks by unloading kick returner Larry Taylor and the 5th round pick in the 2014 Draft to Montreal for the Alouettes’ 5th round pick.
That same day, however, Calgary wentout and signed tailback/kick returner Jock Sanders to a deal.
Other February Transactions:
Signed Keith Pough, LB
Signed O’Hara Fluellen, DB
Signed Joe Sykes, DL
Signed Kyle Voss, LB
Signed Otis Merril, DB
While the Stamps made a few transactions throughout the month, they did make one that was arguably their biggest of the off-season, as they inked defensve tackle and 2013 sack leader Charleston Hughes to an extension.
Other March Transactions:
Signed Kevin Dixon, DL
Signed Ryan Steed, DB
Signed Brandon Johnson, DL
As a result of their busy front half of the off-season, the Stamps were rather quiet throughout April.
They did, however, catch the eye of CFL.ca, as they earned the top spot in the off-season power rankings.
But the quiet times didn't last very long in Calgary, as the team made a massive splash on Draft day.
To the surprise of everyone, Hufnagel sent offensive lineman Jon Gott to Ottawa in exchange for the first overall pick in the 2014 CFL Draft.
Hufnagel then used his new top pick to select Laval centre Pierre Lavertu.
With the Draft behind them the Stampeders continued to make moves with one busy day that saw the Stamps sign Lin-J Shell, release Jonathan Hefney and trade a conditional Draft pick to Hamilton in exchange for Dee Webb.
|1. Pierre Lavertu||OL||Laval|
|7. Quinn Smith||DL||Concordia|
|16. Max Caron||LB||Concordia|
|19. Laurent Duvernay-Tardif||OL||McGill|
|24. Adam Thibault||DB||Laval|
|25. Joe Circelli||OL||Western|
|34. Derek Wiggan||DL||Queen's|
|40. Tyler Crapigna||K||McMaster|
|61. Brian Marshall||WR||Western|
Other May Transactions:
Signed Sederrick Cunningham, WR
Signed Marcus Rucker, WR
Signed Korian Chambers, OL
Signed Brandon Williams, DL
Signed Jeremy Williams, DB
Released Wilkerson DeSouza, FB
Released Chris Bauman, WR
Released Coryell Judie, DB
Released O’Hara Fluellen, DB
Released Kyle Voss, LB
Released Keith Pough, LB
Released Joe Sykes, DL
Released Brandon Johnson, DL
Released Raymond Radway, WR
Released Ryland Smith, LB
Retired Adrian McPherson, QB
|8||Lemar Durant||Simon Fraser||WR|
|2||Blue Bombers||OL||Chungh, Sukh|
|8||Alouettes via HAM||OL||Ruby, Jacob|