April 23, 2009

2009 CFL Canadian Draft live on TSN, May 2

Toronto, ON (April 23, 2009) – TSN showcases the next wave of young Canadian football stars with live coverage of the first two rounds of the 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT on Saturday, May 2 at 11 a.m. ET, exclusively on TSN in High Definition.  The two-hour TSN original production features CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon in the CFL ON TSN studio to announce each selection during the first and second rounds of the draft.  The 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT will also be available on-demand at TSN.ca, and fans can follow the final four rounds of the DRAFT through real-time updates on CFL.ca.

“For the second year in a row, TSN is proud to shine a spotlight on some of the most impressive, young football players in Canada, as they follow their dreams of making it in the CFL.  The talent that is showcased during the CFL Canadian Draft is a testament to grassroots football programs across the country, and the coaches and communities that support the goals of these athletes,” said Phil King, President, TSN.

“The CFL Canadian Draft is a tremendously exciting day for our league and our fans, an opportunity for us to feature superb, young talent, and a sure sign that a new season is just around the corner,” said Canadian Football League Commissioner Mark Cohon.

“Now, there is yet another reason for our fans to celebrate: our partners at TSN are broadcasting the first two rounds of the draft, which speaks to Canadians’ interest in our game, and TSN’s commitment to it.  It has been gratifying to see how quickly our draft has grown into a full-fledged national telecast, and I know our fans can’t wait to see how their favourite teams fare on Draft Day.”

Host Rod Black is joined in studio by CFL analysts Chris Schultz, Matt Dunigan and Glen Suitor, as they analyze the eight teams’ needs and provide opinions on each pick.  CFL ON TSN game analyst Duane Forde, who has covered the DRAFT on four previous occasions, is part of an additional panel of experts including Saint Mary’s Huskies head coach Steve Sumarah and McMaster Marauders head coach Stefan Ptaszek, and TSN’s Farhan Lalji, who in more than 20 years of coaching football at various youth levels has seen more than 40 of his players go on to play at the collegiate level.  The panel will assess each draft pick’s strengths and weaknesses and analyze how they fit in with their new team.  TSN’s coverage of the 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT also includes reaction from CFL general managers and interviews with newly-drafted players.

In addition to offering fans coverage of the 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT on demand, TSN.ca features results from this year’s CFL evaluation camp and player analysis from Duane Forde.  Fans can also keep track of the teams’ picks from all six rounds of the DRAFT on TSN.ca.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have the first overall pick in the 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT.  The six-round draft features eligible Canadian players from the CIS and NCAA, with a total of 48 players chosen.  Top prospects include: University of Alberta offensive linesman Simeon Rottier of Westlock, AB; University of Windsor offensive linesman Matt Morencie of Windsor, ON; Laval University defensive linesman Étienne Légaré of Saint-Raymond, QC; Acadia University slotback Matt Carter of Kelowna, B.C.; and Bishop’s University running back Jamall Lee of Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Due to various trades, the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders currently have eight picks each in this year’s DRAFT.  Hamilton, Toronto and B.C. each have seven picks, while Edmonton has five selections, Winnipeg has four and Saskatchewan has two.  In the first round, the Lions have three consecutive picks (4th, 5th and 6th overall) and the Tiger-Cats have two (1st and 3rd overall), while the Roughriders and Eskimos are shut out until the second round, where they pick 9th and 11th overall, respectively.  The Eskimos also have the 12th pick overall in the second round.  Having traded their first and second round picks, the Blue Bombers first pick in the 2009 CFL CANADIAN DRAFT occurs in the third round (19th pick overall).

Once again, TSN is the ultimate destination for all things Canadian football, as the network will televise every single CFL game – including the playoffs and the Grey Cup – in High Definition.  New to the CFL ON TSN broadcast team this year is former Winnipeg Blue Bombers receiver Milt Stegall, who joins the crew in studio as a guest analyst.  Back for another season is the award-winning team of play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert and game analyst Glen Suitor, along with play-by-play announcer Rod Black and game analyst Duane Forde.  Reporter Sara Orlesky works the sidelines during Wendy’s FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL.  Brian Williams returns as on-site host, while Dave Randorf hosts the TSN Studio show alongside analysts Chris Schultz, Hall-of-Famer Matt Dunigan and Jock Climie.  The CFL ON TSN season kicks off on Canada Day (July 1) with an opening night doubleheader featuring Toronto @ Hamilton at 7 p.m. ET, immediately followed by Montreal @ Calgary at 10 p.m. ET in a rematch of last year’s Grey Cup final.