Here's an idea: If Quebec City is eventually awarded a CFL franchise, would you accept giving the team exclusive rights to French-Canadian university players in the draft for 10 years from inception (they would have right of first refusal on these players. If they QC team did not chose them, then other team would be allowed to do so)? The Montreal Canadians had this advantage up to the late 1970s (it certainly fuelled the rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs). Doing so would not only fuel the national rivalry but also set the team apart from the Als therefore feeding the in-province rivalry. The Nordiques vs. Habs rivalry was very much a reflection of the animosity between the two centers based upon the reality that the latter was owned by English-Canadians and represented a city that was, in comparison, significantly more English and cosmopolitan.
Although I'm not crazy about the idea, I think it would work.
why should Quebec have first choice of French University students?
why not then give the Western teams first choice of Western University players!
No, the rules have to be fair for all teams. If the fans can't appreciate a good football player from SK. or MB. Then, they're not real football fans and we don't need them. You will have a natural rival with Montreal , no matter what players are on the teams. The current CFL teams would never go for it anyway, as Laval is a football player factory.
Has to be fair for all teams, the NHL used to have a system like this where players from a junior team would automatically go to a NHL team. Fortunately they got away from this. My guess is right now some players drafted out of say Laval might not go to a team other than Montreal if the pay isn't significant enough compared with if they have a good job in Quebec coming out of university.
Really? Try talking to some Quebecois Habs fans. I can understand this impression but I don't buy the reality of it... at least, as a general rule. The rivalry between QC and Montreal of which I am aware (lived in Montreal) did have to do with the rivalry between Govenment Centre (and yes, even national centre in the minds of some) and Cultural/Business Centre.
^ From what I understand the original poster is correct. The rivalry was fueled by the fact Montreal was seen pretty much as an english team in the french province. The nordiques were a true francophone team, and people immediately felt an attachment to that, especially the sovereigns. Although what you said also was part of the rivalry.
Having said that I don't like this idea for several reasons.
Mark, you are failing to understand the nuisances of that rivalry: those who jumped the ship from the HABS to the Nords (clearly the Nordiques fans were not indifferent to hockey before the formationof the QC team nor were they fans of other teams) did so partially because they derided the role Montreal played in the province as the "center of the world" where big business occured (at the time it was in the hands of English-language industrialists--Molson, Redpath, Holt...This was before Quebecore, Pierre Peladeau, Bombardier, La Caisse de Depot et de Placement....), where people naturally moved to from QC/other urban and rural provincial locations, and where immigrants chose to live because the rest of the province was not in any way attractive to them (too cloistered from cosmopolitan influences). Certainly the HABS continued to have a majority of French-language fans yet, the introduction of the Nordiques under Aubut (the HABs were then owned by English-Canadians), coached by Michel Bergeron/Ron Lapointe (whereas the HABS had spent years under Bowman), and captained by Michel Goulet (not Bob Gainey) gave people the opportunity to cheer against the HABS in the same way that many in Ontario are looking to cheer against the Leafs for the same reasons. In brief, the Nordiques were loved because they represented the underdog against the mighty Habs who represented a city that seemed to have everything handed to it.
I guess that it is just that each of us is playing up one factor more than the other. You highlight the ethnic rivalry while granting weight to the city rivalry and I reverse the order.
We pretty much agree mon ami. It's nuance.
I remember when Jesse Lumsden was such a huge star at McMaster, the thought of him being selected by someone like B.C. or (ugh!) Toronto was offensive to me. I think there should be something in place which encourages university players to remain with their local pro team. That would allow teams in QC first dibs on French-language players from Laval, for example, while remaining fair to the other teams.
Here's how I propose it:
Prior to the Canadian college draft, each team selects one (or two, if the league decides that's better) player(s) from their local universities. It doesn't really make much difference how many universities are in the area, since each team is selecting the same number of players.
The draft continues as usual, but players who have been selected are not available to be drafted.
A team may negotiate a trade to a team for the right to draft one of those players, but must then use their first draft pick to select them. Because this would involve a trade PLUS the use of a draft pick, this would probably not occur very often.
There are several advantages to this method:
- It allows university players who have become household names in their communities to remain there, where they have already built up a lot of goodwill.
- It encourages players with regional connections, such as French-speaking students in Quebec, to stay in their area, without completely eliminating their opportunities elsewhere or unfairly shutting out other teams from drafting from certain regions.
- Perhaps most importantly, it encourages all CFL teams to work with their local universities to improve their football programmes, in order to improve the talent pool they will have to choose from. This will lead to better university football across the country.
I don't know...just a thought.
What is a local player? Born within a certain distance? Where he grew up? went to high school? went to College?
What a mess that would be… Kid born in Toronto, grows up in Montreal and goes to CEGEP, then goe to UBC for College…
If we really want this league to unite us why start something like this?
I would go the other way, cut draft to two rounds. Set a min salary for a drafted player of 65k for two years and the rest of the young people are free to play where they want at 41k for two years.
The CFL actually had a territorial exemption clause way back (70s and early 80s). Each team could protect (i.e. exempt) a player from the draft if: he either played his first organized football in that team’s territory(pee wee or pop warner, and in rare cases bantam), or played his last organized football in that team’s territory (usually college, but sometimes semi-pro players qualified). The reason for the first clause allowed teams to protect a promising prospect who went south and played college football in America. If they couldn’t sign him, he went into the next CFL draft. Of course there were more players to choose from in Ontario and Quebec CIAU conferences, which gave those teams (Ottawa, Hamilton, Toronto, and Montreal) a slight advantage, but each team could only protect one, so it didn’t affect the integrity of the draft. It died with the Als in '86 (I believe).
I meant to bring this up yesterday, but I didn't have enough details. I didn't know the first part (about "first organized football") so thanks for that.
I could swear that Winnipeg used a very similar rule earlier this decade, and the fact that it was such an obscure, seldom-used option was cause for a whole article about it.
Also, Ottawa has had as many as four in one draft, so I don't know about limits as such. It's a neat rule though, I like it. And not just for Quebec City.
I don't understand the confusion. "Local" means exactly what I said it means: "Each team picks one (or two) player(s) from their LOCAL UNIVERSITIES." Being born in a city, growing up in a city, or playing high school football in a city, does not create football credentials in that city. It's in university where players begin to be recognized in the community.
Giving teams in the province of Quebec a chance to sign more Francophone players would be beneficial to those teams, and to those players. Fans, particularly in Quebec City, would be able to relate to the players better, and the players would have greater visibility in the community. Teams across the country would benefit from better university programmes, encouraging them to work with their local schools to develop that local talent.
Reducing the draft to two rounds, then having undrafted players sign for a fixed amount wherever they want, would be true chaos. Players would sign with teams they have no realistic shot at making, while other teams that need their services would do without, since they would be unable to outbid the other team. And at some point these players would have to go from being "undrafted" to being "free agents", eligible to sign for as much as they can get. At what point would that come? Twenty-four hours after the draft? Forty-eight? Seven days? Many undrafted players who know they will be in high demand will refuse to sign with another team, opting to wait for their free agent status to kick in. No, let the teams continue to select players based on the team's requirements, thereby improving the players' chances of making their respective teams.
And I knew there was something called a "territorial exemption", but didn't know how it worked. I loosely based my proposal on what I knew of it, but filled in some gaps myself, and also added my own wrinkles.
I think the greatest thing that would come of this would be the partnerships that would develop between CFL teams and Canadian universities. The Ticats already have a strong affiliation with McMaster, and I think this would encourage similar co-operations across the country.
Great post! I completely agree with this idea as CIS football does not get enough fan loyalty as the players oftentimes seem too irrelevant. This is the same issue with league vs. high school football in Canada. Although I played league football in Montreal (we have both options but league teams are much better so the school teams receive little respect or talent), I always thought that high school teams would be the better way to go as the student body offers an natural fan base. The American high school football model is the way to go. To grow the sport in Canada we need to promote fan loyalty from the bottom up by tapping into natural allegiances. A transfer of local university players to local CFL teams makes sense.
I don't agree because I think Canadian Football is healthy in Quebec but I love the idea and the fact that you're thinking about it and putting it out there. IMO the more Pro Football players from la belle province that get a roster spot in the rest of the country the better for Canadian Professional Football.
I understand why some might think it's a good idea, but I think the negatives outweigh the positives. It could lead to the perception that some players only have their spot on a roster because of where they're from, or where they played college football. Some people use the same argument to disparage the CFL for having mandatory spots on team rosters for Canadians (*I am in favour of mandatory roster spots for Canadians because of tradition and because it is necessary in building and preserving the game in Canada). This would just be an extension of that. It would hurt the image of the league. Professional sports has come to mean having the most talented players you can find regardless of where they come from, whether it be hockey players from Europe, baseball players from the Dominican Republic, or soccer players in Europe from Africa or South America.
You would have a good argument only if the QC team would prove to be uncompetitive. However, French-language talent coming out of CIS leads one to think that the team would be competitive with a French core.
Some say the Laval players now are almost semi-pro, taking a bit extra time off classes to work on their football so to speak and getting a bit more freebies than a bottle of pop each day.
don't like the idea, but a team in Quebec City would be awesome... GET IT DONE LEAGUE