2014 CFL season

Last updated
2014 CFL season
Regular season
DurationJune 26 – November 8, 2014
Playoffs
Start dateNovember 16, 2014
East Champions Hamilton Tiger-Cats
West Champions Calgary Stampeders
102nd Grey Cup
DateNovember 30, 2014
Site BC Place, Vancouver
ChampionsCalgary Stampeders
  2013 CFL seasons 2015  

The 2014 Canadian Football League season was the 61st season of modern Canadian professional football. It was the 57th season of the league. Vancouver hosted the 102nd Grey Cup on November 30. The league expanded to nine teams with the addition of the Ottawa Redblacks, giving the CFL nine teams for the first time since the 2005 season. As a result of the expansion, the schedule shifted to a 20-week regular season plus three weeks of playoffs (including the Grey Cup); the season started on June 26, 2014.

Canadian Football League Professional Canadian football league

The Canadian Football League is a professional sports league in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football. The league consists of nine teams, each located in a city in Canada. They are divided into two divisions: four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division.

Vancouver City in British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver is a coastal seaport city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vancouver area had a population of 2,463,431 in 2016, making it the third-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver has the highest population density in Canada, with over 5,400 people per square kilometre, which makes it the fifth-most densely populated city with over 250,000 residents in North America, behind New York City, Guadalajara, San Francisco, and Mexico City according to the 2011 census. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada according to that census; 52% of its residents have a first language other than English. 48.9% have neither English nor French as their first language. Approximately 30% of the city's inhabitants are of Chinese heritage.

102nd Grey Cup

The 102nd Grey Cup was a Canadian football game played November 30, 2014, between the West Division champion Calgary Stampeders and East Division champion Hamilton Tiger-Cats, to determine the Canadian Football League (CFL) championship for the 2014 season. The contest was held at BC Place stadium in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Stampeders won the contest 20–16 to claim their seventh Grey Cup championship in franchise history and first since 2008. Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the Grey Cup Most Valuable Player, while Hamilton's Andy Fantuz received the Dick Suderman Trophy as most outstanding Canadian.

Contents

CFL news in 2014

Labour negotiations

The collective bargaining agreement between the CFL and the CFL Players' Association (CFLPA) expired on May 29, 2014. With a new and more lucrative television contract with TSN beginning this season, [1] revenue distribution was a major sticking point in CBA negotiations.

The Sports Network (TSN) is a Canadian English language sports discretionary service channel. Established by the Labatt Brewing Company in 1984 as part of the first group of Canadian specialty cable channels, since 2001, TSN has been majority-owned by communications conglomerate BCE Inc. with a minority stake held by ESPN Inc. via a 20% share in the Bell Media subsidiary CTV Specialty Television. TSN is the largest specialty channel in Canada in terms of gross revenue, with a total of $400.4 million in revenue in 2013.

Unlike other professional sports leagues in North America, the CFL salary cap is not tied to league revenues. The league had offered to raise the previous $4.4 million (CAD) salary cap to $5 million, with further increases of $50,000 for each subsequent year. The players' union originally countered with a proposal that would have increased the cap to $6.24 million in 2014 with the cap in subsequent years being calculated as a percentage of league revenues, but CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon had said the league would never agree to such a formula. The CFLPA then withdrew its demand for revenue sharing and put forth a proposal that would have increased the cap to $5.8 million with 3% annual increases and a $4.8 million salary floor that would increase with the cap, but this offer was also rejected by the league.

In professional sports, a salary cap is an agreement or rule that places a limit on the amount of money that a team can spend on players' salaries. It exists as a per-player limit or a total limit for the team's roster, or both. Several sports leagues have implemented salary caps, using it to keep overall costs down, and also to maintain a competitive balance by restricting richer clubs from entrenching dominance by signing many more top players than their rivals. Salary caps can be a major issue in negotiations between league management and players' unions because they limit players' and teams' ability to negotiate higher salaries even if a team is operating at significant profits, and have been the focal point of several strikes by players and lockouts by owners and administrators.

Canadian dollar Currency of Canada

The Canadian dollar is the currency of Canada. It is abbreviated with the dollar sign $, or sometimes CA$, Can$ or C$ to distinguish it from other dollar-denominated currencies. It is divided into 100 cents (¢).

Mark Cohon Canadian football administrator

Mark Steven Cohon, was the 12th commissioner of the Canadian Football League. The son of McDonald's Canada founder George Cohon, he was appointed as commissioner in 2007 succeeding Tom Wright.

The CFLPA had indicated that it would not play the 2014 season under the terms of the expired agreement. After negotiations broke down on May 21, the CFLPA began preparations for a strike vote. Had the players gone on strike, it would have been only the second work stoppage in CFL history and possibly the first to have caused the cancellation of regular season games. It would also have been the first work stoppage in North American professional sports in almost 20 years to be initiated by players, since all such labour disputes since the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike have been owners' lockouts. The first CFL strike, in 1974, occurred during training camp and was settled before the regular season began.

The 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike was the eighth work stoppage in baseball history, as well as the fourth in-season work stoppage in 22 years. The strike began on August 12, 1994, and resulted in the remainder of that season being cancelled, including the postseason and, for the first time since 1904, the World Series. The strike was suspended on April 2, 1995, after 232 days, making it the longest such stoppage in MLB history and the longest work stoppage in major league professional sports at the time ; its length would be surpassed by the 2004–05 NHL lockout, which ran for 310 days and caused the cancellation of that league's entire 2004–05 season. 948 games were cancelled in all, and MLB became the first major professional sports league to lose an entire postseason due to labor struggles. Due to the strike, both the 1994 and 1995 seasons were not played to a complete 162 games; the strike was called after most teams had played at least 113 games in 1994. Each team played 144 games in 1995.

The 1974 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 21st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 17th Canadian Football League season.

On June 7, the CFL and CFLPA announced that they had reached a tentative labour agreement, pending ratification by the players and owners. [2] The agreement was ratified by the players on June 12. [3]

Labour agreement

The new collective bargaining agreement will be in place until May 15, 2019 or the first day training camp in 2019, whichever comes later. However, if the nine member clubs' total aggregate revenues increase by more than $27 million in any year starting in 2016, both sides will renegotiate the salary cap. The salary cap for the 2014 season is set at $5 million per team, a 13.6% increase from the previous season, with the salary floor set at $4.4 million. Both figures will increase by $50,000 each year until 2018. The minimum salary per player increased by $5000 to $50,000 and will increase by $1000 each year until 2018. [3]

The game-day roster increased from 42 players to 44 players, with 46 players still being named to the active roster, meaning the reserve roster decreased from four to two players. The practice roster for teams also increased from seven to ten players in the Summer and from 12 to 15 players in the Fall. The nine-game injury list was replaced with a six-game injury list, while retaining the option of removing two players early from the list. Clubs are also permitted to keep players on the list past the six games and not have their salaries count against the salary cap. The league has also removed the option-year clause on contracts for veteran players, making it possible for players to sign one-year contracts. Rookie players must still have option years on their contracts. [3]

Ottawa expansion

This is the first season of play for the Ottawa Redblacks, as the CFL returned to the city of Ottawa for the first time since 2005 when the Ottawa Renegades suspended operations during the following off-season. [4] [5] The team was able to sign players starting on the day after the 101st Grey Cup on November 25, 2013 and an expansion draft for the club was held on December 16, 2013. [6] The 2013 CFL Expansion Draft allowed the RedBlacks to select one import [Note 1] and two non-import [Note 1] players from each of the eight existing member clubs. Additionally, after selecting four players in the 2013 CFL Draft, the RedBlacks fully participated in the 2014 CFL Draft, with the first picks in each of the draft's seven rounds. [7] Their first regular season game was in Winnipeg on July 3, while their first regular season home game took place against the Toronto Argonauts on July 18. [8]

The RedBlacks play in the CFL East Division, after the Winnipeg Blue Bombers moved to the CFL West Division. [9] Similar to the previous two times the league changed to a nine-team league, in 1996 and 2002, Winnipeg immediately moved to the west. There was earlier speculation that Winnipeg would continue to be an East Division team, due to the CFL's board of governors' desire to have long-term stability. [10] However, due to the desire of the Blue Bombers organization to return to the West Division, the switch was made for the 2014 season. [11] Since the creation of the Canadian Football League in 1958, the Blue Bombers spent the first 29 seasons in the West Division, but 21 of the last 27 seasons in the East.

Season structure

The regular season schedule consists of 81 games played over 20 weeks, with 19 weeks featuring four games and week 8 featuring five games. Each team has two bye weeks except for the Toronto Argonauts, which will have three bye weeks since they are the only team scheduled to play two games in one week. In terms of team matchups, each team will play two divisional opponents three times and every other team twice. Each West Division team will play 10 divisional games, while each East Division team will play eight divisional games. The playoffs begin on November 16 and the 102nd Grey Cup will be played on November 30 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. [12]

The schedule was announced on February 12, 2014 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the league opener for the second consecutive season on June 26. [13] The Grey Cup champions hosted a Grey Cup rematch in week 1 for the first time since 2011 and only the third time in the past nine seasons. Following the previous season's hiccup with the Labour Day Classic, the traditional rivalry game between the Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats resumed, along with Ottawa playing Montreal that same weekend (also historic Labour Day rivals). For the second consecutive season, the league is featuring all-division match ups in the final four weeks of the regular season. However, in stark contrast to the previous season's 13 home-and-home series, this season holds only two (both featuring Labour Day match ups). There are 25 double headers this year, with nine on Fridays, 11 on Saturdays, three on Sundays, and two (the traditional Labour Day and Thanksgiving contests) on Mondays.

Stadiums

The Ottawa Redblacks began play at the newly renovated (and renamed) TD Place Stadium, which finished construction on time and on budget. [14] The old south side stands were condemned and demolished with construction completed in June 2014. The existing north side stands were refurbished and renovated to match the design of the completely rebuilt south side stands. [15] The capacity of the stadium will be approximately 24,000 seats, which is a reduction of its prior capacity of approximately 29,000.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats also began play at their new stadium, Tim Hortons Field, during the 2014 season. The stadium is being built on the same grounds as Ivor Wynne Stadium, which was demolished at the conclusion of 2012 CFL season. The new stadium will seat approximately 24,000 fans and will change to a north-south orientation as opposed to the east-west setup of Ivor Wynne Stadium. [16] For the 2013 CFL season, the Tiger-Cats played at Alumni Stadium in Guelph, Ontario. To accommodate continued construction, the Tiger-Cats began the 2014 season with a four-week, three-game road trip; the stadium was slated to open in July but construction delays forced the Tiger-Cats to move the first three games of the 2014 season to McMaster University's Ron Joyce Stadium. Tim Hortons Field, still not completely finished, opened in time for the Labour Day Classic.

Due to stadium unavailability, three teams played their pre-season home games in stadiums that are not their regular season homes. The Redblacks' "home" pre-season game took place in Regina on June 14, 2014 with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as the visitors, as TD Place Stadium in Ottawa was not yet ready in time for that game. [17] The Hamilton Tiger-Cats played at Ron Joyce Stadium against the Alouettes on June 14, 2014. [18] Finally, the Argonauts played at the University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium against the Tiger-Cats on June 19, 2014. [19]

College draft

Beginning with the 2014 CFL draft, non-import [Note 1] Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) players will be eligible to be selected in the draft three years after completing their first season of eligibility. This eliminates any rookies who sat out or redshirted for their first playing year and would be eligible to return to university. Prior to this change, players were eligible to be selected after their fourth year of post-secondary education. Additionally, for non-import players playing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) or National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), they are now eligible to be selected after completing their senior year. This change eliminates the possibility of NCAA or NAIA students returning to college after being drafted. [20]

Media

This will be the first season of the CFL's new international, multi-platform broadcast agreement with the ESPN Networks. In Canada, the league gave a no-bid extension to its existing exclusive contract with TSN and RDS, ESPN's partially owned Canadian subsidiary. [21] This will mark the seventh season that TSN and RDS have been the exclusive broadcasters of the CFL. The agreement was expanded to the United States on June 27, one day before the regular season began. In the U.S., the contract will see the network's online platform, ESPN3, continue to present CFL games (as it has done since 2008), and will also see a minimum of 17 games (including the 102nd Grey Cup) air on one of ESPN's conventional networks (ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNews) as well as through the WatchESPN platform. ESPN had aired 5 CFL games in 2013. [22] The broadcast agreements for both the U.S. and Canadian rights run through the 2018 season. It is believed that TSN/ESPN will pay the CFL over $30 million per season over the course of the deal, which would be more than double the previous deal which was approximately $15 million. The impact of such an increase would allow for money-losing clubs to become profitable and allow all clubs to make more investments in stadiums and practice facilities. [23]

The agreement also ends the CFL's relationship with the U.S. cable network NBCSN, who carried a limited selection of games (see CFL on NBC ) during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Coaching changes

The Edmonton Eskimos relieved Kavis Reed of his coaching duties following the 2013 season. Reed had been the head coach of Edmonton for three seasons from 2011 through 2013, compiling a record of 22 and 32 (1–2 in the playoffs). Edmonton management replaced Reed with Chris Jones who had most recently been the Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach/Assistant General Manager of the Argonauts for the previous two seasons. Tom Higgins was brought in by Montreal Alouettes GM Jim Popp to take over from the intern head coach position which Popp had been filling since early in the 2013 season. Higgins had been the CFL's Head of Officiating from 2008 through 2013. This will be Higgins' third stint as a CFL head coach, having previously served under the Calgary Stampeders (200506) and Eskimos (200104). Mike O'Shea became the 30th coach of the Blue Bombers after he replaced Tim Burke. O'Shea had been the Special Teams Coordinator of the Toronto Argonauts from the 2010 season through 2013. The Ottawa RedBlacks began their inaugural season under the tutelage of Rick Campbell. Campbell had been the Defensive Coordinator of the Stampeders for the previous two seasons.

Trade deadline

The deadline for teams to complete trades is Wednesday, October 15 at 3:59pm EDT.

Records

Team records

In Week 15, the Saskatchewan Roughriders scored three 2-point converts in a single game, establishing a new CFL record for most successful 2-point converts in a single contest. [24]

Uniforms

Signature series

West Division Signature Uniforms CFL Signature West Jerseys 2014.png
West Division Signature Uniforms
East Division Signature Uniforms CFL Signature East Jerseys 2014.png
East Division Signature Uniforms

On August 6, 2014, the league announced that each team would be wearing brand new alternate uniforms, complete with new jerseys, pants, helmets, and socks. [26] The BC Lions were the first to debut the new uniforms during the previous season, with the other eight clubs unveiling theirs this year. One of the most noticeable features were logos centred on the front of four of the uniforms (Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Ottawa), which had not been seen since the 1995 CFL season. Each team wore the uniforms at two times this season with the exception of Winnipeg, who wore theirs once, and Ottawa and Calgary, who wore theirs three times. Each team is scheduled to wear these uniforms at least once for the 2015 CFL season.

Regular season

Structure

Teams play eighteen regular season games, playing two divisional opponents three times and all of the other teams twice. Teams are awarded two points for a win and one point for a tie. The top three teams in each division qualify for the playoffs, with the first place team gaining a bye to the divisional finals. A fourth place team in one division may qualify ahead of the third place team in the other division (the "Crossover"), if they earn more points in the season. [27] If a third-place team finishes in a tie with the fourth place team in the other division, the third place team automatically gets the playoff spot and there is no crossover.

If two or more teams in the same division are equal in points, the following tiebreakers apply: [28]

  1. Most wins in all games
  2. Head to head winning percentage (matches won divided by all matches played)
  3. Head to head points difference
  4. Head to head points ratio
  5. Tiebreakers 3–5 applied sequentially to all divisional games
  6. Tiebreakers 4 and 5 applied sequentially to all league games
  7. Coin toss

Notes:

Standings

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points for, PA = Points against, Pts = Points

Teams in bold are in playoff positions.

West Division
TeamGPWLTPFPAPts
Calgary Stampeders 18153051134730 Details
Edmonton Eskimos 18126049234024 Details
Saskatchewan Roughriders 18108039944120 Details
BC Lions 1899038036518 Details
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18711039748114 Details
East Division
TeamGPWLTPFPAPts
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 1899041739518 Details
Montreal Alouettes 1899036039418 Details
Toronto Argonauts 18810045045616 Details
Ottawa Redblacks 1821602784654 Details

CFL playoffs

On March 8, 2013, it was announced at a news conference that BC Place in Vancouver, BC, will play host to the 102nd Grey Cup. [12] It was the 16th Grey Cup to be held in Vancouver (and 8th at BC Place). The Calgary Stampeders defeated the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 20–16 to claim their seventh Grey Cup championship. Calgary's quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell was named the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player, while Hamilton's slot back, Andy Fantuz was named Grey Cup's Most Outstanding Canadian.

Playoff bracket

 November 16:
Division Semi-Finals
  November 23:
Division Finals
  November 30:
102nd Grey Cup
BC PlaceVancouver
              
 East  E2 Montreal Alouettes 24 
 W4 BC Lions 17  E1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 40  
 E2 Montreal Alouettes 50    E1 Hamilton Tiger-Cats 16
   W1 Calgary Stampeders 20
 West  W2 Edmonton Eskimos 18  
 W3 Saskatchewan Roughriders 10  W1 Calgary Stampeders 43 
 W2 Edmonton Eskimos 18 

*-Team won in Overtime.

Award winners

CFL Player of the Week

WeekOffensive Player of the WeekDefensive Player of the WeekSpecial Teams Player of the WeekOutstanding Canadian
One Drew Willy Ricky Foley Chad Owens Ricky Foley
Two Ricky Ray John Bowman Demond Washington Andre Durie
Three Andrew Harris Almondo Sewell Jock Sanders Andrew Harris
Four Emmanuel Arceneaux Odell Willis Brett Maher Andrew Harris
Five Dan LeFevour John Chick Lirim Hajrullahu Samuel Hurl
Six Drew Willy Ronnie Yell Quincy McDuffie Andrew Harris
Seven Kevin Glenn John Chick Brandon Banks Jerome Messam
Eight Stefan Logan John Chick Tim Brown Rob Bagg
Nine Joe West Dexter McCoil Tim Brown Eddie Steele
Ten Jon Cornish Ricky Ray Troy Stoudermire Jon Cornish
Eleven Anthony Allen Bear Woods James Rodgers Jon Cornish
Twelve Jon Cornish Taylor Reed Terrell Sinkfield Jon Cornish
Thirteen Zach Collaros Eric Norwood Weston Dressler Shea Emry
Fourteen John White Bear Woods Jock Sanders Jon Cornish
Fifteen Jonathan Williams Shawn Lemon Swayze Waters Justin Capicciotti
Sixteen Ricky Ray Dexter McCoil Terrell Sinkfield Andy Fantuz
Seventeen Jon Cornish Dexter McCoil Kendial Lawrence Jon Cornish
Eighteen Steve Slaton Khreem Smith Glenn Love James Yurichuk
Nineteen Duron Carter J. C. Sherritt Brandon Banks Justin Capicciotti
Twenty Marquay McDaniel Keon Raymond Swayze Waters Quinn Smith
Twenty-one John White Jerald Brown Kendial Lawrence Gregory Alexandre
Twenty-two Bo Levi Mitchell Juwan Simpson Brandon Banks Jon Cornish

Source [29]

CFL Player of the Month

MonthOffensive Player of the MonthDefensive Player of the MonthSpecial Teams Player of the MonthOutstanding Canadian
July Mike Reilly John Chick Swayze Waters Andrew Harris
August Adarius Bowman John Chick Tim Brown Rob Bagg
September Jon Cornish Bear Woods Weston Dressler Jon Cornish
October Ernest Jackson Bear Woods Kendial Lawrence Antoine Pruneau

Source [30]

2014 CFL All-Stars

Offence

Defence

Special teams

Source [31]

2014 CFL Western All-Stars

Offence

Defence

Special teams

Source [32]

2014 CFL Eastern All-Stars

Offence

Defence

Special teams

Source [32]

2014 CFL Awards

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement ratified in 2014, "non-import" players will now be termed "nationals" and "import" players will be termed "internationals".

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