Ticats acquire Nick Shortill from Alouettes for Frederic Plesius (and why they did it)

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have traded Frederic Plesius to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for Nick Shortill in a swap of Canadian linebackers.

The 29-year-old Plesius was selected in the second round (10th overall) of the 2012 CFL Draft and played 66 games with Hamilton over four seasons registering 58 special teams tackles, 25 defensive tackles, one sack and one interception. He finished second in the CFL with 23 special teams tackles last season.

In Shortill, the Ticats get a younger, cheaper version of Plesius. Just 24, the former McMaster Marauder played in all 18 of Montreal’s games, last season, posting five defensive tackles and 17 special teams tackles. The 6-foot-2, 223-pounder has played 35 career CFL games with the Alouettes since being drafted by the team 13th overall (second round) in the 2015 CFL Draft. He has accumulated 22 defensive tackles and 29 special teams tackles during his two-year CFL career.

The move makes sense for both teams. Plesius is a Quebec native who, despite re-signed with the Ticats last season after exploring free agency, is looking for an opportunity to start on defence – something he wasn’t going to get in Hamilton with all-star Simoni Lawrence and second-year man Larry Dean in front of him. The Alouettes, eager to re-energize their fan base, add a Francophone who played at Laval.

Shortill is still on his rookie contract and will allow the Ticats to see a salary cap savings of a approximately $50,000. A native of Nobleton, Ontario north of Toronto, Shortill is well-known as a former McMaster star who played in three Vanier Cups, winning one. Again, a local kid is easier to market to the fan base.

Both players will be free agents after this season are now more likely to re-sign with their existing clubs – no small consideration at a time when Canadian talent is more valuable than ever. 

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1551 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

38 Comments on Ticats acquire Nick Shortill from Alouettes for Frederic Plesius (and why they did it)

  1. Lindsay Wilcox // February 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm //

    Another “sneaky good move” -Yup – seems to be a win-win all way round

    • Sneaky good move for the Als for sure!! Cats special teams just got weaker after a miserable season in 2016.

      • Hey Pussycats where is your alter ego lately. It must be horrible living in your head full of doom and gloom. The Argos are short of supporters why don’t you go put holes in there bandwagon. I for one as a Cats fan is sick of haters like you constantly commenting anti Kent crap and how bad things are. You are either a fan or not. Life in Tiger Town is a lot sunnier since Kent got here and be even better if you screwed off.

        • Steve Driver // February 12, 2017 at 5:05 pm //

          Hey the Garney, perhaps you are pro-Trump and feel that you can censor people’s opinions. Last time I checked, we live in Canada where you can voice your opinion free of intimidation and angry vehemence. Your comments are out of line and have no place here. Just because one’s outlook is not congruent with your’s doesn’t give you the right to attack others. Perhaps you’re truly upset because you are stuck at your minimum wage job, with a fat, out of shape wife.

          • Phil Nicholson // February 12, 2017 at 5:35 pm //

            well said Steve. I value everyone’s opinion.

          • Hey the Steve, you criticize Garney for making negative inappropriate comments & you do the exact same thing, get a life Stevo!

          • The Iceman // February 13, 2017 at 8:16 am //

            That is very funny Stu Cats.
            Criticizing someone for criticizing LOL

          • What does politics have to do with this? And if you had any idea what was going on you would know that the left-wing controlled media censors everything not the right.

        • While growing up mama would say if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Not go ahead, everyone has the freedom to say whatever they want, so its ok to not say nice things now?? Sure you have the right, but why put down our Cats?
          Usually these sad, always negative types are the first to jump on the bandwagon! btw, Steve, I’ve already made more today than you will probably make all week, and our partners do love us!! So lets stop putting down our fellow fans and cheer together.

        • Great display of canadian tolerance, civil behaviour and opinion appreciation here.

    • Garney being vulgar and a bully is much more distasteful than anything Pussycats has to say.Pussycats is a fan and has the right to his opinion.

  2. I like Plesius and never felt like he ever got the chance he deserved given his talent level – hope this new kid is as good – certainly younger and more time to develop.

  3. Nice to see Shorthill back in Hamilton. Always thought that Plesius would eventually head back to Quebec and this way there is no loss to either team.

  4. Not sure I like this move but I don’t know anything about Shorthill. I never understood why Plesius wasn’t given a chance to play LB for the Cats. I have a feeling Plesius is going to blossom in Montreal.

  5. I don’t like this move at all. Plesius never got a good shot at starting with the Cats despite being a very good player. Trading a fine special teamer like him to another squad in the eastern division, especially Montreal, is ludicrous. We received ‘potential’ in return for one of the best special team players in the CFL in order to save a few bucks in cap space. That’s just plain stupid and typical of what we’ve seen by Cat football operations in the past year.

    If they wanted cap space room, they should have immediately looked at the two supposed ‘all-stars’ we have on the DL who picked up some sacks but didn’t even contemplate stopping the run and more often than not shut down the rush after getting a feather or two in their caps. If you’re giving Plesius to the Als, why not throw in a high-priced, slow, grossly overweight Laurent as well. He played like he wanted to go ‘home’ in 2016 whereas Plesius played his heart out for us for considerably less money.

    I am absolutely fed up with Austin and his band of gypsies in Cat football operations. The man may know how to coach but he sucks when it comes to salary administration and personnel decisions. Expect more of the same on field futility that we witnessed in 2016.

    • The Iceman // February 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm //

      Would you even know Shortill if he knocked on your front door?
      It is tough being a starting National LB in this league. The fact that you need 2 to change the ratio makes it double tough. Why not give the local young guy a chance?
      Plesius had 58 ST tackles for the Cats in 4 seasons.
      Shortill had 29 ST tackles in his 2 seasons in Montreal.
      Maybe Plesius asked for a trade?
      Maybe Shortill asked for a trade?
      Maybe coach Ptaszek told Austin we should acquire this kid.
      Either way we are probably talking very similar talents here.

    • Pussycats. Try reading the article. Drew covered the issues well. Plesius wanted to start. Not going to happen in Hamilton but might in Montreal. Free agent next year and was heading back home anyway. Looks life a savvy move to me.

      And again with the Laurent!!!… Broke into CFL in 2011 and has been voted an All Star each year since except 2013. Amazing how you are the only one who sees that he is a bum.
      You are entitled to you opinion but give us a break and come up with something new. We have heard that one about 50 times.

      • Amicus, when your team has not done well for two seasons it is much easier to come up with criticisms than compliments;it’s human nature.Disgruntled fans want a talented team that has a good chance of winning.

        • Amicus…Chick is now 35 years old,can he have anther great season against the odds, does he have a long future with the team? Save money and get Earnest Jackson and Sinkfield.The Cats do need drastic change and stategy to win.Ottawa has proven, without a doubt, that it’s offence baby.( So did Brady )

    • Agree @Pussycats. Problem is that sometimes fans can’t accept facts – and these are FACTS. No where in the “Fan” book does it say that you aren’t allowed to criticize your team – if anything it shows that you $#@^&*+ care! And, if I may, suggest your opinion of KA is similar to mine, us TC fans don’t “hate” Austin…on the contrary. I think in fact he’s a good coach…but it appears his shelf life has expired and the TC’s are on downward trajectory. Just look at all the empty seats at TH’s Field. FACTS. This happens to all good coaches. Just check out the hockey side of things where the Bruins just fired Julien and Blues fired Hitchcock. Both Stanley Cup winning coaches. But they got stale and the message just was not resonating with the players anymore. I’ve said it before – KA has taken this TC team as far as it can go – which is one controversial call away from a GC in 2014. Time for change in Tiger Town…17 years and counting. Oh, and that’s a FACT too!

  6. Shorthill is a legit CFL special teamer. He was a beast at McMaster and has stood out on montreal’s cover teams. He comes fairly cheap since he is still on rookie contract.

  7. Seems like a fairly even trade to me — Plesius has been a great ST player for us, Shortill was that for the Als.

    I don’t doubt that Ptaszek’s opinion weighed heavily in this decision. And there may be upside to Shortill as a role player in the Ticat D.

    We can criticize Austin for trading away a key ST performer, or congratulate him for getting a good one in return while doing a classy thing in letting a veteran go somewhere he may have more chance of starting. I’m going with the latter.

    • Getting the cash together to secure Sinkfield.The Cat offence is the priority now.This would then be a smart move and Sinkfield is a Cat.

  8. albermarle // February 12, 2017 at 9:01 pm //

    I really like Plesius, he was a beast I will miss him.

  9. @msd… your comments are well said again… thanks for returning the discussion to football and avoiding any personal insults… many here could learn from your example…

    Just saying…

    Cheers… Snake

  10. Don’t think there’s much difference between the two – save for 5 years. On another note TC’s should try to sign DB Ryan Phillips who was just released by the Lions. Yes he is 34. But having seen him play many times I can attest to the fact that he can actually hit, tackle, not take a stupid penalty, not fall down without being touched, not injury prone, and best of all, not drop a sure interception. Would be an immediate upgrade to that woeful bunch that exists as the TC D secondary right now.

    • Philski. Which woeful? Mike Daley? Emmanuel Davis? Courtney Stephens. Rico Murray? Johnny Sears? Johnny Adams?
      Which veteran would you drop to make room for this guy? Unless your answer is Cassius Vaughan – who I admit is truly perplexing… not sure that I would second guess Buono.

      • Johnny Sears has never played;begining to think he is a relative of KA.Always injured!!

      • Take ED…sure. Stephen…ok. Injury prone Murray and Sears? No. Adams? How many games has he played? Daly? Nice back up and special teams guy but not a starter. Phillips would be an upgrade and bring some moxie to the team. But we can agree to disagree.

    • I thought of this too but I believe Philips is a free safety which means you would replace Butler and national with an older international player – not very likely to happen. Don’t know if Philips can play defensive halfback.

      • You are correct Mark. Ryan’s natural position is at FS but he has played the DB position as well. The guy loves to hit and create chaos, keep opposing receivers honest, something that the TC secondary has been lacking since the days of what, Hitchcock?

  11. Does anyone remember when both Plessius and Gascon-Nadon were drafted by the Cats, they couldn’t care less because they thought they would be huge NFL stars coming out of Laval??

    We are still waiting boys. They both cost us key games in recent years. Good riddance.

    • Ha! Good point Frank. G-N still owes me a television after I put my foot through the screen right after he dropped that sure gift interception from Hank in the 2015 EF. Actually just kidding! Well, sorta…

  12. Flying Wing // February 13, 2017 at 10:49 am //

    Can we all get together and use this guys proper name. It’s Nick Shortill. Not Shorthill. Anyway I thought we could do better with Plesuis and his talent and we certainly invested in him over the years but 30 year old Nationals get paid so younger and cheaper will always win out in this business.

  13. OK. So Plesius will have a good starting opportunity behind Woods, Cox, Koster, and one of Hebert or Venable? Plesius will be fighting for a ST spot (Boulay, Townsend, Blanc, Ackie). Boulay said he’d be looking for starter money, so maybe Plesius is an answer for this possible leave. Shortill wasn’t to cut it at Mike with Woods and Koster ahead of him.


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