Chapdelaine disagrees with way GM Reed handled Woods situation

The Montreal Alouettes shocked the CFL world when they released middle linebacker Bear Woods on Monday morning.

Woods made his first start for the Als in the 2011 East semi-final against Hamilton and he’s been around ever since.

The 30-year-old was named the East Division’s Outstanding Defensive Player in 2014 and 2016, so it certainly didn’t look like he was slowing down, but the Als obviously thought otherwise.

One thing is certain, head coach Jacques Chapdelaine didn’t agree with the way things went down regarding the release of Woods.

“This decision was made by Kavis’ group. It’s a difficult decision,” said Chapdelaine, per

“I had a discussion with Kavis and we had a good, honest conversation. We both agreed that this decision should have been made before training camp. Unfortunately, things weren’t done that way. I accepted the decision because, in the end, business decisions are made by Kavis. Do I agree with the way it was done? I’d like for us to do it in a different way next time, just out of respect for the player.”

As soon as the announcement was made, most thought Woods was released for financial reasons (he made over $150,000 last season). But Montreal’s general manager dismissed that theory via TSN’s Farhan Lalji.

Even though Reed says the decision wasn’t purely financial, you have to believe that the Als will benefit from freeing up Woods’ salary.

So, why move on from the talented linebacker after one day of training camp?

First, I think it’s important to mention that the Als believe they have a replacement for Woods waiting in the wings. Former University of Southern California Trojan Anthony Sarao has turned heads in spring and rookie camp, and they must feel like he’s the real deal.

I don’t think the Als would release Woods if they didn’t think they had someone who could step into his shoes and start from day one.

But even then, Chapdelaine added that he doesn’t think there’s anyone on the roster that can fill the void left by Woods.

Second, anytime there’s a front office shakeup, the new general manager will want to put his stamp on his new team. Reed did that during free agency, but I also get the sense that the Als wanted to make some of the veterans a little more uncomfortable than they had been in previous seasons.

After all, Montreal has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. That’s unacceptable when you’re in a league that has six of nine teams making the postseason.

By cutting Woods, the Als have put every veteran on the roster on notice. Reed is showing that he’s not afraid to make bold decisions if he believes it’s in the best interest of his team.

Joey Alfieri

Joey Alfieri

A reporter and host for TSN690 radio in Montreal, writer at Rotoworld Hockey and Pro Hockey Talk.
Joey Alfieri
Joey Alfieri
About Joey Alfieri (38 Articles)
A reporter and host for TSN690 radio in Montreal, writer at Rotoworld Hockey and Pro Hockey Talk.

33 Comments on Chapdelaine disagrees with way GM Reed handled Woods situation

  1. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you. I can see Woods going to an Eastern club. This may come back to bite the Als. On sum, I have to say I’ve seen some very peculiar moves by Reed.

  2. Scottsask // May 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm //

    Strongly agree.

  3. Baduncan // May 29, 2017 at 2:03 pm //

    Gotta pay Durant somehow

  4. ,,Patience // May 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm //

    I really don’t think it is about paying Durant. Every team in the league, except the Riders, pays good money to a QB. In fact, some pay pretty decent money to two that would be capable of starting; as in last year’s Grey Cup winner. Which is why, going into camp, there are still debates as to who will start at the most important position on the team for the Riders. Is there anything in some of your minds that isn’t Durant’s fault?

  5. really after this fiasco, max venable n bear woods, really kavis, what were you thinking. in my opinion, your days in montreal are already numbered after what you have done this omce vaunted defence. anybody in sports, knows one thing, defence wins championships, nothing for montreal this year, and i am a die hard als fan. btw mr. reed, what have you ever won…..

    • He won you the 2009 Grey Cup by putting to many men on the field. LOL
      In all honesty I don’t understand it either and Reed should be content with a coordinator position because in my opinion that is all he is qualified for.
      And this new GM getting rid of vets doesn’t make so much sense either. Just ask Chris Jones because I think if he could do it all over again Dressler and Chick would still be in green.

      • 260K annual for Chick. What CFL GM would do that? It’s just silly.

        Revisionist history.

        This case is different. Obviously about the money, but not the same scenario.

  6. solara2000 // May 29, 2017 at 2:54 pm //

    Don’t know whether this is ‘good cop, bad cop’ scene; regardless glad Chapdelaine spoke up (as much as one can speak up publicly about his boss’ decision). Treat your employees like crap and that’s what you get back.
    Now Capdelaine had better win or……

  7. mrnehnehincognito // May 29, 2017 at 3:28 pm //

    WHAT!!!!!!! A controversial story not involving the riders?? Could it be rider fans are wrong about the false attention the writers of 3 down Nation place on their team???

  8. Jimmy Breslin // May 29, 2017 at 3:35 pm //

    They can dress it up anyway they want everybody knows it’s the money angle.

    So the message to veteran players is loud and clear, get to a certain salary level we’re going to chop your head off. Message to fans. Don’t get too attached to a player you’re going to be waving goodbye as soon as he gets too good. And they wonder why fans aren’t packing the buildings.

  9. I never thought Woods was really that amazing of a LB. I think it’s more his teammates and system that’s benefitted him so much

  10. I think the sad reality is that the true quality difference between a very promising rookie, and an established veteran, just isn’t that much. Conversely, the $ cost difference is significant. So if Sarao really is a true replacement (?), then this may make sense for the Als, unless he signs with an Eastern team that they have to play three or four times. I’m not even sure expanding the salary cap would help, because the gap btw high and low-earners would probably just increase.

  11. Eddy Rayner // May 29, 2017 at 4:25 pm //

    Given the timing, Reed has stuck it to Woods … too late for FA $$$!
    As a Ticats fan, I would love to see an LB corps of Simoni, Dean and Woods.

    • Pussycats // May 29, 2017 at 6:33 pm //

      You obviously missed the rushing yardage that other teams gained against the Cat front seven from about game 3 on of the 2016 season. Dean is highly over-rated as are a few others on the starting front seven who shut it down after getting a sack or two and virtually ignore the run altogether. I’d take an aging Woods at a slight discount over Dean any day.

  12. This was dumb and dumber on Montreal’s part. Somebody, likely Toronto, is going to get a lot better on defense as a result..

  13. Love watching this guy play and a great personality too!

  14. Agree with the HC Chapdelaine. Was done poorly. Could of been traded for a young upcoming player or draft picks much earlier in the off season. A power play by Reed will only turn things against him by the vets who are still on the team. He does need them to ultimately win in 2017.

    • DundasDude // May 29, 2017 at 7:56 pm //

      As Dimon said: the passengers should cheer for the success of their pilot.

      Ie the vets won’t be “still on the team” for long if they don’t perform for GM Reed.

  15. BigRedMachine // May 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm //

    There will be consequences….

  16. DundasDude // May 29, 2017 at 7:51 pm //

    Not a good sign when the head coach lets it be publicly known he disagrees with his boss. Montreal in disarray, helps the Cats’ chances.

  17. Richard // May 29, 2017 at 9:26 pm //

    Wow this was bush league move all around by Kavis, no matter how the article writer tries to spin it. Of course it was a salary dump, at least have the guts to admit it Kavis. And nice timing, a day into TC. At least other GMs will do their salary haircuts in Feb. before free agency so a guy has a better chance of landing somewhere else with a decent contract. Clearly his coach wasn’t on board with the move or the way it was handled either

  18. Kavis is taking his administrative role very seriously, and working very hard at sculpting a team in his own image. There are two problems with this move (apart from disrespect for Bear on how it was done), one off the field and one on: off the field he is replacing an all star with an unknown, and an unknown who may also get injured; and on the field he may have hurt the unity and morale of the team.

  19. GM’s and Coaches should be free to disagree with coaches taking the players’ side. Takes a special guy to do both at once. Huff and Buono can. Not sure if Jones and Austin are up to it.

  20. Reed wants to younger. So why Woods, their only All Star when Hebert &Cox are older still?

    • EW,
      Its tough to comment without knowing the whole story. Woods is younger than Herbert and Cox but was injured more often. You knows, maybe Woods didn’t want to take a pay cut like so many are doing these days for the good of the team.

  21. All his reasoning to get rid of Woods is totally the opposite of what he does when signing Durant. I like Durant but he’s signed at the max salary, getting up there in age at 34 (4 years older than Woods) & is damaged goods with two major injuries within the last 3 years & with the Als porous OL which Reed did not do much to improve it will have Durant running for his life again & probably injured again early in the season. Chapdelaine only looked decent at the end of the season because he faced bad teams or teams resting their starters for the play-offs. Looks like another long & uneventful ’17 season in Montreal.

  22. Good on the HC for stating his opinion, his players will at least respect him.

  23. George Porge // May 31, 2017 at 3:53 pm //

    Good on Reed for making the same hard decisions that made him so successful in his last few coaching gigs.

    Defy all the haters, Kavis. You alone are proof that you don’t have to win games or even know to count to 13 to be a GM in this league!

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