He’s no spring chicken, and he’ll be the first to admit it. But he may also work harder than anyone else at staying in shape. The multi-faceted Kyries Hebert, the East Division’s top defensive player in 2017, asked for and was granted his release by the club on Friday, promptly signing with Ottawa. This came after new defensive coordinator Khalil Carter warned Hebert that his new scheme would mean less playing time for the star affectionately known as The Angry Bird.
How do you not fit in a player with the stature and versatility as Hebert into your lineup? More accurately, the Alouettes had to pay more than market value to their crop of new free agent signings, leaving less money left over for a veteran not making anywhere near the league minimum. For the record, when I expressed this theory on Twitter Hebert himself liked the tweet.
This is a hurtful loss in so many ways. First, Hebert had made Montreal his year-round home. He had roots in the city. Hebert was a regular on local media, co-hosting a weekly football show on TSN 690 and guesting on a local relationship program on CJAD. He was also a longtime staple in the community at charitable and other noteworthy events. Hebert even began running girl empowerment events and clinics locally, bringing in major celebs like Terrell Owens for the occasion.
Montreal loves flare and personality. Hebert had it in abundance. He fit the city so well, embracing the bilingual culture and doing all he could to help any cause when asked. On Thursday, the Alouettes made a public appearance and Hebert was mistakingly left on the ‘due to appear’ sheet, prompting a lot of questions and creating a major void in the event.
Last offseason, the Alouettes released another stellar defensive player in Bear Woods. He went on to win the Grey Cup in Toronto. Though Montrealers are sad to see Hebert go, they no doubt hope that he can follow the same path in 2018 elsewhere in the league. Because if there’s one thing that Als know it’s that there won’t be any parade happening this November down Saint-Catherine street.
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