While the Hamilton Tiger-Cats may not have made it back to the Grey Cup for a third straight season, there are plenty of Ticat connections in the championship game. Here’s a look at the players, coaches and front office executives with links to the Black and Gold.
Marcel Desjardins, general manager: served as GM of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for two seasons starting in 2006 before being fired after the team went 7-29 during his tenure.
Henry Burris, quarterback: played for the Ticats in 2012 and 2013, leading the team to a Grey Cup appearance in his second season. Was allowed to leave as a free agent so the team could sign Zach Collaros and subsequently inked a big-money deal with the Redblacks.
Chris Williams, receiver: enjoyed two stellar seasons as a Ticat, winning the CFL Most Outstanding Rookie in 2011 and the league’s Most Outstanding Special Teams player the following year. Left for the NFL after a bitter contract dispute over the validity of his team-held option year.
Greg Ellingson, receiver: played two seasons with the Ticats, including a strong 2013 campaign when he had 52 receptions for 800 yards. Signed in Ottawa as a free agent in February after falling out of favour last season.
Jason Maas, offensive coordinator: was the quarterback in Hamilton starting in 2006, playing in 27 games before being traded to Montreal in Sept., 2007. He retired in 2011 and subsequently joined Toronto as quarterbacks coach. This is first year as OC with the Redblacks.
Brad Sinopoli, receiver: then a quarterback with the University of Ottawa, Sinopoli attended Ticats training camp in 2010 under then-head coach Marcel Bellefeuille.
Miles Gorrell, scout: an offensive lineman, Gorrell played 19 seasons in the CFL including eight with Hamilton from 1985 to 1991 and again in 1996. A member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, Gorrell has also served as the colour commentator on McMaster radio broadcasts.
Kevin Malcolm, long snapper: a Hamilton native, Malcolm played minor, high school and university football in the city. Was selected by Ottawa in the 7th round of the 2014 draft.
Travis Moore, receivers coach: served as running backs coach in Hamilton in 2009.
Jon Gott, centre: was acquired in a trade with the Calgary Stampeders for the first overall pick in 2014 CFL Draft and the rights to former Ticats centre Marwan Hage, whom the Redblacks had taken in the expansion draft.
Jonathan Beaulieu-Richard, linebacker: spent time on the Ticats practice roster in 2013.
Marcel Young, defensive back: before signing as a free agent with the Esks in 2013, Young played 23 games over two seasons in Hamilton, registering 64 tackles interceptions and three interceptions. Has started 49 games the last three seasons for the Esks.
Ryan Hinds, defensive back: a second-round pick by Hamilton in the 2009 CFL draft, Hinds played 41 games as both a safety and a corner. Released in August 2013, Hinds signed with Edmonton and has played in 31 games for the Esks, including 18 starts.
Eddie Steele, defensive lineman: selected in the third round by the Ticats in 2010, Steele played in 31 games with the Ticats over three seasons. Suffered a torn patella on Edmonton on Oct. 5, 2013 and signed with the Esks as a free agent the following winter. Has played 40 games as an Eskimo, including 31 starts.
Kendial Lawrence, running back: signed by the Ticats in Sept. 2013, he played in just two games for the team. Signed by the Eskimos the following June, he has 25 starts over two seasons.
Ryan King, long snapper: an Edmonton native, King is the brother of Ticats defensive back Neil King.
Andrew Jones, offensive lineman: played four years on the defensive line with the McMaster Mauraders, from 2004 to 2007 before switching to offensive line after being drafted by the B.C. Lions. Signed with Edmonton last February.
Jason Shivers, defensive backs coach: was a Ticat in 2010 and 2011, playing in 26 games.
Nic Grigsby, running back: was the Ticats’ starting running back in last season’s Grey Cup. Re-signed in the off-season, Grigsby was released twice by Hamilton this season before joining the Eskimos in October and is currently on the one-game injured list.
Simeon Rottier, offensive lineman: drafted first overall by the Ticats in 2009, Rottier played three seasons in Hamilton before signing as a free agent with the Eskimos. Currently on the one-game injured list.
Brain Ramsay, offensive lineman: before signing with Edmonton in 2011, played in 13 games for Hamilton in 2010. Is currently on the one-game injured list.
Greg Wojt, offensive lineman: acquired in the same deal that brought linebacker Simoni Lawrence and quarterback Jeremiah Masoli to Hamilton, Wojt played two seasons with the Ticats before re-signing with the Eskimos as a free agent last February. Currently on the six-game injured list.
Michael Carter, defensive back: played four games for Hamilton in 2011 and is currently on the Edmonton practice roster.