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Schooners Sports and Entertainment (SSE) continues to work towards a stadium deal in Halifax, a key factor in making the conditional franchise a reality.

The bid took an intriguing turn in December with CEO Anthony LeBlanc stating the team could hit the field in 2022, potentially spending a year or two in Moncton.

Fans across the country want the CFL to become a coast-to-coast league for the first time in its 62-year history. The CFL has never had ten Canadian teams — Halifax would make that a reality.

SSE was recently in the news after it secured the 2020 edition of Touchdown Atlantic at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax on July 25. The game will feature the Roughriders and Argonauts as well as its own mini-Grey Cup Festival.

Provided SSE can come to a stadium agreement — which still remains in question — the team could look to hire a general manager as early as December 2020. With this in mind, let’s take a look at twelve people who could become the team’s first architect.

Candidates are listed alphabetically by last name.

Drew Allemang

Current position: Senior Director of Personnel & Co-Manager of Football Operations, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Allemang is in charge of Hamilton’s national draft and has been instrumental in assembling arguably the best group of Canadian talent in the CFL. He has also been around football his entire life as the son of long-time CFL offensive lineman Marv Allemang.

Shawn Burke

Current position: Senior Director of Personnel & Co-Manager of Football Operations, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Burke negotiates most of Hamilton’s contracts and takes the lead on the club’s strategy in free agency. The Guelph native has been biding his time with the Ticats for over a decade, originally serving as the club’s Director of Community Relations and Communications.

Rick Campbell

Current position: Head Coach, B.C. Lions

The 49-year-old is one of the CFL’s most well-respected head coaches, leading the Redblacks to three Grey Cup appearances in the club’s first five years. Though he’s now with the B.C. Lions, rumours have often swirled that Campbell is interested in adding personnel duties to his role as bench boss.

Jean-Marc Edmé

Current position: Director of Player Personnel, Ottawa Redblacks

Edmé evaluates talent for Ottawa on both sides of the border and won a Grey Cup with the team in 2016. The Montreal native started his career with Marcel Desjardins in Hamilton before joining the Montreal Alouettes during the late years of its dynasty.

Ted Goveia

Current position: Assistant General Manager, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Goveia is an alumnus of Mount Allison University, giving him ties to the east coast. He has worked extensively in Canadian football since the early 1990s at the high school, university, and professional levels and was a key factor in the Blue Bombers’ ending their 29-year Grey Cup drought in 2019.

Brendan Mahoney

Current position: Director of Player Personnel, Calgary Stampeders

Who better to build a team than someone who helped build the league’s model franchise? Mahoney has spent the past 13 seasons in Calgary, gradually working his way up from an internship to becoming one of the club’s top personnel men.

Neil McEvoy

Current position: Director of Football Operations, B.C. Lions

McEvoy has been with the Lions for more than two decades — before, during and after the Wally Buono era. The Surrey, B.C. native knows the league as well as anyone and may be willing to switch coasts for a new opportunity.

Danny McManus

Current position: Assistant General Manager, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The 54-year-old is a Hall of Fame quarterback who has spent the past decade working in personnel with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. McManus was a front-runner for the general manager position with the Montreal Alouettes until he took himself out of consideration for the job.

Ryan Rigmaiden

Current position: Director of College Scouting, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Rigmaiden was offered the Alouettes’ general manager position in December but turned the job down. Already based out of the east coast in North Carolina, Rigmaiden has extensive ties through NCAA programs and has spent the past eight years learning how to build a CFL team.

Geroy Simon

Current position: Director of Canadian Scouting, B.C. Lions

The 44-year-old Hall of Fame receiver has headed up the Lions’ national scouting for a number of years, helping uncover talents such as Shaq Johnson, Isaiah Guzylak-Messam, and Jevon Cottoy. Many feel Simon is ready to take the next step and become the face of a CFL franchise.

Jeremy Snyder

Current position: Assistant General Manager, Ottawa Redblacks

Snyder has more than fifteen years of experience in professional football, the nine most recent of which have come in the CFL. He’s been in Ottawa since March 2013, which means he has a strong understanding of how to build a team from the ground up.

Spencer Zimmerman

Current position: Director of U.S. Scouting, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Zimmerman has almost a decade of personnel experience between the Argonauts and Tiger-Cats, specializing in talent acquisition on both sides of the border. Winning a Grey Cup in 2017 as Toronto’s assistant general manager, Zimmerman knows how to build a winner at the CFL level.

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John Hodge
John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014. He is a two-time finalist in the Jon Gott lookalike contest.