Insider Talk: Toronto’s market, XFL-CFL rules, & Chuba Hubbard’s draft stock

This week’s Insider Talk is full of discussion about MLSE’s struggles in Toronto, a potential partnership with the XFL, and the upcoming CFL draft.

Insider Talk is an exclusive weekly feature that includes anonymous quotes from people around the CFL — players, coaches, personnel experts, and agents — regarding the latest news in the league. It’s a combination of insight, analysis, rumours, and friendly gossip.

Enjoy this week’s quotes and come back next Wednesday for another edition of Insider Talk.

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Let me get this straight: MLSE and Pinball couldn’t get folks in Toronto to show up for the CFL, but we think The Rock can get them to show up for the XFL? Please. The XFL was really slow in 2020 and the quarterback play was sloppy. I think Torontonians would support an NFL team if they had one, but the XFL? Their product isn’t any better than ours.




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What I’m hearing is that the CFL and XFL have discussed pretty much all aspects of a potential merger except for what the rules would be. Shouldn’t that be the first consideration? The game is the product. If the game sucks, it doesn’t matter what the TV deal is like.

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If the CFL and the XFL merge, you can kiss the Canadian ratio good-bye. Without the ratio, grassroots football in Canada will be annihilated. It’s a damn shame. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

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If we merge with the XFL, the Canadian teams are all going to suck. Where would you rather be in March — Tampa Bay or Regina? The taxes down there are lower, too. We’re never going to be able to sign any free agents.

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Some of these (CFL) personnel departments are really bloated. In a digital world, teams really only need a GM, an assistant GM and a couple scouts. It’s so easy to get film and find players these days.

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If the projections are accurate and (Oklahoma State running back) Chuba Hubbard is a sixth or seventh-round pick (in the NFL), I’d consider taking him in the second or third round of our draft. He’s not that big, so he’ll probably be done (in the NFL) if he gets hurt. He’d be great here and very marketable off the field. It’d be worth the risk to take him pretty high.

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One concern I have with the draft this year is players quitting. Lots of guys haven’t been on the field in eighteen months. What’s going to happen when they take their first hit in training camp? Even in a normal year there are one or two guys who retire. I fear that number is going to be higher this year because of the pandemic.

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Toronto’s really high on (2020 CFL draft pick) Jack Cassar so Henoc (Muamba) is a perfect fit there. He can show Cassar the ropes for a year or two.

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