Ten CFL games to circle on your calendar for 2022

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The CFL released its schedule for the 2022 season back in December but many of this year’s games have taken on new significance following free agency.

Almost 70 veteran players signed with new teams over the past few weeks, providing a number of new storylines as they look to exact revenge against their former clubs.

Below you’ll find ten games to circle on your calendar for 2022. Game tickets and flights are now on sale, so don’t hesitate to attend these games live if you have the means. They’ll be must-watch entertainment.

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com

Friday, June 10 — Ottawa Redblacks at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Darvin Adams will make his return to IG Field in this game following a seven-year stint in Winnipeg, but that’s not why it cracked the list. Paul LaPolice has yet to appear in Bomberland since becoming the head coach of the Redblacks as his team did not play against the Blue Bombers in 2021, making this contest a long-overdue homecoming.

Monday, July 4 — Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Toronto Argonauts

These two teams are only scheduled to meet once in 2022 and it will be a must-watch game as Andrew Harris faces his former team for the first time. It would be far more compelling if this game were set to take place in Winnipeg, but we’ll have to settle for the Blue Bombers being the road team at BMO Field.

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

Saturday, July 16 — Ottawa Redblacks at Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Ottawa poached a ton of talent away from the Ticats this off-season, including general manager Shawn Burke, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, receiver Jaelon Acklin, centre Darius Ciraco, and defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin IV. This will be a homecoming for all of them and I expect they’ll receive a warm welcome in Steeltown.

Friday, July 29 — B.C. Lions at Saskatchewan Roughriders

Loucheiz Purifoy strikes me as someone who holds a grudge and it will be interesting to watch him return to the city in which he was arguably Saskatchewan’s best player in 2021. If he manages to intercept Cody Fajardo at Mosaic Stadium, I expect Purifoy will relish the ensuing silence that falls over a jam-packed Mosaic Stadium.

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Friday, Aug. 12 — Toronto Argonauts at Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Brandon Banks spent nine years becoming one of the most beloved players in the history of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before he and the club agreed to part ways in January. Now that he’s a member of the hated Argos, his return to Tim Hortons Field should be all the more enticing for viewers in the crowd and watching on television.

Friday, Sept. 2 — Ottawa Redblacks at Montreal Alouettes

Patrick Levels made headlines in November when he guaranteed the Als would beat the Ticats in the East Semi-Final. The loss ended up being Levels’ last game in Montreal and, as one of the league’s best trash-talkers, he will be sure to let Montreal know they made a mistake letting him leave when he returns as a member of the Redblacks.

Photo courtesy: Arthur Ward/CFL

Friday, Sept. 16 — Edmonton Elks at Saskatchewan Roughriders

It’s been three years since Jones resigned as the head coach and general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders but I expect Rider Nation is still excited to give him an earful in September. This game will also serve as a homecoming for Ed Gainey, who recently joked about burning the gear he received during his five seasons as a member of the Riders.

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Montreal Alouettes at Edmonton Elks

It’s possible that Trevor Harris won’t see the field in this game — Khari Jones has made it clear that Vernon Adams Jr. remains the team’s starter — but his return to Edmonton still seems relevant. His tenure with the Elks may have ended poorly, but Harris was on pace for one of the best passing seasons in club history in 2019 before he was injured.

Photo courtesy: Calgary Stampeders

Saturday, Oct. 1 — Toronto Argonauts at Calgary Stampeders

The number of Calgary players and coaches who have ended up with the Argos over the past few years is verging on comical. There are too many to list here, but the latest to exchange their cattle prods for oars are receiver Markeith Ambles, offensive lineman Justin Lawrence, defensive back DaShaun Amos, and defensive coordinator Corey Mace.

Saturday, Oct. 8 — Edmonton Elks at Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Edmonton made receiver Kenny Lawler the CFL’s highest-paid non-quarterback this past off-season and this will be his first time visiting IG Field since departing in free agency. As an added bonus, this game will also serve an opportunity for Greg Ellingson to play against his former team following a three-year stint with the Elks.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.