Elks’ president Victor Cui refutes report that reunion talks with long-time equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak are at ‘dead standstill’

Photo courtesy: CFL Players' Association

Edmonton Elks president Victor Cui has taken to Twitter to refute a report that reunion talks between his organization and former equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak have reached an impasse.

According to a tweet from TSN’s Ryan Rishaug on Friday afternoon: “Sounds like talks between Mandrusiak and the Elks have been at a dead stand still for some time now. Thought this would be an obvious one for the organization to remedy. I’m asked by fans about it constantly. Still time, but this one seemed like a no-brainer.”

Cui, who is well-known for his willingness to engage with fans and media alike on social media, took issue with that characterization and responded with a tweet of his own.

“That’s 100% false and a misleading post, Ryan Rishaug. I’ve had multiple discussions with Dwayne and we just met recently. Many possibilities and we are trying to find something that works. Your post does not help build the trust,” Cui insisted.

Since his hiring as club president in mid-January, Cui has made it his mission to reconnect with the fan base and heal old wounds. That included a vocal willingness to rehire Mandrusiak in some capacity after Edmonton’s previous regime of president Chris Presson and general manager Brock Sunderland were heavily criticized for laying off the local icon in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mandrusiak started working for the team in 1971 and was part of eleven Grey Cup championships in Edmonton, including the run of five straight from 1978 to 1982. Viewed as the unofficial gate-keeper of the franchise’s storied history, Mandrusiak’s dismissal denied him a 50th season with the club and caused public outcry.

Addressing Cui’s insistence that a possible reunion was still in the works, Rishaug issued a clarified response to Cui’s tweet.

“Perhaps the issue lies in the definition of ‘stand still.’ My understanding is it’s been close to 5 weeks since the last talks and the season has started in the meantime. Perhaps some things just take a little more time. Good luck with it,” he wrote.

With Edmonton’s disappointing start to the season in their blowout loss to B.C. last week, some good news about Mandrusiak would be chicken soup for the soul of a beleaguered fanbase.