According to TSN on Saturday, the Calgary Stampeders defeated the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23-20 in Canadian Football League exhibition play at McMahon Stadium. Rookie kicker Tyler Crapigna led the Stampeders by kicking two key 42 yard field goals in dramatic fashion.
The first came with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 20. Then the second field goal came in overtime to give the Stampeders the hard fought victory.
But the mere fact that we were talking football on the field and not off of it was the bigger story on Saturday. On Friday, according to the Canadian Press, the Canadian Football League board of governors accepted the five year collective bargaining agreement.
According to the new deal, non-imports will now be recognized as nationals and imports will be recognized as internationals. To be considered a national, you must be a Canadian citizen, be a non-import prior to May 31 or be a Canadian resident for five years prior to the age of 18.
The financial highlights of the deal include an increase in the salary cap from $4.4 million per team to $5 million, an increase in minimal salary from $45,000 to $50,000, an increase in pension contributions by $100, and a $1500 bonus for rookies and a $7500 bonus for veterans. The salary cap will increase an additional $50,000 each year to $5.2 million by 2018 and the minimum salary will increase to $54,000 by 2018.
Other changes are increasing active rosters from 42 to 44 players, decreasing reserve rosters from four to two players, increasing practice rosters from 12 to 15 players, and allowing teams to have a six-game injured list rather than a nine-game injured list. Teams will not be allowed to have more than one contact practice per day during training camp and teams will not be allowed to have more than one contact practice during the week once the season starts.