Canadian Football League: The teams

If you’ve arrived here – at the CFLpass “Teams” page – you’re probably looking for our posts on your favourite team. To find them, just click on the appropriate link directly below or within the below-running text which is, let's face it, more or less placeholding.

• Hamilton Tiger-Cats • Montreal Alouettes • Ottawa Redblacks • Toronto Argonauts • 

BC Lions • Calgary Stampeders • Edmonton Eskimos • Saskatchewan Rough Riders • Winnipeg Blue Bombers

East Division
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– With a history spanning back to the 19th century, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats appear to be shrugging off decades of futility with their recent success. Hamilton has played in consecutive Grey Cups and in 2014 redeemed the NFC South-like East Division by parlaying a 9-9 season into two playoff wins and a championship bid. Perhaps four-time CFL champion coach Kent Austin is onto something; you’ve got to like the Tiger-Cats’ chances in ’15…

Montreal Alouettes – Nostalgia for the 2000s, anyone…? Montreal Alouettes fans may be reminiscing a bit after a few more misses in the playoffs like those following the team’s consecutive Grey Cup championships in 2009 and ‘10. The Alouettes are also certainly hoping that the low-watt performance from the offense in 2014 (its measly 353 points in the regular season made Montreal the lowest-scoring CFL team aside from the expansion Ottawa Redblacks) and 9-9 finish were anomalies rather than signs of franchise-wide decline…

Ottawa Redblacks – The CFL welcomed Ottawa back to professional football in 2014 with the inaugural season of the Ottawa Redblacks (a.k.a. Le Rouge et Noir d’Ottawa). Unfortunately for fans who’d been backing Ottawa football since the Rough Riders were in town, the Redblacks’ first season went the way of many a first-year franchise: After taking its home opener 18-17 over the Toronto Argonauts in week three, the team dropped 12 of its last 13 games to finish a league-worst 2-14. 

Toronto Argonauts – Despite a dismal 2014 played within the CFL East malaise, the Toronto Argonauts seek a return its form of two years ago, a season which culminated in a 35-22 championship-clinching victory over the Calgary Stampeders in the 100th Grey Cup. Of course, doing so means coach Scott Milanovich, GM Jim Barker et al filling voids which have slowly eroded since 2012 at halfback and throughout the defense. The former was addressed with the no. 3 pick in the 2015 CFL Draft, Sean McEwen.

West Division
BC Lions – For nearly two decades, the safest bet in the CFL has been on the BC Lions advancing to the playoffs – though that 18-year streak was sorely tested in 2014. The Lions managed to stumble into the season-ending tournament despite dropping its last two games and five of its last seven. BC’s subsequent 50-17 drubbing at the hands of the Montreal Alouettes got coach Mike Benevides canned after three years and a playoff record of 0-3. In for ’15 comes former CFL journeyman QB and Cal mastermind Jeff Tedford; will the Lions’ enviable success continue…?

Calgary Stampeders – The defending champion Calgary Stampeders capped their finest season since the mid-1990s by taking the 102nd Grey Cup in 2014 with a 20-16 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The trophy nicely bookends the years since Calgary’s last title: Since 2008, the Stampeders have amassed an 88-37-1 regular season record, tops among CFL teams over this seven years. A championship repeat is one feat the Stampeders have never achieved, but as the seeming class of the league, Calgary’s outlook for 2015 is quite bright indeed…

Edmonton Eskimos– In glimpses, 2014 looked like *the* year for the Edmonton Eskimos. A busy off-season of transactions plus the hiring of rookie head coach Chris Jones to improve on a woeful 4-14 showing in 2013 seemed fruitful as the Eskimos got off to a 7-1 start in their 2014 campaign. Despite some uneven results before season’s end, Edmonton’s final mark of 12-6 represented the second-best record in the CFL and the team’s best showing in 11 years. Alas, it was not to be, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats stopped the Eskimos in the divisional final. Should Jones figure out the problems of his team’s second-half swoon, Edmonton should go far in ’15…

Saskatchewan Roughriders – The Saskatchewan Roughriders season began with 2012 Grey Cup MVP Kory Sheets’s departure for the Oakland Raiders, an ominous sign for the team’s repeat championship chances. After the serious hit to a feared running game, Saskatchewan nevertheless managed a respectable 10-8 record despite a minus-43 point differential; this Roughriders side simply did not have enough talent to make a serious run at the Grey Cup in 2014.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers – The ignominious record for longest drought between Grey Cup championships is held by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Having last hoisted the ‘Cup in 1990, the Blue Bombers have more frequently, well, bombed than enjoyed success in the past 24 seasons. Another unfortunate chapter was written in Winnipeg’s history in 2014, with a seemingly convincing 5-1 start chased by an excruciating 1-10 run which included the 2-16 expansion Ottawa Redblacks’ sole away win. Blue Bombers backers hope the sophomore season of coach Mike O’Shea sees much improvement, but a more fearsome foursome of CFL West teams await them in ’15…