Gary Lawless

  • Wheeler confident Jets on right track

    BLAKE Wheeler has five more years on his contract with the Winnipeg Jets and when it's over he'll be 33, moving into the back end of his career. Think he wants the Jets to contend and contend soon? Likely more than you and any of your season ticket holder friends.
  • No quit in Blue crew

    Maybe the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are dead. Maybe their season is over but for the motions of playing out the schedule. But, for some reason it doesn't seem that way. This team doesn't smell, sound or give off the feeling of being finished.
  • No quit in Blue crew

    Maybe the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are dead. Maybe their season is over but for the motions of playing out the schedule. But, for some reason it doesn’t seem that way. This team doesn’t smell, sound or give off the feeling of being finished.
  • Technical difficulties disrupt challenged play during Bombers' game

    The television feed was lost during the first half of Saturday’s CFL game between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, causing some angst on the field, in the stands and in living rooms around the country. Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea challenged a second-quarter play ruled to be a Hamilton catch on the field. Referee Kim Murphy did a little conferring and then announced due to technical difficulties, no replay was available and, as such, the challenge couldn’t be judged.
  • Fresh out of miracles: Blue blow chance at another late comeback

    Looks like the miracle account is overdrawn. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers had another chance to pull one out of the fire Saturday night at Investors Group Field but could not push the ball in with first-and-goal at the three-yard-line in the final minute and fell 16-11 to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in another CFL nail-biter before 28,534.
  • This is Willy's moment to shine

    Sports, as we saw with Derek Jeter Thursday night, has a way of drawing us in, setting us up and sometimes even delivering. Drew Willy will be trying to live such a moment in front of 30,000 or so Winnipeg football fans plus a national TV audience this evening. Sometime around 5:30 p.m., with the sun barely beginning to droop, the Blue Bombers and their offence will be trumpeted out on to the field, with each player's name called out over the PA system. Willy will be the last man introduced.
  • This is Willy's moment to shine

    Sports, as we saw with Derek Jeter Thursday night, has a way of drawing us in, setting us up and sometimes even delivering. Drew Willy will be trying to live such a moment in front of 30,000 or so Winnipeg football fans plus a national TV audience this evening. Sometime around 5:30 p.m., with the sun barely beginning to droop, the Blue Bombers and their offence will be trumpeted out on to the field, with each player’s name called out over the PA system. Willy will be the last man introduced.
  • Big centres the future

    Some night, likely not too far down the road, folks in Winnipeg will come to the rink and see a lineup with Mark Scheifele and Adam Lowry listed as a pair of centres and know their Jets are ready to challenge the Western Conference power elite. Having twin towers at centre ice in the West is de rigueur. Like a snowplow in Flin Flon. Like a Benz in Beverley Hills. And if a team doesn't have the dual horses down the middle? Well, they end up getting owned by those that do. Again and again.
  • NHL banning lid-less fights a no-brainer

    It was a small moment in a pre-season game and not much of a ripple in the greater context of professional hockey, but it was a step forward -- and the continuation of the search for a safer NHL. Staged fights in which the participants remove their helmets shouldn't be acceptable in today's NHL, and thankfully the league is moving towards eliminating them. Pro sports sell violence, but there's a difference between a well-timed bodycheck and the barbarism of bare-knuckle fighting with no head protection.
  • NHL banning lid-less fights a no-brainer

    It was a small moment in a preseason game and not much of a ripple in the greater context of professional hockey, but it was a step forward — and the continuation of the search for a safer NHL. Staged fights in which the participants remove their helmets shouldn’t be acceptable in today’s NHL, and thankfully the league is moving towards eliminating them. Pro sports sell violence, but there’s a difference between a well-timed body check and the barbarism of bare knuckle fighting with no head protection.
  • Ehlers not so hot, Lowry shows a lot

    Halifax, Portland, Prince Albert and St. John's. All nice places, but for a young man in the Jets organization, Winnipeg is the only place to be. Nik Ehlers, Nic Petan, Josh Morrissey and Adam Lowry are all hoping to force Kevin Cheveldayoff's hand. For his part, the Jets GM has left a spot open on the third line and there is also room on the blue-line should any of his prospects prove ready to begin life in the NHL.
  • Love potion No. 9

    Ending the talk of Evander Kane being unhappy shouldn't present much of a dilemma. Get him the puck in scoring positions and watch the correlation between growing statistics and the readiness of his smile. Thirty goals? Rakish grin. Forty goals? Wow, look at those chompers. Fifty goals? Hey everyone, Evander just overpaid for a house in Tuxedo.
  • Maurice has influence, pedigree to make Winnipeg a contender

    Who is Paul Maurice? Miracle worker or destined to become the man torched by the play of what so far have been chronic non-contenders? The newest coach of the Winnipeg Jets said it again and again Monday in his first session of the new season with the local media: "We must get better," he said. "We all must get better."
  • Power player

    Who is Paul Maurice? Miracle worker or destined to become the man torched by the play of what so far have been chronic non-contenders? The newest coach of the Winnipeg Jets said it again and again Monday in his first session of the new season with the local media: “We must get better,” he said. “We all must get better.”
  • Time to act is now

    The next CFL player who hits his spouse or child won't necessarily be subject to any discipline from a league perspective. This must change -- and immediately would not be soon enough. This isn't a policy implementation that requires a lot of thought. The NFL recently adopted a six-game ban for first offences and a lifetime ban for second offences.
  • Argo-nots not an option

    It’s difficult these days to make the argument Toronto would miss the Argos. But the CFL can’t afford to face life without a franchise in Toronto. It’s long been the default position among CFL observers a team in Toronto is a necessity and, despite a ninth franchise in Ottawa, burgeoning strength in pockets around the league and a wave of new stadia, this remains the case.
  • Videotape, not ethics, killed the football star's career

    No one is entitled to anything in pro sports. You're either useful or you're not. Ray Rice no longer is. Not to the Baltimore Ravens or any other NFL team. So he's finished. He should be. Do not, however, be confused over the reasons behind the NFL's sudden distaste for his presence. Rice viciously beat a woman. This should have put his career in grave danger. But, by the very measure of the two-game suspension originally set down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, we know it didn't.
  • Videotape, not ethics, killed the football star’s career

    No one is entitled to anything in pro sports. You’re either useful or you’re not. Ray Rice no longer is. Not to the Baltimore Ravens or any other NFL team. So he’s finished. He should be. Do not, however, be confused over the reasons behind the NFL’s sudden distaste for his presence. Rice viciously beat a woman. This should have put his career in grave danger. But, by the very measure of the two-game suspension originally set down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, we know it didn’t.
  • Pavelec running out of elbow room

    IT is unfair to wholly blame the woes endured by the Winnipeg Jets the last three seasons on Ondrej Pavelec. Perception, however, can quickly morph into reality and once it takes hold it's difficult to unseat. Pavelec and the Jets' save percentage have been the No. 1 complaint among fans and many media. It hit a fevered level this summer when GM Kevin Cheveldayoff reaffirmed Pavelec as his starter and, predictably, refused to burn a buyout on his goalie when many believed it was time to cut ties.
  • Blue's O'Shea riding a nag in CFL derby

    Mike O'Shea is about to find out what Winnipeg is all about. And this city is going to learn a lot about its football coach, too. Losers of four of their last five and now 6-5 on the season after a 30-24 Banjo Bowl loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Blue Bombers are a far cry from the 5-1 mark that had fans swooning in July.
  • O'Shea's horses running out of power?

    Mike O’Shea is about to find out what Winnipeg is all about. And this city is going to learn a lot about its football coach, too. Losers of four of their last five and now 6-5 on the season after a 30-24 Banjo Bowl loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Blue Bombers are a far cry from the 5-1 mark that had fans swooning in July.
  • Youth must be served

    Depending on how many of Kevin Cheveldayoff's kids are ready to bust through, inactivity or the opening of opportunity will be the theme of this fading summer for the Winnipeg Jets. The roster right now is almost the same as it was at the end of last season. To open the campaign with this group would be, at best, uninspiring. Better for young players such as Adam Lowry and Josh Morrissey to step in and take up spots than have the likes of Eric Tangradi and Keaton Ellerby log considerable minutes.
  • No time for despair, Bomber fans

    The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a .500 football team. Maybe a little better and maybe a little worse. The question is, can Mike O'Shea push this group far enough to make them a post-season qualifier or will they finish just outside of the picture? Much like when the Blue Bombers broke out to a 5-1 record it was premature to consider them an elite team, now is too early to give up on the same group.
  • CFL's grief with Braley must be rectified

    One David Braley might be good for the Canadian Football League. Two most definitely are not. Braley, long painted as an advocate and in many ways a saviour figure for the Canadian Football League, has become a problem.
  • O'Shea the right man

    Mike O'Shea is different than most of us in that he's spent most of his adult years getting paid to either play or coach a game. He's not different in that his hair grows and he needs to get it cut. Which led to the beginning of his Winnipeg experience on Friday. The rookie head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers wrapped up his day winning a football game as his team pushed to a respectable and contending 6-3 mark at the midway point of the CFL regular season.

About Gary Lawless

Gary Lawless is the Free Press sports columnist and co-host of the Hustler and Lawless show on TSN 1290 Winnipeg and www.winnipegfreepress.com
Lawless began covering sports as a rookie reporter at The Chronicle-Journal in Thunder Bay after graduating from journalism school at Durham College in Ontario.
After a Grey Cup winning stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the communications department, Lawless returned to Thunder Bay as sports editor.
In 1999 he joined the Free Press and after working on the night sports desk moved back into the field where he covered pro hockey, baseball and football beats prior to being named columnist.

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