It looks as though the restaurant business will have to wait for Obby Khan.
The former Winnipeg Blue Bombers non-import centre appears set to sign a contract with the Calgary Stampeders, a source close to the situation confirmed Friday. Free Press football columnist and former Bomber Doug Brown, a close friend with Khan, broke the news on Twitter Thursday night.
Khan, 31, retired from the Bombers three months before the 2012 season, catching many off-guard with his sudden announcement. Khan dismissed talk the Bombers forced him out by asking him to take a pay cut, telling reporters he was at peace with closing the book on his football career and embarking on a another path.
"I just feel like the time is now," he told media at an emotional retirement press conference Mar. 25. "We have some young guys ready to go… I think it’s time to move on.
"I still think I can play, I really do believe I can still play," he added. "It's not an issue of whether I can play or not. It's an issue of what do I feel I should do with the rest of my life."
Khan’s next move was to be a restaurant owner, as he is the front man for Shawarma Khan. The downtown-based eatery was originally expected to open this summer but various delays have pushed the opening date back.
Originally from Ottawa, Khan was selected by Winnipeg with the second pick in the 2006 Ottawa Renegades’ dispersal draft and started all 18 games in his first season with the Bombers. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound Simon Fraser-product missed much of the 2007 and 2008 seasons with a serious illness but fought back and returned to the lineup in 2009, playing in all 18 games.
Khan was at centre in 15 regular season games and both playoff contests for Winnipeg in 2011, and should provide some depth and experience to the Stamps offensive line. Calgary’s unit is coming off a successful effort in a 31-20 win over Hamilton Thursday night, as running back Jon Cornish rushed for 170 yards on 20 carries.