Jonathan Hefney's time on the employment line was officially measured by hours, not days, weeks or months.
Cut adrift by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers late Saturday, the two-time CFL all-star was on the practice field with the Calgary Stampeders Tuesday with a new two-year deal in his back pocket.
"It was a surprise to me," Hefney told reporters in Calgary. "But the (Stamps) welcomed me in. It's like a family here.
"Coach (John Hufnagel) feels good about what I can do and my abilities. I'm happy to be with a team that just went to a Grey Cup."
Hefney is reunited with one of the men who brought him to the CFL in John Murphy, the former Bomber talent sleuth now in Calgary, and will play the SAM linebacker position -- a move he apparently balked at here in Winnipeg.
The Bombers insisted his release had everything to do with Hefney's declining play, not being caught in South Carolina with six grams of marijuana just prior to training camp. His court date Wednesday will be handled by his lawyer.
Asked if the incident served as a learning experience, Hefney said:
"Getting in trouble? Oh man, I never get in trouble. I'm always smiling, running around being happy and never do anything too bad. For me to get in trouble that one time, it'll never happen again. I learn from my mistakes.
"My mom got on me. My dad got on me. I'm good now."
- ANOTHER SHOT AT GLORY... OR NOT: As good as Winnipeg Rifles receiver Brett Carter has been during rookie and main camp -- estimates are he has dropped just one pass in all the practices -- it's unlikely he'll stick around beyond this week's game in Guelph.
"It's still a good story, (but) he'll have a hard time making the club," said head coach Tim Burke. "He's done a great job but I just can't see him making the club because we have so many receivers that are pretty good."
That news apparently hadn't yet been delivered to Carter, who was holding out hope he could crack the roster after practice Tuesday. In the end, Carter has proven he can hang with CFL-calibre receivers and the Rifles should get a confident pass catcher when he returns.
"The first couple of days of rookie camp, my confidence wasn't the highest," said Carter. "But now playing with all these guys, it's through the roof. I have a ton of confidence in myself.
"There's a chance for me to get a job, a cheque, so there's more at stake with this game. But I'm not worried about that. I'm young and hopefully I'll get another opportunity with the club."
- MESSAGE DELIVERED: Burke spoke to the players travelling to Guelph after practice Tuesday. And so did QB Justin Goltz, who will start the game and likely play the first half.
"He's probably more of the quiet leader type," Burke said of Goltz. "He's not a guy who is going to be real rah-rah. Some guys lead and they talk all the time. He's not going to be that kind of guy.
"When we broke here at the end and I met with the guys who are going to Hamilton he had something to say to all them. That's the kind of leader he's going to be.
"He said, 'You've got a chance here to watch film of Hamilton, know what they're doing, don't just know what you're doing.'"
-- Tait and Wiecek