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Hamilton Tiger-Cats preparing for a more ‘normal’ CFL season

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are hoping a third time will be the charm in 2022 as the team aims to end the Canadian Football League’s longest Grey Cup drought.

The Ticats have lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in each of the last two CFL championship games, including last year’s title game in overtime at Tim Hortons Field.

Hamilton has won more games than any other club over the last two seasons but is still vying for its first Grey Cup victory since 1999.

Tiger-Cats head coach Orlondo Steinauer says he is grateful that they can have a more ‘normal’ season this year after the COVID-19 pandemic scrapped the 2020 season and shortened last year’s campaign.

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“I think it’s important for the coaches, the players, the whole thing,” said Steinauer. “I’m actually excited for training camp, of course, but extremely excited for preseason games for the younger player mainly.”

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The league did not play any exhibition games prior to the start of the 2021 regular season, which was also shortened to 14 games instead of the usual 18, to help keep the novel coronavirus at bay.

“For a lot of the younger players, I think just not having the preseason games last year was a big deal,” said Drew Allemang, Hamilton’s assistant general manager and director of Canadian scouting.

“From a scouting perspective, we were able to get out on the road last year but it was quite a bit different and it was later into the year and there were some challenges. I think, overall, just getting back to normal is exciting.”

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There has been much talk around the CFL about changing some rules to make the game more exciting including the possibility of changing the three-down game and copying the American style of playing four-downs.

While not directly saying that he supports adding a fourth down, Steinauer maintained that he is a proponent of “experimenting” and “trying different things” that move the game forward.

As for which rules he’d like to see tweaked, Steinauer remained diplomatic.

“I know one thing,” he said, “you can’t do them all. I don’t necessarily have a preference except for to not remain status quo and not try anything.”

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Hamilton is preparing for the annual draft on May 3 in which they hold the eighth overall selection before rookie camp opens May 11 and training camp begins May 15.

The Ticats kick off the preseason May 28 at home against the Montreal Alouettes.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 2022 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: Saturday, June 11 – 7 p.m. @ Saskatchewan

Week 2: Saturday, June 18 – 6:30 p.m. at home to Calgary

Week 3: Friday, June 24 – 8:30 p.m. @ Winnipeg

Week 4: Friday, July 1 – 7:30 p.m. at home to Edmonton

Week 6: Saturday, July 16 – 4 p.m. at home to Ottawa

Week 7: Thursday, July 21 – 10 p.m. @ B.C.

Week 8: Thursday, July 28 – 7:30 p.m. at home to Montreal

Week 9: Saturday, Aug. 6 – 7 p.m. @ Toronto

Week 10: Friday, Aug. 12 – 7:30 p.m. at home to Toronto

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Week 11: Saturday, Aug. 20 – 4 p.m. @ Montreal

Week 12: Friday, Aug. 26 – 7:30 p.m. @ Toronto

Week 13: Monday, Sept. 5 – 1 p.m. at home to Toronto

Week 15: Saturday, Sept. 17 – 4 p.m. at home to Winnipeg

Week 16: Friday, Sept. 23 – 7:30 p.m. @ Montreal

Week 18: Friday, Oct. 7 – 7:30 p.m. at home to Saskatchewan

Week 19: Friday, Oct. 14 – 9:30 p.m. @ Calgary

Week 20: Friday, Oct. 21 – 7 p.m. at home to Ottawa

Week 21: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 5 p.m. @ Ottawa

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