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January 13, 2018

Huff looking ahead

John Hufnagel at the GM winter meetings in Banff (Photo courtesy of CFL.ca)

Stampeders President and GM John Hufnagel was in Banff last week for the CFL’s GM winter meetings. He sat down with TSN’s David Naylor to discuss the off-season, the team’s free-agent list and the future of Bo Levi Mitchell.

On losing the Grey Cup two years in a row:

“It was two years of big disappointment. This time it took a little bit longer but you have to heal. That’s sports. That’s the game we chose to play. Just like going from one game to another game, we’ll go from one season to another season. After a couple days of feeling sorry for myself, rolled up my sleeves, went to the office and started doing the hard work you need to do to get ready for the new season.”

On Mitchell being in the last year of his contract:

“We haven’t really entered into any discussions with his agent yet but both of them know we want Bo to be here. Bo made the commitment three years ago when he signed the four-year contract that he wanted to be in Calgary. He and his wife have worked extremely hard to be part of the community and I don’t see that being disrupted.”

On if he thinks Mitchell has interest in going to the NFL:

“I have gotten no sense of that whatsoever but things do change and you never know.”

On the team having a number of free agents:

“Our team will be significantly changed like every other team in the Canadian Football League because it’s become a free agent league. I’m not quite sure how many others might sign in the NFL. I’m trying to get a handle on that, trying to reach out to their agents. But we’ll do our due diligence, get most of our free agents, as many as we can, signed before the free agency date and then if we need to go shopping on free agency day, we’ll do so.

“It will have some new faces, no question about it. But, again, it happens every year. Change happens, you can’t be afraid of change you just have to be prepared for change.”

On Kamar Jorden’s tough Grey Cup play:

“I don’t think I had to say anything, truthfully. He’s a mentally tough kid. He handled the situation as a pro, as you would want one of your teammates to handle it. You have to have a short memory. We coach that. People do make mistakes. You can’t dwell on the past. Look in the future and that’s what he will do and that’s what we will do.”

Click here to watch Dave Naylor’s interview with Hufnagel