For the first time this CFL season there’s genuine optimism surrounding the Edmonton Elks both on the field and in the front office. After a convincing 24-10 victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton on August 17, the Elks are looking to break their 22 game losing streak at home on Sunday, August 27 against the Ottawa Redblacks. Quarterback Tre Ford confidently took control of the offense against Hamilton and was rewarded for his efforts by being named CFL’s top-graded QB for the week of Aug 17-20.
Ford and the Elks inspired play against Hamilton, and even the previous week in the 38-29 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, are restoring hope in a fan base that has had their hearts broken too often over the past three years. As the Elks prepare for the Aug 27 game against Ottawa, they look like they have a legitimate chance to snap the home losing streak and focus on catching teams in front of them in the standings. Hard to believe for a team that currently has a record of 1-9, but this is the CFL and anything and everything is possible. That’s what’s so great about this league.
Positive Changes in the Elks Front Office
On Aug 22, the Elks held a press conference to announce that former Eskimo President and CEO Rick LeLacheur would be returning to the club as interim president, CEO of Elks. This is a great hire that will bring stability to a franchise that desperately needs it. LeLacheur brings proven experience and a successful track record to the Elks franchise, and is a great hire to rebuild trust within the fan base as well as the corporate community in Edmonton. A former Edmonton Oil King, LeLacheur is well respected within the sporting community in Edmonton as well as across the country.
In his most recent position with the BC Lions, LeLacheur helped bring fans back to BC Place in downtown Vancouver and turned Lions games into a viable entertainment option in a city not always known for supporting their football team over the years. LeLacheur will be closely involved with Tom Richards, Chairman of the Elks board of governors in helping to choose a permanent President and CEO.
Elks Still Have a Chance at the CFL Playoffs
The arrows are pointing up for the Edmonton Elks as they seemed to have steadied the ship on the field and in the front office. Expectations are high as the Elks next three games are against Ottawa with a 3-7 record and then the back to back Labour Day series against the 3-7 Calgary Stampeders. If the Elks can win the next three games, they’ll be right back in the hunt for a playoff spot – especially for the Eastern Division crossover as Hamilton and their 3-6 record can also easily be caught.
Whether the Elks can catch the 5-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders remains to be seen. After getting off to such a poor first half of the season, there is little margin for error for the Elks but it’s not impossible for them to sneak into a playoff spot. The first order of business is to beat Ottawa at home and get the gorilla off their back with the home losing streak. Optimism could be the highest its been in years if the Elks pull off a win against the Redblacks on August 27.
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