One way or another, the news that the Montreal Alouettes managed to swoop in and steal Ameet Pall is a massive blow for the Calgary Stampeders. Pall was the Stampeders' first-round pick in the 2012 CFL Draft, so losing him to another organization before he'd even played a regular-season game can't be seen as anything other than a negative for Calgary. It's indisputably a failure on one of two fronts: either Pall was a good pick and the Stampeders miscalculated by releasing him rather than assigning him to the injured list, or Pall was a lousy pick and the team screwed up in the draft. Either way, the Stampeders' organization and general manager/head coach John Hufnagel in particular didn't exactly cover themselves with glory here.
Of course, Hufnagel has tried to find ways to justify it. He told the Calgary Sun's Ian Busby that he wasn't expecting Pall to earn a starting roster spot this season, saying "I didn't expect him to beat out Junior Turner or Justin Phillips. I expected him to come in, learn the game and develop into a player." As the Calgary Herald's Allen Cameron writes, too, the team has plenty of Canadian depth on the defensive line and has a number of players injured, so putting Pall on the one-game injured list could have led to salary-cap issues. Pall also reportedly had issues adjusting to playing special teams, something he didn't do in college at Wofford, so if all of Hufnagel's comments about his lack of readiness are accurate (and not just attempts to minimize Pall's loss in retrospect), perhaps releasing him, offering to pay his rehab costs and risking another team claiming him the way Montreal did was the best move the Stamps could make. That would still mean that they made an atrocious draft-day decision, though.Read More »from Ameet Pall’s departure for Montreal suggests Stamps screwed up, one way or another