One of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' most intriguing additions this offseason was a Canadian receiver beyond the one who got all the press. The team was finally able to sign Samuel Giguère, their second pick in the 2008 CFL draft (eighth overall, at the end of the first round), who's been bouncing around the NFL with Indianapolis and the New York Giants since then. Giguère hasn't seen much game action since his CIS days with the Sherbrooke Vert et Or (where he was a first-team all-Canadian in 2007), but has demonstrated impressive speed and athleticism throughout training camp and in their first preseason game (where he recorded a 52-yard reception). He should be an important part of the Tiger-Cats' impressive receiving corps, and he certainly looks the part of the star athlete, complete with massive forearms and a built physique. As Giguère told The Hamilton Spectator's Steve Milton, that physical form comes from something different than the typical athlete's training regimen: chopping wood.
Read More »from Samuel Giguère is a lumberjack, and he’s okay
"In my first year of CEGEP (Quebec post-secondary, pre-university, school), my dad bought a wood lot on the outskirts of Sherbrooke, and said I could chop down the hardwood trees and sell the firewood. It would be great training and I could make some money, and keep my own schedule."
So Giguère bought a good Makita chainsaw, grappling hooks and a splitting axe and felled, sawed and split every available tree. By the end of his first summer, there were no more appropriate trees, so he replanted trees and started buying truckloads of raw logs.
"They were eight-foot logs, and some were 16 feet. Some were small, but some were so big around that you had to cut from both sides to get to the middle.
"When they put the truck loads down, it's just a big pile of wood, eight or 10 feet high, and from 30 to 50 feet long, depending how much you buy, and you have to move them.
"It's always heavy lifting. You're tossing the logs around and cutting, you've got your heavy chainsaw in one hand and a grappling hook in the other, and you're unbalanced with those two things, too. All day long … heavy stuff."