It's not entirely surprising that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats elected to release veteran Canadian receiver Dave Stala Thursday. Stala's 34, and although he'd been with the Tiger-Cats for the last five seasons, he wasn't used much this last year, catching just 10 passes in 14 games. Hamilton has a deep crop of receivers under contract, including Andy Fantuz, Sam Giguere, Greg Ellingson, Onrea Jones, Bakari Grant and new acquisition Spencer Armstrong, so it makes sense that Stala doesn't fit in the team's plans going forward. He told Drew Edwards he hopes to catch on somewhere else, so we'll see if that happens. Regardless of what's next for Stala, though, he accomplished a lot in his years in Hamilton, both from a raw production standpoint (he put up 263 catches, many of them difficult) and outside that. Here are five memorable Stala moments captured on video.
5. Saving the day: This video from a 2011 practice shows Stala doing what the team's quarterbacks couldn't, managing to knock a collection of footballs out of a net with just a couple of throws. (Skip to 1:40 for that.)
4. Being a comedian: After scoring a touchdown in an August 2011 game, Stala decided to do something different with his close-up: telling a joke.
3. Making catches like this one: It's grabs like this (from the 2009 East semifinal) that gave Stala his "Sticky" nickname.
2. Dedicating touchdowns: During Hamilton's upset of Montreal in the 2011 East semifinal, Stala made an impressive touchdown grab against his old team—and then used the spotlight to pass a shoutout to Jake Rayner, a 17-year-old Ticat fan battling cancer that Stala and the rest of the team had dedicated the game to. Stala later gave Rayner the game ball.
1. Playing hacky sack: Stala's most memorable contribution in Hamilton colours may not have been a catch or even a touchdown, but a touchdown celebration that involved him showing off his soccer skills. Here's a prime example of it after a 2010 touchdown catch against Saskatchewan:
Stala's sure to be missed by Hamilton fans, and if he doesn't catch on somewhere else, he'll be missed by all those who follow the CFL. It will be a lesser league without his remarkable highlights, both during and after plays.