Germany’s Max Zimmermann one of five Europeans who survived the cut; will play in the CFL this year

German wide receiver Max Zimmermann is one of five European CFL players who found out Saturday that the dream will continue.

Zimmermann was informed late Saturday that he was now officially a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

When Football Operations Coordinator Jordan Greenley delivered the news that he had made the cut, Zimmermann was by turns stunned and in disbelief, and incredibly happy:

I can’t believe it right now. Of course I’m happy. But you dream about this everyday and always have it in your mind as a goal, so it’s unreal when it finally happens. Now it’s on to the next big step.”

Saturday, June 8 was cutdown day in the Canadian Football League, the day each team had to reduce its preseason roster of up to 85 players down to 46.

So Zimmermann awaited the news following the final preseason game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with the same dread and anticipation as so many other players, Canadian, American, European and Mexican.

In the end, he was joined by four other European players who were informed that they too had made the cut. Thiadric Hansen, also from Germany, was told he is now a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, as was Maxime Rouyer when told he made the Edmonton Eskimos active roster. The same news was given to Finnish receiver Kimi Linnainmaa by the Toronto Argonauts. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats chose to place their European draftee, France’s Valentin Gnahoua, a defensive end, on the practice roster.

Thiadric Hansen is now a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Hansen had the feeling he might make it during the final preseason game, a 35-29 win over Zimmermann’s team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders:

“I played on every punt team, every punt return team, some kickoff and I also played the last two drives on defense.”

Of the remaining European players, Italy’s Jordan Bouah was released by the Ottawa REDBLACKS as was Asnnel Robo from France who did not make the roster of the Montreal Alouettes. French receiver Benjamin Plu left the BC Lions for personal reasons and Finland’s Roni Salonen did not ultimately report to the Calgary Stampeders due to a series of unfortunate circumstances.

Active Roster

Max Zimmermann (Germany) – Saskatchewan Roughriders

Thiadric Hansen (Germany) – Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Kimi Linnainmaa (Finland) – Toronto Argonauts

Maxime Rouyer (France) – Edmonton Eskimos

Practice Roster

Valentin Gnahoua (France) – Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Rule change

The CFL changed the rules slightly this year to accommodate the Global players. With a 46 player active roster, three must be quarterbacks and of the remaining 43, each club must carry a minimum of 21 National (Canadian) and 1 Global (European or Mexican) players.  Up to 10 practice roster spots are available and of those 10, at least two must be National players. In addition, the teams can add a maximum of two Global players to the practice roster.





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