B.C. Lions kicker Sean Whyte is heading east to Montreal, after the Lions head coach/general manager Wally Buono dealt the Peninsula resident to the Alouettes during the Canadian Football League draft Sunday.
Whyte, a former White Rock-South Surrey Titan and Big Kahuna Ram, was traded for a a first-round draft pick in 2012. Despite being with the Lions since 2008 – he started as a practice roster player before making the main roster – Whyte had a limited role with his hometown team as he’d been stuck behind 41-year-old Paul McCallum on the depth chart.
“I’m very excited and very happy to get an opportunity to play,” Whyte said from Montreal Monday afternoon.
“I’m getting the chance to play for a great team in a beautiful city, and I’m really excited.”
Whyte, 25, said it was at times difficult playing behind McCallum, but understood his situation, and takes nothing from positives from his time with the Lions.
“It was frustrating at times, sure, but with Wally you have to go through stages of learning, and I know he always had a plan for me,” Whyte said.
“When I talked to Wally, one of the last things he said to me was that he wouldn’t have sent me just anywhere, he wanted me to have a real shot.”
Whyte, who was signed by B.C. in 2007 as a territorial junior exemption, may finally get a chance to play in Montreal, who has thus far chose not to re-sign their own veteran kicker, free agent Damon Duval.
However, Whyte will have some competition for the starting job, as the Als still have American kicker/punter Colt David under contract, and also used their first-round pick in last weekend’s draft to select Brody McKnight, a kicker from the University of Montana.
“It’s what the game is all about – competition,” Whyte said.
“But I’ve always prepared as though I’m going to start, and I don’t think Montreal traded for me to be a backup, so I’m headed into the season as though it’s my job.”