New coach, new name, new roster: Elks ready to roll into training camp

The Edmonton Eskimos unveil their new name and logo, the Edmonton Elks, at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

With a new coach, team name, and uniforms, the Edmonton Elks are readying for a season of firsts this year. 

"Lots of changes," said general manager Brock Sunderland. "But all changes that we feel are very positive."

The team is set to begin training camp Saturday with a series of meetings ahead of the club's first on-field practice on Sunday.

"We're in this to win a championship," said Sunderland. "We're eager to get this going." 

The Canadian Football League is set to play a 14-game regular season in 2021 with the Grey Cup slated for Hamilton on Dec. 12.

The Elks make their season debut at home against Ottawa on Aug. 7. There are no pre-season games scheduled this season. 

"Everyone in the league will be in the same boat," said head coach Jaime Elizondo. "That won't be an excuse."

The Elks travel to Calgary for the annual Labour Day matchup against the Stampeders on Sept. 6 and host the return game on Sept. 11.

Elizondo will also mark the start of his term as Elks head coach after being named to the role earlier this year.

"Hopefully our identity will be evident in the games we play," he said. "We've assembled a talented team." 

The CFL didn't play a down in 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the season. 

The team unveiled its new new name on June 1 after announcing it was dropping its former moniker following backlash from sponsors.