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1997 CFL season

1997 CFL season
Regular season
Duration June 25, 1997 – October 26, 1997
Start date November 2, 1997
East Champions Toronto Argonauts1997-11-09
West Champions Saskatchewan Roughriders1997-11-09
85th Grey Cup
Date November 16, 1997
Site Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
Champions Toronto Argonauts
1996  CFL seasons  1998

The 1997 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 44th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 40th Canadian Football League season.

CFL News in 1997

The CFL entered the 1997 season with eight teams, instead of nine. The Ottawa Rough Riders ceased operations and folded after the 1996 season. In February, a dispersal draft was held for the players who were under contract with the Ottawa franchise.

The Montreal Alouettes began the 1997 season under new ownership, which was headed by Robert C. Wetenhall. Wetenhall and his ownership group retained the Alouette name and logo.

With the Rough Riders departure, the CFL returned the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to the East Division.

The CFL also changed the playoff format, adding a 'cross-over' rule. Previously, the 3rd place team in each division played the 2nd place team in the division semifinals. Under the new rule, should the 4th place team in one division have a better record than that of the 3rd place team in the other division, the 4th place team crosses over to the other division's semifinal, taking that 3rd place team's place. There is no tie-breaker; the cross-over hopeful must have a strictly better record to advance. BC attained a cross-over playoff berth in the first year under this rule. The rule remains in effect to date.

Regular season standings

Final regular season standings

Note: GP = Games Played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, PF = Points For, PA = Points Against, Pts = Points

West Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Edmonton Eskimos 18 12 6 0 479 400 24
Calgary Stampeders 18 10 8 0 522 442 20
Saskatchewan Roughriders 18 8 10 0 413 479 16
BC Lions 18 8 10 0 429 536 16
East Division
Team GP W L T PF PA Pts
Toronto Argonauts 18 15 3 0 660 327 30
Montreal Alouettes 18 13 5 0 509 532 26
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 18 4 14 0 443 548 8
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 18 2 16 0 362 549 4
  • Bold text means that they clinched playoff spots.
  • Edmonton and Toronto both had first round byes.
  • Due to the cross-over rule – the BC Lions played the Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Semi-Final Game.

Grey Cup playoffs

Main article: 85th Grey Cup

The Toronto Argonauts won their second-straight Grey Cup championship in 1997, defeating the Saskatchewan Roughriders 47–23, at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium. The Argonauts' Doug Flutie (QB) was named the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Player and Paul Masotti (WR) was the Grey Cup's Most Valuable Canadian.

Playoff bracket

  November 2: Division Semifinals     November 9: Division Finals     November 16: 85th Grey Cup @ Commonwealth StadiumEdmonton, AB
  East     E2  Montreal Alouettes 30  
  W4  BC Lions 35     E1  Toronto Argonauts 37    
  E2  Montreal Alouettes 45         E1  Toronto Argonauts 47
      W3  Saskatchewan Roughriders 23
  West     W3  Saskatchewan Roughriders 31    
  W3  Saskatchewan Roughriders 33     W1  Edmonton Eskimos 30  
  W2  Calgary Stampeders 30  

CFL Leaders

1997 CFL All-Stars



Special teams

1997 Eastern All-Stars



Special teams

1997 Western All-Stars



Special teams

1997 Intergold CFLPA All-Stars



Special teams

Head Coach


1997 CFL Awards


Preceded by
1996 CFL season
CFL seasons Succeeded by
1998 CFL season