The Last Word

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:45 AM ET

The Edmonton Eskimos continue to celebrate a murky Grey Cup victory earned beneath a cloud of suspicion.

Jason Maas is now the quarterback for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Canadian Football League says that all is well with the world.

It says all that with a straight face.

But the smell -- and this time it's not just another Hamilton joke -- of the transaction won't go away no matter what Hugh Campbell or Danny Maciocia or Tom Wright say about it.

The fact that Maas was, in essence, dealt to Hamilton during the season, the fact that the particulars of most of the trade were revealed prior to the Grey Cup game, the fact that deal came off as reported just after the championship, put the league in question, the Ticats' participation in question, and put the long-standing Eskimos' control of the CFL in question.

The Eskimos don't win the Grey Cup, period, if they don't have Maas to bail them out of two playoff games. And they don't win the Grey Cup if they don't have Troy Davis at running back.

The league can swallow hard here, look the other way and pretend nothing happened. But we all know what happened here. And we all know it should never be allowed to happen again.

THIS AND THAT

You don't trade a star such as Joe Thornton for three guys who can't play on the first line. You just don't ... You know it was a bad week for the Boston Bruins when they traded Thornton one day and, a few days earlier, waived a player named Orr ... Another Bruins' mistake: Not tying up Mike Knuble, who is a strong factor with the Philadelphia Flyers ... Curtis Joseph will agree to take a spot on Canada's Olympic team, but only if his role, no matter what it is, is spelled out for him before he leaves for Italy. He doesn't want a repeat of Salt Lake City ... Does Pierre McGuire know this? Zach Parise has been a healthy scratch for the New Jersey Devils ... Who invaded Alexei Ponikarovsky's body and what has he done with the original? ... Weird thing about the Maple Leafs: They have a terrific record and are still waiting for Mats Sundin, Eric Lindros and Jason Allison to really hit their strides ... Someone should say this: Tomas Kaberle, red cheeks and all, has been the best Leaf this season and he is a free agent at the end of the season.

HEAR AND THERE

Having Jalen Rose sit on the bench -- at $15 million US a season -- is the basketball equivalent of constructive dismissal by the Raptors. If they're going to pay him that much, might as well play him down the stretch of games. Can't make them any worse ... Does J.P. Ricciardi know this? B.J. Ryan was 1-3 with a 6.06 earned run average pitching against the Red Sox and Yankees last season ... The Jays would love to send Miguel Batista to the Texas Rangers and bring back a real mench in exchange. Kevin Mench hit a combined 51 home runs the past two season with the Rangers ... The noise piped in to B.C. Place for the Grey Cup -- not the Black Eyed Peas noise or the real fan noise -- made the experience somewhat deafening for those in the seats ... The former Jay, Esteban Loaiza, signed with Oakland this week, which means he has played for seven different teams over the past 10 seasons ... Rumours abound that Frank Thomas will end up being the designated hitter with the Minnesota Twins.

SCENE AND HEARD

When the Columbus Blue Jackets sent a significant portion of their roster to the minors because the team had a week off, one question arose: Would any of their players notice the difference? ... If Alex Rios ever reaches his lofty potential, it will be with another major-league team. The Jays, no longer patient, are shopping Rios, who looks good from afar, but far from good ... This is why the public mistrusts the media: Some four hours after a Toronto radio station first reported it and two hours after thehockeynews.com posted a detailed story about it, Sportsnet "learned" that Mike Danton's father, Steve Jefferson, was arrested for harassing David Frost ... Will all those who haven't been interviewed for the head coaching job of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers please put up their hands? ... Can't get over this Cal Eldred retirement? Can you? ... Once upon a time, there was no better NFL Sunday than a Buffalo-Miami meeting. Now it's turn the channel and where do we find a Manning brother? ... Go figure. George Karl gets suspended for two games for complaining that Vince Carter took a dive on a couple of NBA plays that were called fouls. We could fill arenas full of people here who would testify on Karl's behalf.

AND ANOTHER THING

I'm on a losing streak. Went 0-for-5 in the CFL playoffs. Wrote off Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov. Picked Roberto Luongo to be MVP this season. So don't pay attention when I write that by the time you read this, Bernard Hopkins will again be the middleweight champion of the world after doing a number on Jermain Taylor last night. And if not, never mind ... How small was the Raptors-Hawks the other night, the game some people were calling the worst in NBA history? The only celebrity found anywhere was Emmanuel Lewis, who played Webster on television ... With his name on the Hall of Fame ballot, guess former Dallas cowboys great Michael Irvin picked the wrong year to bring a friend/relative with a crack pipe home for Thanksgiving ... The poor Raptors can't get a break. They'll have three draft picks in the top 32 in what some people are calling the worst draft in years ... How is this for Jays symmetry? You could see Ernie Whitt managing against Buck Martinez in the World Baseball Classic next March ... And hey, whatever became of Ken Wregget?


Videos

Photos

Canoe Top Headlines