CFL can't afford to rush search for 'Gades owner

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

The best interests of the Canadian Football League may clash with the best interest of the CFL commissioner in the troubling case of the moribund Ottawa Renegades.

For Tom Wright to survive as commissioner, the impossible has to occur: A buyer must be found almost immediately to save the Renegades, and maybe Wright's job in the process.

But for the league itself, the best step now may well be a cautionary step backwards. Rather than rush anything -- and isn't that how the league wound in this mess? -- it should mothball the Ottawa franchise for a year, suspend its operations until a proper buyer can be found and a sound organization can be established.

That isn't something that can be done in a matter of days or weeks. But it's possible for the Renegades to be saved long-term if time is taken and it isn't a house of cards up for sale.

The league has time. The commissioner, himself, may not have such luxury. He is forever on the last year of his deal, walking a slippery tightrope. The CFL can survive with eight teams, short term or long, with a long-term goal being the survival of football in Ottawa. That is more prudent than rushing to find another Horn Chen.

Question is: Will Tom Wright be in his job long enough to witness football strength in Ottawa again?

THIS AND THAT

One of the best Maple Leafs trades nobody ever talks about: Cliff Fletcher sent Doug Gilmour to New Jersey in exchange for Steve Sullivan, Alyn McCauley and Jason Smith, all of whom are effective players long after Gilmour has retired. For the record, Pat Quinn dealt all of them away with nothing to show for any ... Life isn't complicated: You trade Joe Thornton. You lose your job ... Kevin Lowe is living proof you can make all kinds of sound moves and it can still blow up in your face as GM. He picked up Chris Pronger, Michael Peca, added a goalie in Dwayne Roloson and a winger in Sergei Samsonov at the deadline and the Edmonton Oilers just don't get any better: Weird ... Interesting that the lawyers for Barry Bonds were not contesting the facts in the stunning book that details Bonds' steroid usage: They were contesting the legality of publishing grand jury testimony. In other words, even Bonds' own lawyers are basically indicating guilt ... Never mind this season: How does A.J. Burnett survive five years as a Blue Jay with a bum elbow? Can you say Mike Sirotka?

HERE AND THERE

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SCENE AND HEARD

Strange stat: The Pittsburgh Penguins had a better record the year before they drafted Crosby than they do with him ... It's the wrong year for the Raptors to have a high draft pick. There is not a single sure-thing star ready to make the jump from college to the NBA ... Anyone who saw Alfonso Soriano play second base understands why the Washington Nationals moved him to the outfield. ... So long Antonio Davis. You won't be missed ... Two of the best coaching jobs in hockey this season have been done on the quiet: Tip of the hat to Mike Kitchen in St. Louis and Glen Hanlon in Washington whose teams lack talent, but not effort ... First impression of Troy Glaus: His arms are bigger than Eric Hinske's waist ... The one player the Senators really can't afford to lose, Zdeno Chara, is hurting. In today's NHL, his penalty killing ability is invaluable ... John Ferguson would last forever in Los Angeles if he were held to the Dave Taylor standard. You never have to put out much of a team but you keep your job anyway ... Why is there so much angst over Tie Domi's contract with the Leafs? Domi doesn't win games and lose games. Never has. Never will ... Every time I hear of a player doing well at the National Football League combines, I think of Mike Schad, who was drafted in the first round by the Los Angeles Rams because of how fast he ran and how much weight he lifted. Schad was strong and fast: He just wasn't much of a football player ... For the record, the most recent time the Leafs and the Canadiens missed the playoffs in the same campaign was in 1969-70. Before that, you have to go back to 1925-26 ... And hey, whatever became of Chris Nilan?


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