One strange deal

JIM BENDER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

After one of the most bizarre trade scenarios ever witnessed, Winnipeg finally acquired middle linebacker Zeke (And Destroy) Moreno and a conditional draft pick from Hamilton for its first-round draft pick in 2009 and the rights to Canadian defensive lineman Corey Mace, now with the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

The 2-8 Bombers attempted to send defensive end Tom Canada to the Tiger-Cats as part of the deal but that fell apart when Canada discovered he was suffering from an enlarged spleen on Monday night. But, with Moreno already in Winnipeg on Monday, Bombers GM Brendan Taman was determined to keep him and ironed out a different deal with Hamilton GM Bob O'Billovich.

The end result is that Canada remains with the Bombers, although he will likely be transferred to some sort of injury list this week.

"I'm cool," Canada responded. "I'm real happy to still be part of the Blue and Gold."

And it will remain one of the strangest deals ever made.

"Probably the most stressful one," Taman conceded. "It's been bizarre."

And it means that Hamilton will not get a live player in exchange for one of the CFL's best linebackers, with no promise of a future deal.

"Bob O'Billovich is more mad than I am," Taman said. "He didn't get a player yet. He was expecting Tom Canada and he ended up with a draft pick -- which, hopefully, will work out for both.

"I didn't want to give up a draft pick. When you get a Zeke Moreno, we're not talking about a general Joe here. He's a good football player. We'll see how it plays out."

The 6-foot-2, 246-pound USC product currently leads the CFL in defensive tackles (52) and has two quarterback sacks.

"He's very good against the run," said Bomber defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall. "He's got a nose for the ball. You don't make as many tackles as he's made in the last year and a half and not have the feel for the game ... He moves around pretty good for a big guy."

Moreno, 29, was still coming to terms with the trade.

"I was surprised," he said. "It's disappointing when you don't finish things that you've started. Even though things were kind of rough out there (Hamilton), I still think there was hope for us. I still care a lot for the guys. When I told my wife and (teammate) Marwan (Hage) the news, there were a lot of tears. And finally, we told Marwan, 'Just calm down and everything will be all right.'

"But there's mixed emotions. It's bittersweet and I'm excited to start a new chapter in my life here with the Blue Bombers. They have a history and a tradition here, too."

Moreno, of course, had been in limbo after arriving here Monday due to the delay in the deal.

"As of now, I'm a Blue Bomber," he said. "I'm here, getting to know some of the fellas and trying to learn a new scheme. It's a short week and all, and I'm just trying to take it all in stride and see what happens."

Moreno will start against Toronto this Friday.

"One of the positive things about this week is that I've played Toronto three times this year and I know their offence," he said. "Going through the defence (Monday), there are a lot of similarities, just the terminology's a little different.

"There's a great mixture of guys in this locker-room and they've welcomed me with open arms so I appreciate that."


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