Call it the Hossa Heist

BILL LANKHOF -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

Ottawa Senators signed star forward Marian Hossa to an $18-million US, three-year deal -- then got out of paying him by trading him to Atlanta.

This isn't surprising. Everyone knows you can't get that kind of money out of Ottawa without going through Chuck Guite and signing a Liberal Party membership card.

DOOR CRASHER

Sean Millington has returned to the CFL after a two-year absence to play fullback for the Argos.

Millington is a robust performer who thrives in the rough and tumble, and has shown that even at age 37 he's a survivor in a world where career-ending blows, in-your-face trash talk and back-stabbing team-mates are a normal daily occurrence. But, enough about his two years as an analyst at the CBC.

It's nice to see him find a place in pro football where life is less tumultuous. It's not like the Argos have anything to lose, considering running back John Avery, in the last game, carried the ball for 15 yards. The Argos' rushing game has all the cohesion of a three-legged race at a family picnic.

Avery has gained 133 yards. All season. Total. Karla Homolka gets open to move around more than that. His longest run this season has been from the sideline to the huddle.

Maybe Millington can find a hole for Avery -- even if it's for no other reason, than he might want one to hide in.

DUCK & JIVE

Teemu Selanne has rejoined the Anaheim Ducks. But, for a paltry $1-million.

Makes sense. After the lousy season he gave Colorado he deserves to be exposed as just another quack.

HELLO, GOOD-BYE, HELL-

Steve Thomas wants to end his career in Toronto. I wish I had a column item for every time I've heard that one before. Why is it that players believe the Maple Leafs are the official geriatric ward of the NHL?

Ever since Punch Imlach turned geezers into pate de Coupe Stanley the Metamucil Brigade has turned up here to watch their NHL careers die.

Thomas is officially 42 but some pundits swore he sailed with Christopher Columbus. Didn't we go through this in his last reincarnation as a Maple Leaf? In 2001. How many times can a guy say good-bye!

A NEW WRINKLE?

Carlo Colaiacovo, among the Leafs' top prospects in the American Hockey League, is hoping to land the final spot on defence. He has trained this summer. He has pumped iron. He is fit. "The biggest thing I've gained," Colaiacovo told Sun writer Mike Zeisberger, "is strength."

Psst, Carlo. Forget the gym. What you need to break into this club is fake ID, you know, dating back to 1970. Lady Clairol -- the grey color. And prune juice. Lots of prune juice.

FOOTBALL 101

Now women, thanks to the Argonauts, can find out why that lump in the armchair, formerly known as The Husband, gets more excited when a football player pulls on his sweater than when she takes hers off.

On Sept. 8 (and Oct. 25) the team will hold seminars ($59.95) for football widows. Participants get two tickets to an Argos' game, food, prizes and players and coaches will teach them the basics of CFL football formations and strategy.

So, hopefully the Argos' offence can attend and, you know, find their running game.

For further information call 416-341-2728.

RUNNING ON EMPTY

Lawrence Phillips was arrested after he ran his automobile into teenagers after a dispute at a pickup football game. Former NHLer Bob Probert was arrested after breaking his probation by going to a bar. Inter Milan's Walter Samuel was suspended three games for spitting at a Juventus opponent. Former Mets' pitcher Dwight Gooden is being sought on a felony warrant for drunk driving.

It's really hard to look up to people when they insist on flushing themselves down the loo.

BITS 'N' BITES

According to London tabs, Maria Sharapova is dating Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine ... A 23-year-old soccer fan has been killed during a street fight between fans of two Colombian teams in the coffee-growing region west of Bogota. Maybe they should'a stuck to the decaf ... London Knights have lost 16-year-old Sam Gagner, their fourth-round draft pick, to Sioux City, of the USHL. He's the son of former NHL player Dave Gagner ... L'Equipe, a French sports daily, reports Lance Armstrong used the performance-enhancing drug EPO to help win his first Tour de France in 1999. Labs were unable to test for EPO until 2002. Seems Lance was a man ahead of his time in more things than cycling. Statements are pending from, ahhh -- spin doctors.

SMART 'N' SASSY

"I'd rather be coaching." -- St. John's (Minn.) football coach John Gagliardi, 78, when asked what he'd like to see engraved on his tombstone.


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