The Sam Pollock theory of trading -- established long before the days of salary caps points the winner of any trade as the team that comes away with the best player.
By that definition, the Ottawa Senators lost out by dealing Marian Hossa to the Atlanta Thrashers for Dany Heatley.
The Senators came away with cap room, a more flexible and reasonable financial picture, but with a lesser player -- and one who some people think is on the decline, if that's possible, at the age of 24.
Hossa has been probably the best- kept secret in hockey in recent years, despite the drivel coming out of Ottawa that he disappears at playoff time.
Last playoff season, he was the Senators' most dangerous player. He scored three goals. No other Senator scored more than one.
The year before, he led the team with 16 playoff points. His apparent equal, Daniel Alfredsson -- who has nowhere near the talent -- had half the number of playoff points.
Yes, the Senators needed to change their roster after too many playoff disasters, but trading away your best player hardly seems the right answer. Salary cap or not.
THIS AND THAT
Mats Sundin had a media availability on Thursday. Had media members responded appropriately, they would have treated Sundin with the same respect he treated them with throughout the lockout. They wouldn't have showed up ... Who would have believed that the first general manager to go over the NHL salary cap would the forever tight-fisted Lou Lamoriello in New Jersey? ... Two years for the 42-year-old Dave Andreychuk. Why not five? ... Wayne Gretzky will be paid more to coach Phoenix -- $3 million US a year we hear -- than all of his players, with the exception of Shane Doan ... Just wondering: What happens to Heatley's plea-bargained three-year probation and community service hours now that he is no longer in Atlanta? ... At a Maple Leafs meet-and-greet with season ticket holders, Chad Kilger was listed as a second-line winger with the team. This is the same Kilger who last scored more than 10 goals in a season six years and six teams ago.
HEAR AND THERE
Tough time to be a Canadian football player named Jesse. Jesse Lumsden was let go without carrying the ball once for the Seattle Seahawks. Jesse Palmer is almost certain to be let go by the New York Giants ... Tim Tindale didn't get nearly the same kind of publicity when he went from Western to the Buffalo Bills, but he did last four years in the NFL and is best remembered for scoring on a 44-yard touchdown run in a playoff game against the Miami Dolphins in 1995 ... If you can play, you will be paid. Antonio Gates, who negotiated a $7,000 bonus when he first signed with the San Diego Chargers, received a $9.2-million bonus on his second contract ... A bad boys reunion tour: Lawrence Phillips, Dwight Gooden and Bob Probert all wound up in police custody in the same week ... If Kilger is a second-line winger, I'm Hemingway ... The new head of Chrysler is Tommy LaSorda (no relation).
SCENE AND HEARD
Andre Rison's Argonauts resume: Two seasons, 14 catches, one touchdown, too much noise ... In between sentences, Tom Higgins is still trying to figure out whether to go for a one-point convert or two ... The Florida Panthers are playing a dangerous game with goalie Roberto Luongo. You don't mess around with your only franchise player ... Info you can't live without: Team Ontario finished second in the Young Angler National Championships. It was 1.74 pounds away from winning gold, which would have earned it a trip to the Great Slave Lake Lodge ... Why isn't Robert Baker playing in the NFL?... How come nobody from Congress is talking about investigating American hero Lance Armstrong? ... Not coming to a pay-per-view screen near you, but it should be: Milton Bradley versus Jeff Kent ... Chris Jericho is taking a break from the WWE to concentrate on his acting career, which is like taking a break from your comedy career to work on your comedy.
AND ANOTHER THING
Tampa Bay signed Martin St. Louis. Atlanta traded for Hossa. John Ferguson acquired Johnny Pohl for the Leafs ... The only thing the Blue Jays are going to win this year is a Golden Glove. Orlando Hudson this season is not a whole lot behind the two best second basemen I've ever seen -- Frank White and Roberto Alomar ... Rafael Araujo isn't playing for Brazil at the basketball qualifying tournament, not because of pink eye, but because he isn't good enough ... And there is Jamaal Magloire again, wanting to be a good guy, not playing for Canada again and not telling anyone why ... The poor Jays can't get a break. Since making the large commitment to Roy Halladay, they have gotten 20 wins -- over two half-seasons from the Cy Young winner ... Word around is that the Giants will trade Barry Bonds in the off-season. Can you say Yankees? ... The Leafs would like to send Nik Antropov to Washington in some kind of deal for defencman Brendan Witt. The Caps will want more to make the deal ... And hey, whatever became of Rich Costello?