Wednesday, 3 August 2011

More Thoughts on the Arland Bruce Trade

I know I stated some opinions in my original post on the Arland Bruce trade that went down this afternoon, but after reading the comments made by Head Coach Marcel Bellefeuille, this trade makes even less sense than it did a few hours ago.

First, we have this:
"I still think (Bruce) has some good football left in him and he's going to be a productive player in BC."
If Bellefeuille truly believes this statement, then why in the hell did the team trade him? You simply do not trade players that you think can still be productive, especially when all you get back is a couple of draft picks.

Bellefeuille then went on to say the following:
"We weren't shopping him. Other teams had inquired and we had turned other teams down prior to this."
What did other teams offer, a kick in the teeth? The best offer on the table was a third-round pick in 2012 and a conditional pick in 2013? That's the best you can get for a future Hall of Famer who, in Bellefeuille's own words, "still has some good football left in him"? And you take it? Why not say, "No thank you," and hang on to him? Were the Tabbies that eager to part with Bruce?

One could draw the conclusion that the team simply wanted Bruce off the team, but if that was the case, why did Bellefeuille say this:
"He was a consummate pro here – I've never had an issue with Arland since he's been here, not one."
I guess we can put to rest any idea that Bruce was a malcontent.

So why trade him for next to nothing if there was no urgent need to do so? I could understand if BC's offer was off the charts, but two draft picks is hardly what I would call a game-changing offer. In fact, it's less than what Hamilton gave up to get Bruce back in 2009.

Ah, yes, the halcyon days of 2009 when the Toronto Argonauts made arguably the worst trade in franchise history, dealing Arland Bruce to Hamilton. Remember the ridicule that they endured after making that deal? Well, this trade has the potential to be as bad for Hamilton as trading Bruce to Hamilton in 2009 was for Toronto.

My gut tells me that the Ti-Cats are going to regret making this trade. The team is now relying on players loaded with potential, but short on experience and results, to lead the receiving corps. What happens when these young guys hit the proverbial rookie wall? What happens if Maurice Mann never fully recovers from his foot injury? There are way too many questions in the receiving corps right now for this deal to have gone down.

When the curtain closes on the 2011 CFL season, this team better be hoisting the Grey Cup. If not, this trade will be scrutinized even more. Bruce is a guy you lean on during tough times; he's a guy you know you can rely on. Dealing him during the season was not a good decision.


  1. I agree Josh. I generally respect Obie but this one seems like a Marcel deal and he is giving stock responses to the media about Arland


  2. Wasn't it you who preached patience when the team was 0 and 2. Now we are 3 and 2 and the 3 game winning streak happened without the help of Bruce. He didn't play against the Riders, saw some action against the Lions and didn't catch anything against the Als. We leaned on him in 2 playoff games and what did he do? He was invisible in 09 and then last year, he dropped a touchdown pass in the endzone and then he tipped the ball into Byron Parker's hands sealing our playoff fate. Arland is an amazing athlete, but unfortunately, this is a business and the Cats had a tough decision to make. Let's not jump off the bandwagon because an all-star player like Bruce is gone.

  3. What about this move has anything to do with patience? Sticking with Bruce and seeing if he could bounce back would have been the patient thing to do. Trading him to the Lions for peanuts is far from showing patience.

    Who said anything about jumping off any bandwagon? This is still a good football team; I just happen to think they aren't as good as they were yesterday because they no longer employ Arland Bruce.

  4. What did he do to help us win the three games? They had to do something now or else they are on the hook for his $150,00 contract. What is everyone expecting to get for a 34 year old with a huge contract? No other team was willing to take that on. And to top that off the Lions wanted the Cats to pay this weeks portion. This team is good and they are good without him. They have proven it thus far. Not trying to disrespect you or your ideas. Cheers!

  5. I'm fine with you disagreeing with me (we all have our opinions). It isn't disrespectful at all.

    Well, if you want to get technical, without Bruce making that 30-yard catch against the Lions, the Cats don't get into field goal range for Medlock to score the winning single. So he did have a small hand in helping the Cats win that one.

    I also don't agree that they had to do something now. They had until Labour Day before his contract was fully guaranteed. They could have waited a few weeks to see if he improved. If he didn't, they could have dealt him during the bye week in August. I doubt that the BC offer was "take it or leave it."

    It also doesn't seem to be entirely true that "no other team was willing to take that one" because I quoted Marcel Bellefeuille saying that the Cats turned down offers from other teams. So unless he's lying, there are other GMs out there that would have gladly taken Bruce. What they offering, we'll never know. But there was other interest out there, unless Bellefeuille is lying.

    The team is good, and so far they have been good without him. I just think that a healthy Arland Bruce would have made this team even better. I just think it was too early to pull the trigger.

  6. Perhaps those offers were from division rivals.

    Also consider that maybe Bruce *asked* for this. There was reportedly a conference with the coach and GM the other night.

    I didn't like this at first, mainly because of what we got back in return. But I see it differently now.

    It is a gutsy move, especially because he still has some game (though there have been a few times it's been obvious he's not the same player, not game-in game-out). I'm still a Bruce fan and hoped he would see more footballs. But his role on the team was clearly going to be diminished and this gives the team options it would not have otherwise had under the SMS.

    I don't know if MB is blowing smoke, or maybe they sensed things could get trying off-field if the current situation continued, but this could not have been an easy decision and BC is probably the safest place the Cats could send him and the best option for Bruce too - one could say the team showed him no respect by sending him to an 0-5 franchise, but they also sent him to a team that really needs help, has a great young QB, and a sure-fire HOFer to run patterns with.