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.