AGREED! Terrible trade. I can sort of understand their thinking at that time since they were in dire need of receivers and I cannot say I would've done any different, but it'd sure be great the still have Thompson in Hamilton. (Okay, I will say I wouldn't have made that trade! Let's not let honesty get in the way of a good discussion!?!?)
I hated that trade at the time and hate it even more now that Thompson is still plying his trade in Edmonton and Mann is long gone to Toronto, where he's done less than nothing.
IMO many of the attributes of the Canadian game -- unlimited pre-snap motion, wider field -- are also what make it relatively easy for receivers to excel. This is a passing league where the defense lines up a yard off the ball. It should not be very hard to find good receivers, provided you've got a good QB under center and an OC who understands how to structure an offense around the strengths of the personnel he has. I mean, look at Hamilton this year. With Williams, Fantuz, Giguere, Stala, Kelly, and Grant, I'd say receiver is a position of strength. By contrast, the defensive backfield is a question mark.