LEFTOVERS: Soccer team gets creative with trade

Sometimes, trades leave those involved scratching their heads, wondering what their true value is for the person or persons they were traded for.

So consider what must be going through Walter Restrepo’s mind.

Restrepo, 25, a player in the North American Soccer League, recently was traded from the Fort Lauderdale Strikers to the San Antonio Scorpions. In return, the Strikers received hotel accommodations and transportation when they play in San Antonio in June.

According to the soccer blog 90 Minutes Strong, the Crockett Hotel, which is a corporate sponsor of the Scorpions, agreed to participate in the swap. It will provide lodging for 24 people for two days. The cost: just more than $4,000. The blog reported that there was no cost available for the transportation company, Shark Limo, which will get the Strikers to and from the airport, to the hotel and to the game.

In a release put out by the team, Scorpions president Howard Cornfield said: “The Scorpions would also like to thank Bill Brendel of the Crockett Hotel and Mark Thronson of Shark Limo, two long-term, great partners, for their incredible assistance. It was only through their assistance that we were able to get this deal done.”

You have to wonder how Restrepo feels being traded for a ride and a room. Probably the same way Tom Martin did when he got traded for a bus. In 1983, Martin, a left wing for the Seattle Breakers of the Western Hockey League, was traded to Victoria for the Cougars’ spare team bus.

Hey, it could have been worse for Restrepo. He could have been traded for a bag of used soccer balls.

■ SUPER SUIT — A New Jersey man has sued the NFL, accusing the league of pricing average fans out of the Super Bowl.

Josh Finkelman of New Brunswick says the NFL made only 1 percent of all tickets available to the public for purchase at face value. He says that means most fans must buy their tickets on the secondary market, where sellers can command thousands of dollars.

Finkelman’s lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Newark. It claims the NFL is violating the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. Lawyer Bruce Nagel says the lawsuit is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

The NFL says it is reviewing the suit. It notes that three-quarters of the game’s tickets are given to teams, which sell them at face value to fans who win lotteries.

Usually, these frivolous lawsuits would be a target of derision. But in this case, here’s hoping Finkelman wins in court. To pay $2,500 to sit outside for nearly four hours in the freezing cold seems steep.

■ CELEBRATION GONE WRONG — In hockey, it’s tradition for teammates to gather in a group hug when one of them scores a goal. But Ryan O’Reilly needs to work on his hugging technique.

The Colorado Avalanche forward injured his left shoulder Monday after attempting to join in a celebratory hug following Paul Stastny’s goal against Calgary. O’Reilly tried to jam his left arm into the fray and got hurt in the process.

Next time, why not settle for a simple fist bump?