A frustrated Bryan McCabe claims he is not ready to bail out on his duties as the player rep of the Maple Leafs.
But seeing him fight to maintain his composure while discussing the plight of the National Hockey League Players' Association yesterday, it could be just a matter of time before he feels enough is enough.
"I'm not going to jump off the bus quite yet," McCabe said yesterday, attempting to keep his boiling emotions in check. "But the bottom line is, it's been a long year for everyone.
"To tell you the truth, I'm sick of the whole thing."
Tired of being kept in the dark throughout the ugly 10-month lockout by the NHLPA's hierarchy, McCabe unleashed his sentiments during a conference call Wednesday night that dealt with the new contract of incoming union boss Ted Saskin, one reported to be worth about $2 million US per season.
One pressing question brought up during the discussions was why Saskin's nomination as the executive director did not come from the entire 35-member executive board as dictated by the union's own bylaws.
Players on the call finally gave Saskin the green light during a phone vote, a process McCabe took issue with.
"All I asked for was to have some time to confer with my teammates before casting a vote," McCabe said.
"It would have been nice to get their input."
But it was not to be.
"Ted's been with the (NHLPA) a long time. He's a great guy, probably the right guy for the job. My only issue is the lack of communication there has been through this whole thing."
While a source told The Ottawa Sun that McCabe voted against Saskin, the veteran Leafs defenceman would not confirm which way his verbal ballot went.
"Obviously, I can't relay everything," he said. "But I was vocal through the whole thing. There were a lot of guys who expressed their opinions."
This is not the first time that player reps have complained about being kept out of the loop by the union's grand poohbahs. Many were caught completely off-guard back in December when the union tabled a proposal to the NHL that included an across-the-board 24% rollback of player salaries, an idea that eventually was adopted as part of the new collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.
"We weren't allowed to vote on that (in December). Now they do want my vote and I couldn't even discuss the situation with the 30 guys in our dressing room," McCabe said.
"I don't want to create waves. There was a vote, it passed, and now I just want to move ahead and play hockey."