Pat Quinn didn't come right out and say it.
He didn't have to.
Read between the lines of Quinn's comments yesterday and you come up with an obvious conclusion: Pat Quinn wants to be a coach.
He does not want to be booted upstairs and handed a title within Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment Ltd.
Quinn was grilled yesterday about a report in which MLSEL chairman of the board Larry Tanenbaum suggested Quinn will remain a member of the organization next season.
Through it all, there was no mention Quinn would remain in his capacity as bench boss of the Leafs.
Call Quinn what you want, but he is no fool. The ornery Irishman was not about to be sucked into any kind of public controversy regarding his future in Toronto.
One thing did become apparent during his exchange with the media, however.
His true love is coaching.
"I haven't thought about doing anything else," Quinn said.
"Look, I have said all along that I have a job to do and I will do it to the best of my ability. Those other things don't even enter into my thinking.
"I'm a coach. I'm the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Any thing else is speculation. As for that other stuff, if 'ands' and 'buts' were candies and nuts ... well, I'll worry about all that other stuff when the season is over."
Quinn has one season remaining on his contract, a deal he shrewdly configured to protect himself in the event he was let go prior to the completion of the agreement.
There have been reports Quinn might receive in the neighbourhood of $1.8 million US should he be relieved of his coaching duties.
For the record, no Pat Quinn-coached team has missed the post-season since the 1986-87 Los Angeles Kings.
"In fact, that was the only one of my teams never to make the playoffs," he said.
For the time being, his focus is on the coming back-to-back home dates with the Buffalo Sabres, a team which has snapped up nine of a possible 10 points against Quinn's Leafs this season.
Quinn conceded he'll continue with the hot hand in goal, meaning J.S. Aubin will get his third consecutive start when the Leafs meet the Sabres tomorrow at the ACC.