McCabe hates watching

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

Bryan McCabe is in for a wardrobe change.

The injured Maple Leaf defenceman said yesterday he will have the bulky cast on his left hand removed tomorrow in favour, he believes, of a smaller more streamlined version.

McCabe, who underwent surgery to repair three broken bones in the hand 10 days ago, does have some limited movement in the thumb and adjoining finger, wiggling them for reporters yesterday to show them the hand is not completely useless. He'll visit with doctors tomorrow.

The injury certainly made for an interesting Christmas at the McCabe household, especially with his little girl running around.

"Obviously I couldn't put any toys together for my daughter," said McCabe, who has spent the past week at his Long Island residence. "That's where my friends came in. They pretty much did it for me."

McCabe figures the original prognosis of six to eight weeks from the time of the surgery still pretty much holds true.

"They have hard glass in Montreal," he said, recalling the incident in which he was smeared into the Bell Centre glass by the Habs' Andrei Kostitsyn, suffering the injury in the process. "It was a freak accident."

McCabe has been impressed with the way Pavel Kubina has gobbled up the available minutes in his absence.

"He's been playing 30 minutes a night and at a high level," McCabe said. "All the guys are really doing their part.

"It's hard to be out though. It really sucks watching on TV."

Popular returnee

While the fans gave ex-New York Islander Jason Blake a bit of a rough ride last night, Isles coach Ted Nolan could not say enough good things about his former winger.

Blake flourished under Nolan's coaching last season, producing a career high 40-goal campaign that opened the door for a five-year, $20-million US free agent contract offer from the Leafs.

"I was a big Jason Blake fan," Nolan said. "How could you not be. This guy played with heart and soul on pretty much every single shift."


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