Toronto Maple Leafs Vs. Bryan McCabe: The Gloves Come Off

Derek HarmsworthSenior Writer IJune 26, 2008

To say things between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Bryan McCabe are getting messy, might just be the biggest understatement of the summer.

It has been well documented the Maple Leafs desire to rid themselves of the high priced defenseman, and their attempts to do so as well, the most recent coming last week at the NHL entry draft.

Now comes a report from TSN that the Maple Leafs, and more specifically Cliff Fletcher, will start playing hardball with McCabe.

Sources have told TSN that should Bryan McCabe not accept a trade out of Toronto, they may ask him to stay home, and not join his teammates for training camp, or the regular season.  In other words, the organization is more or less asking one of their players to hold out. (something a little different from the norm for sure.)

It is not exactly known at this time whether or not the Maple Leafs can do this.  McCabe of course is taking a very hard line with Toronto, which to be fair is his right.  People who are close to McCabe say if he is indeed forced out by the Maple Leafs this way he will in fact file a grievance with the NHLPA.

Ian Pulver, the agent for Bryan McCabe is holding firm that if Toronto doesn't want McCabe on their team anymore, the only option is to buy his client out of his current contract.

According to TSN, the Atlanta Thrashers, as well as the two New York State teams, the Rangers and Islanders, would all be interested should McCabe soften his stance.

As if the Maple Leafs offseason wasn't interesting enough already, now we have a drama unfolding which could eventually include the NHLPA, and possibly legal action.

Here's hoping it gets resolved far before it reaches that point.