When Gord Lane told the Washington Capitals he was planning to retire, he got the impression that management couldn't care less.

"I had gone up, and told them what I intended doing, and Roger Crozier (the assistant general manager) didn't make it sound as if it was any big deal," Lane said yesterday.

"I didn't walk out on them. I informed them that I was retiring. They made it sound as if I had just walked out. I just felt it was time to make a stand.

"It's not actually that I don't want to play with them. I don't think they have confidence in my play here. I don't want to spend the whole year sitting on the bench and playing once in a while, with my career going nowhere awfully fast."

Lane stayed away from practice Thursday while he discussed his feelings with Crozier and General Manager Max McNab, then missed practice Friday and Saturday's game with Quebec, at which time he was suspended.

McNab said Saturday that Lane had received no indication from management that he would be a part-timer or benchwarmer when injured players returned, but Lane felt otherwise, dating back to the first two games of the season, which he spent in the press box.

"You have to be on the bench know what's happening," Lane said. "It was obvious to me. I asked a few others and they had the same opinion I had."

McNab is trying to arrange a deal for Lane, but the big defenseman said he had little hope of such a move, although he answered, "Yes, definitely," when asked if he still wanted to play hockey.

"If I don't have the ability to play in Washington, I don't see how I'll play somewhere else," Lane said.

"I think I'll just wait here a while.I have a house and I have to get that settled, along with some other things. Then I'll just pack my bags and money on back home (to Brandon, Manitoba). Maybe I'll find a job there."

Lane also had a last word for his teammates. "Tell all the boys I wish them luck. "i wish them all the luck inthe world. I don't want to say anything bad about any of them."