Has a past relationship with controversial agent David Frost come back to take a bite out of Marty Abrams?
It's a notion that has been thrown around in the wake of Abrams' firing as coach of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Monday. But both Abrams and Greyhounds general manager Dave Torrie played down the idea that Abrams' relationship with Frost somehow helped lead to his firing.
"There have been a lot of rumours and innuendoes, and to be fair to Marty, the majority of them would be false," Torrie said. "It's people speaking out of turn. The record is not the only issue but I don't want to get into the other issues."
Abrams was part-owner of the tier-II Quinte Hawks eight seasons ago, when Frost was an assistant coach with the team.
"I dealt with (Frost) as an NHL certified agent, and that's it, no more, no less," Abrams said of his time as Soo's coach.
Abrams' firing is viewed with curiosity by some OHL observers. The Greyhounds were 2-2-1 in their past five games and top players Jeff Carter and Tyler Kennedy have missed three games and seven games, respectively, for different reasons. Abrams was looking forward to possibly playing with a full lineup this weekend against Windsor and Saginaw, two sub-.500 teams.
"Dave Torrie didn't like me and didn't want me here, and that's the bottom line," said Abrams, who is under contract through the end of next season. "I just want to express my gratitude to those who have called with support."
Philadelphia Flyers assistant coach Craig Hartsburg is said to be among the frontrunners to take over from Abrams.
ICEDOGS BEEF UP
The Mississauga IceDogs are serious about returning to the OHL final next spring.
The 'Dogs last night swung a major deal with the Sarnia Sting, acquiring Sarnia's top two scorers -- overager John Hecimovic and Daniel Carcillo -- and defenceman David Pszenyczny. Going to Sarnia are forwards Chad Painchaud and Brad Efthimiou, defenceman Chris Chimienti, two second-round picks and future considerations.
"These guys are going to be very good players for us," said IceDogs coach Greg Gilbert, whose club lost in the OHL final to Guelph last season. "We had a good run last year but there were some areas we had to address."
The Brampton Battalion didn't get more than four goals from one defenceman last season but rookie Michael Vernace has five already. With 40 goals in 11 games, the Battalion (7-2-2) is on pace for 247, which would be a club record ... Condolences to the family of former OHL official Briant Duncan, who passed away recently at 33. Duncan was an OHL linesman for three seasons in the late 1990s.