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Veteran Wellington Dukes Coach/GM Resigns to Join Golden Hawks Organization

By Sam Laskaris on June 22, 2017

Marty Abrams (right) was introduced the new head coach/GM of the Trenton Golden Hawks mere days after resigning his coaching/managerial posts he held with the Wellington Dukes. (Courtesy of the Trenton Golden Hawks)

Marty Abrams will continue to be the bench boss of a Junior A team in eastern Ontario.

But it just won’t be with the Wellington Dukes, the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) squad that he coached during 16 of the past 18 seasons.

In one of the OJHL’s most surprising off-season moves thus far, Abrams, who had also been serving as the Dukes’ GM, resigned from his posts with the Wellington organization earlier this month.

But it didn’t take Abrams long to land a new gig. A couple of days after leaving the Wellington squad, he was introduced as the head coach/GM of the Trenton Golden Hawks, one of the Dukes’ biggest OJHL rivals.

“Sometimes a change is necessary,” Abrams said. “When the opportunity came up in Trenton, which is 20 minutes from my house, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass on.”

There was a brief coach/GM void in Trenton this off-season as former NHLer Jerome Dupont came to a mutual decision with the Golden Hawks’ brass not to return to the organization. Dupont, who spent a half dozen seasons in Trenton, had been commuting from his Toronto home.

While Abrams’ decision to leave the Dukes sent shockwaves throughout the OJHL, he admitted he had been contemplating the move for some time.

“A full year ago I started thinking it might be time for a change,” he said. “The financial restrictions of running a team in Wellington was becoming more difficult.”

That shouldn’t be a concern now in Trenton for Abrams since the squad’s owners have a reputation of putting more money than most others into their junior franchise.

Since he will continue to live in Wellington, Abrams said he is going through some rather difficult times since deciding to end his association with the Dukes.

“I can’t tell you how tough it has been,” he said. “Every day though gets a little better.”

Abrams first joined the Dukes as head coach back in 1999. After four seasons he moved up to the Ontario Hockey League to take on the head coaching duties of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds.

He coached the Greyhounds during the 2003-04 campaign. He also started the following season with the club but was fired just nine games into the year.

Abrams then rejoined the Dukes, adding the GM portfolio, for the 2005-06 season.

Now that he’s with the Golden Hawks, Abrams has plenty of rebuilding to do. Many of those on the team’s veteran-laden roster from this past season have used up their junior eligibility. 

And the club will have to find some other offensive threats as the club’s top six scorers are all gone.

Abrams will be looking to ink some players to deals this weekend when the Golden Hawks stage a mini-camp in Trenton.

“We have a lot of holes to fill,” Abrams said. “We want to get some guys signed over the weekend.”

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By Sam Laskaris| June 22, 2017
Categories:  Junior

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