Report: Coach suspended for hazing could sue

Updated: October 27, 2005, 9:26 AM ET
Associated Press

WINDSOR, Ontario -- Former NHL player Moe Mantha is considering legal action against the major junior hockey league that suspended him for hazing and player fighting last week, the Toronto Sun reported .

Mantha, the coach and general manager of the Ontario Hockey League's Windsor Spitfires, has hired Toronto lawyer Brian Greenspan to explore his legal options, the newspaper reported.

Mantha declined comment when contacted by the newspaper, instead referring questions to Greenspan.

"There is a real concern his reputation has been unfairly damaged," Greenspan said.

The OHL banned Mantha for one year as general manager and 25 games as coach on Oct. 18 for making players strip on the team bus. He also got a 15-game ban from coaching for fights in practice between Akim Aliu and Steve Downie.

OHL commissioner Dave Branch said he was unaware Mantha had hired Greenspan.

The Spitfires suspended Downie for five games and ordered him to participate in a personal counseling program. Aliu received a one-game suspension and must also attend counseling sessions.

Downie, a first-round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in last July's draft, left the team and has threatened to sit out the season if the Spitfires do not trade him. Aliu also demanded a trade.

Mantha played for 12 seasons as a defenseman in the NHL with Winnipeg, Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Minnesota and Philadelphia. He had 81 goals, 289 assists and 501 penalty minutes.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press