Report: Senators AHL coach fired after giving information to another NHL team

The Ottawa Senators parted ways with AHL Belleville head coach Troy Mann on Thursday in a surprising move.

The Ottawa Senators parted ways with AHL Belleville head coach Troy Mann on Friday.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Troy Mann has been the face of the Belleville Senators for the past five seasons, however, it all came to an abrupt end late on Thursday evening when the team announced his firing following a 5-3 win over the Rochester Americans.

The team’s assistant coach, David Bell, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

TSN’s Claire Hanna reports that Mann was relieved of his duties because he gave some of the Senators’ pre-scouting material to another NHL club.

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reports the team was unsatisfied with the development of their prospects and Mann's communication with players. The Senators did not comment on the allegations mentioned in Hanna's report in a statement released on Thursday.

"A change like this is a difficult decision, but we are aligned internally and feel this is necessary for the short and long-term growth of the players in our organization as well as the cohesion in systematic play between Ottawa and Belleville," said Belleville Senators general manager Ryan Bowness. "I want to thank Troy and his family for their contributions to the Belleville community."

“While a change at the head coach position during the season is not an ideal scenario, we felt it was necessary to deliver improved team performance," added Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion. "We are confident that David and his staff will make the most of this opportunity.”

The now-former head coach is the brother of Senators assistant general manager Trent Mann, who has been working in the franchise’s front office since 2011. He refused to comment on his brother's dismissal when asked by Le Droit reporter Marc Brassard on Friday.

Mann became head coach of the Baby Sens in 2018-19 and compiled a 150-117-22 record at the helm of the AHL Senators. He helped players like Josh Norris, Drake Batherson and Nick Paul develop into impact NHL players. The latter credited Mann for his tutelage following his nomination for the Masterton Trophy in 2021.

“One of the biggest things that helped me turn around, is (Mann) came in when I was at a lower spot in my mental state,” Paul told The Athletic’s Ian Mendes in May 2021. “I was very negative with myself with no confidence. And he kind of came in and gave me the confidence that I needed. He really had trust in me, put faith in me, and played me a lot. He taught me the game and how to be successful. So, Troy Mann coming in really helped me turn it around.”

Bell will make his coaching debut for Belleville on Saturday, the team's lone game before the AHL All-Star break. The 45-year-old is in his fourth season with Belleville and previously served as head coach of the OHL's Niagara IceDogs. Belleville currently sits sixth in the AHL’s North Division with a 17-22-4 record.

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