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In Canada, David Frost is known as a controversial former NHL players' agent and minor-hockey coach, acquitted of sexually exploiting teen players and once named as the target of a murder plot by ex-St. Louis Blues player Mike Danton.

But in suburban Southern California, under the assumed name "Jim McCauley," colleagues say he is known as a competent instructor and administrator at a local hockey school, where he has been working since the spring.

While some at the Laguna Hockey Academy have a long association with Mr. Frost, others didn't discover his identity until recently. His clients and co-workers are divided, with some concerned about being associated with Mr. Frost and others dismissing suggestions his past had any bearing on his current position.

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For his part, Mr. Frost maintains that he's not trying to hide. Speaking to reporters at the facility Tuesday, he said he started using his alias - which he created by coupling his middle name with his wife's maiden name - to prevent bringing any notoriety to the academy.

He also directly contradicted those who know him in California, saying that he is merely writing protocols for the academy and doesn't actually work with kids directly.

"I'm certainly not running a hockey school. I'm certainly not here on an alias," the Los Angeles Times quoted him as saying Tuesday. "We're not ducking. I'm completely legal. The company is completely legal. It's above board."

But a fellow coach at the school, located about 60 kilometres southeast of Long Beach in Laguna Niguel, said Mr. Frost both runs the hockey program as an administrator and directly coaches players ranging from 13-years-old to adulthood. Mr. Frost had been working at the facility since May, he said, but didn't tell him his real name.

"I did know his face, but I couldn't put a name to it," said the coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He said he only discovered who "Jim McCauley" was a couple of months ago when searching online for a photo of Adam Keefe, another instructor at the school and a one-time client of Mr. Frost's. Now, he says he's reluctant to have his name associated with the school.

He said others have discovered Mr. Frost's identity, but it hasn't been a problem so far.

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"I am not an expert on him, so I give people the benefit of the doubt," he said. "People have not had an issue with that."

Rik Wahlrad, who works as the chiropractor for the academy, said he has no trouble with Mr. Frost's past, pointing out that he was acquitted of all the charges against him. Mr. Wahlrad, who has known Mr. Frost for years and describes him as a great coach, says his own son has been taught by the former agent.

"In the few months he's been working with my son, [his son has]become a much better hockey player. He spends an hour with him on his game," he said. "I can't think of one coach in Southern California who's as qualified as him. He's the grand poobah. I think he's probably the most experienced hockey coach around, no question about it."

Some, however, were worried. The mother of an 11-year-old son who trains at the academy said she wanted people to know of Mr. Frost's past.

"I've talked to a couple of different people now and I want to expose that he's here," she said.

In 2004, Mr. Danton, who played for Mr. Frost during his minor-league career and later used him as an agent, pleaded guilty to hiring a hit man to kill him. However, he later said his own father was actually the intended target of the hit.

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Mr. Danton was released from prison last year and now plays university-level hockey in Halifax.

Mr. Frost himself was charged in 2006 with several counts of sexual exploitation. He was accused of touching players on the Quinte Hawks, a Junior A team he coached near Napanee, Ont., in the late 1990s, and directing them to touch their girlfriends.

The women alleged Mr. Frost insisted they have threesomes with him and their boyfriends.

He was acquitted in November, 2008, after the two players involved testified in his defence.

Shortly afterward, he set up a website and blog called "Hockey God Online," dispensing advice on hockey training to players.

With reports from Joseph D'Hippolito and James Christie

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