An all-round athlete who played second base for the provincial champion Rosedales in Manitoba, Abbott was also a near scratch golfer and fine lacrosse player who decided to concentrate on hockey during his late teens.
He started playing hockey as a kid with Clifton Playground, then advanced to the West End Orioles for two years of midget before joining the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL. A popular young man in Brandon, he played on the team's top line with Gus Juckes and Brian Roche. His big-league chance came when the Habs Elmer Lach was injured and coach Dick Irvin called Abbott up from Victoria to a three-game trial--December 4, 6, 7, 1952. He played on a line with Bernie Georrfion and Paul Meger, as he had at Montreal's training camp when he first impressed Irvin.
Although an excellent forechecker and stickhandler, his three games were to be his only time in the NHL, after which he played more than a dozen years in senior leagues across Canada.