Tag: Mike Danton

Mike Danton

Former NHLer Danton denied visa to play in England


Former Devils and Blues forward and convicted felon Mike Danton wants to play hockey in England, but as of right now those prospects aren’t looking good.

According to Chris Johnston of The Canadian Press, Danton was denied a work visa to play for the Coventry Blaze. In case you’re unfamiliar with Danton’s story, he served more than five years in prison after being convicted of being part of a failed murder-for-hire plot. Danton will file another application with the UK Border Agency to see if he’ll be allowed in.

Recently, Danton has feuded with Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun and saved the life of a teammate in a pickup game after he started suffering a seizure. Despite Danton not being allowed back in the United States after serving time, he still has aspirations of playing in the NHL again.

Chalk this situation up as another strange turn in the bizarre life of one of hockey’s more curious personalities.

Mike Danton is upset with the author of his tell-all book


The Lost Dream is a book written by the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons on the life of former NHL player Mike Danton, who spent five years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder. The book details the bizarre relationship between Danton and his former agent, David Frost, and the circumstances which led to Danton hiring a hitman to allegedly kill Frost.

The word “allegedly” is important because to this day, neither Danton nor Frost will confirm Frost was the intended target. That information is important contextually, given what Danton tweeted at Simmons earlier:


The Lost Dream leans heavily on interviews and anecdotes from most of Danton’s estranged family, the Jeffersons (Danton changed his surname after being drafted by the New Jersey Devils.) This might explain the series of follow-up tweets between Danton and an Ontario-area TV reporter:


Not sure why Danton picked this particular time to open up a can of worms. He’s worked his way back to playing professional hockey (currently with IFK Ore of Swedish Division 1) and the book has been out for over a month. It’s also not as if Simmons’ work was the first bit of coverage the incident received.

Perhaps it’s an effort to drum up bids on Danton’s game-worn jersey, available on eBay now.

Update: Simmons has responded to Danton via Twitter…


Mike Danton becomes an unlikely hero as he helps teammate survive seizure

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To many in the hockey world, former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton will be remembered solely for his surreal plan to hire someone to murder his former agent David Frost. Danton eventually spent five years in prison for charges related to that plot and finished his parole sentence in early 2011.

After spending some time getting his hockey career and life back together at St. Mary’s in Halifax, Danton announced that his journey would continue in a Swedish league. He eventually settled in with Swedish Division 1 team IFK Ore, where he became fast friends with players such as Marcus Bengtsson – a player he calls “Vanilla Gorilla.”

In a strange twist, Danton’s time in prison came in handy during a scary on-ice incident that made him an unlikely hero. Danton apparently became certified in a first aid course during his prison time, which gave him the proper knowledge to help Bengtsson survive a lengthy bout of convulsions after he received a late hit during a game.

Here’s an excerpt of Danton’s blog account of the incident, beginning with Danton realizing that his teammate was in a bad condition after taking that late hit. (Note: the full link includes some adult language.)

As I skated over, I caught the last part of Bangan’s face smashing into the ice. It was like a mallet pounding into meat. After a few choice words with the perpetrator, I heard a moan. As I bent down to see if Bangan was okay, that is when he started to convulse.

At first it was his legs, then his arms, then his eyes, then his entire body.


His convulsions went on for what seemed like forever. Emergency help did take forever, as we are 35 minutes from the closest ambulance. There was nothing that we could do but wait and hope for the best. Our crew did a great job though. What must have been 6 or 7 minutes of convulsing all of a sudden stopped. His eyes opened and looked all around. Amongst the people talking Swedish to him I asked him if he was okay. ”Yes,” he replied. I asked him if he was sore or felt pain. ”No,” he said. I asked him if he knew where he was. ”Yes,” he stated. Weird, I thought. Then, I said, ”Manchester United sucks.” And he laughed. The Vanilla Gorilla was back. And it was at that time that I began to cry. I realized how close I was to losing a teammate, a line mate, a friend, and a member of the indigenous population of gorillas.

(Again, you can check out Danton’s full fascinating account of the harrowing but uplifting incident here.)

It’s certainly an unlikely story, but hopefully it’s just part of a redemptive process for the (once?) troubled winger. An NHL comeback is extremely unlikely, but if this story is any indication, Danton could still make a positive impact on the sport – one strangely nicknamed teammate at a time.

(H/T to Sean Leahy.)

Mike Danton announces that his strange journey will continue in Sweden


For the most part, hockey players are a humble, good-natured bunch. Even some of its highest paid players maintain an “aw shucks” demeanor despite all the money and fame.

Of course, with any group of people – especially in high pressure situations – there are some who go down darker paths. Few could compare their lower moments to the ones experienced by former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton, who recently finished a parole sentence stemming from the charges he received for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his former agent David Frost.

Their relationship was bizarre, to say the least, and it seemed like Danton might not play another high-level hockey game again after everything blew up in 2004. Danton was given a chance at redemption by playing college hockey at Saint Mary’s in Halifax, Nova Scotia in late 2010/early 2011 and it seems like he’ll continue his unlikely battle to get back into the NHL by playing in with an unnamed professional team in Sweden.

Danton said as much on his Twitter account, which Nick Kypreos pointed out.


As strange and disturbing as Danton’s past might be, it would be an amazing story if he could even get reasonably close to playing another shift in the NHL. We’ll make sure to keep an eye out for updates as his unlikely journey continues next season.

Mike Danton hopes to return to NHL as his parole sentence ends this week

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In some ways, it’s hard to believe that Mike Danton played in the NHL as recently as the 2004 playoffs. In fact, he scored a goal on his only career playoff shot on April 13, 2004, just three days before he was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder when he attempted to hire a hitman to kill his then-agent David Frost.

(Deadspin provides a nice rundown of the very odd story here.)

He eventually was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison on November 8, 2004 for the failed murder plot. Danton received full parole on September 11, 2009, according to Hockey Reference.com. He resumed his hockey career at Saint Mary’s in Halifax, Nova Scotia recently, but is hoping for more going forward. With Danton’s parole sentence ending on Friday, the Associated Press reports that the troubled forward hopes to make a return to the NHL. That being said, Danton admits that the odds are against him.

Even without his troubled background, a player with a marginal impact like Danton made in his career (nine goals and five assists for 14 points, a -8 rating and 141 PIM in 87 career games) would struggle to return to the highest level after such a long layoff.

He’s obviously been through a lot after that bizarre ordeal, but he faces the kind of odds that would be far fetched even for a Disney movie, let alone an unforgiving sport like hockey. We wish him the best as he tries to move along with his life, whether that happens on the ice or sitting in a cubicle.