There's no denying that Danton was a troubled man when he was arrested and sentenced in his conspiracy to commit murder. His time in jail saw former agent David Frost show up on occasion, and it's scary to think that Frost continued to try to impose himself upon Danton's life. It seems, though, that his time at Saint Mary's University saw him get some great support from coaches, teammates, and professors, and the young man was named as an academic all-Canadian because of his straight-A average.
While I can imagine some NHL teams are a little leery about signing the former Devils and Blues forward, Danton took the initiative by accepting an opportunity to play in the Elite Ice Hockey League in England with the Coventry Blaze. While the EIHL is not AHL-calibre hockey, it's still a step up from CIS hockey and would give Danton a new challenge where he wouldn't have to face the same scrutiny for his past choices.
It was the announcement of Danton's intentions, however, that worried me. After all, Frost was able to manipulate Danton all the way through junior hockey up to the NHL, and there was contact made by Frost wit Danton once he was behind bars. David Frost's reach, it seems, could follow Danton across the ocean if he wanted to contact Danton once more. Whether or not Danton responded would be totally up to him - and I hope he would not - but Frost could legitimately make things difficult for the Blaze and for Danton if he so desired.
I feel for Mike Danton in that his hockey dream won't continue in Europe. He reportedly will submit a secondary application, but there's no guarantee that this one will make any difference. The Blaze, however, certainly want to add Mike Danton to their roster, and are working to help Danton jump across the pond.
"We believe that Mike Danton will be a huge asset to both the Coventry Blaze and the Elite League as a whole. Mike is desperate to play for the Blaze this season and both he and the club are prepared to wait for the outcome of the secondary application, even if it means that we could be one player down for the opening few weeks of the season.Pretty good endorsement of Danton's character, right? But again, you wonder if one David Frost is just biding his time to try to throw himself into Danton's life once more. I believe Mike Danton is a better man now, and I truly believe he would do everything humanly possible to prevent Frost from ruining his life and the lives of others if he were to reappear.
"Mike would be a huge asset both on and off the ice for the club. He is an outstanding example of an individual who has turned his life around in recent years. He maintained a near perfect grade point average at University. He has spoken to several thousand children about making good decisions in their lives and not giving up on second chances. He has won awards for his community involvement. He has started his own family. He wants to and would make a tremendous contribution to Coventry's community programmes (which include a focus on giving people second chances). As someone who has played at the highest level of the sport in the world, he would be a player that junior players could look up to and learn from. There are so many positive reasons why we believe Mike deserves to be granted his visa."
I think, regardless of the outcome of the secondary application, the media should leave Mike Danton alone so that he may continue to live his life as a normal man out of the spotlight. He needs less attention so that he can focus on his life with his family, his life in hockey, and being the upstanding individual that he has turned out to be.
Mike Danton is a changed man. He has changed for the better, and has proven that he will not waste his second chance. While he needs a second chance to try to suit up in England, let's leave the story of Mike Danton where it is now so that he can simply live life to the fullest without the attention. He deserves that much after all he's been through.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!