It’s not very often that I leave the exciting world of sarcasm to endorse a social cause or anything non-alcohol related, but for some odd reason the newest twist in the story of the most controversial (and only) NHL player to attempt to murder his agent intrigues me.
For those of you who don’t know the story of former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton – here’s the gist:
In the Spring of 2004, he was arrested for hiring a professional hitman (who sort of turned out to be a cop) to kill his longtime mentor and agent, David Frost.
The angst that fuelled the murder attempt reportedly stemmed from what the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would later call an abusive relationship. Frost had allegedly forced him to end contact with his parents as a teenager, physically abused Danton’s younger brother, and essentially controlled every aspect of his life for nearly a decade.
There were also inferences of a suspected sexual relationship after Frost told Danton “I love you” while in jail – not to mention that Frost was later arrested on one dozen counts of sexually exploiting minors.
After pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in 2004, Danton was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in Federal Prison until he was released in September of 2009. (Paroled after 62 months.)
Today, the 29-year-old is attempting to better himself by enrolling at Halifax University, where he is hoping to join the school’s hockey team this year.
At this point he is still awaiting permission from the department of corrections, but remains optimistic about his chances. Both the team’s head coach and many of his players have written heartfelt letters on behalf of Danton.
"Initially, I was very hesitant," bench boss Trevor Steinburg told the Halifax Chronicle Herald. "But I was challenged by my players [to accept Danton] for all the right reasons. He has paid the price for a mistake he's admitted was a huge mistake. He's already been punished for it."
This acceptance and compassion even reached the top of the school's athletic hierarchy.
"From a human being's perspective, we encourage them to grow and learn from their mistakes and move on,” says the University’s Athletic Director Steve Sarty. “I would have a hard time looking myself in the eye if I didn't buy into that whole process."
Source: Jamie Squire/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images