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Born October 21, 1980 (1980-10-21) (age 29),
Brampton, ON, CAN
Height
Weight
5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Right
Pro clubs AHL
Albany River Rats
NHL
New Jersey Devils
St. Louis Blues
NHL Draft 135th overall, 2000
New Jersey Devils
Career 2000 – 2004

Michael Danton (born Michael Sage Jefferson on October 21, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey player who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues, before being sent to jail for a conspiracy to commit murder. He was released on parole on September 11, 2009 after 63 months in jail, the original sentence being 90 months. He is returning to the hockey world by playing university hockey in 2010.

Contents

Playing career

Selected 135th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Danton was a left winger for the St. Louis Blues, who traded a 3rd round draft pick to New Jersey to obtain him. He played 68 games for the Blues in the 2003–04 season. While with the Devils organization, he changed his last name from Jefferson to Danton after becoming estranged from his family. He admitted he adopted the surname "Danton" from the name of a 13-year old boy at David Frost's hockey camp, because the name sounded "cool". He also feuded with New Jersey general manager Lou Lamoriello and was suspended by the team, prompting his eventual trade to St. Louis.[1]

During the 2000 Memorial Cup in Halifax, Jefferson commented in the press that Brad Richards wouldn't last five games in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL)[2] and later refused to shake Richards' hand after he had been named tournament MVP.[3]

Danton took university correspondence courses at Queen's University while imprisoned and applied to St. Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia for January 2010 entry. Danton is enrolled in three courses and wishes to play varsity hockey for the Saint Mary's Huskies.[4] [5] [6]

Arrest

Michael Sage Danton
(nee Michael Jefferson)
Born October 21, 1980 (1980-10-21) (age 29)
Brampton, Ontario
Charge(s) Conspiracy to commit murder
Conviction(s) Pled guilty on July 16, 2004
Penalty 90 months in prison
  • Originally sentenced in the United States
  • Spent last six months of sentence in a Canadian prison
Status Granted parole on September 11, 2009 after serving 62 months, currently on parole.
Occupation Formerly a hockey player

In Spring 2004, two days after the Blues were eliminated from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, Danton was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. On July 16, 2004, he pled guilty to attempting to hire a hitman, who was actually a police dispatcher, to murder David Frost, his agent, and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Stiehl to seven-and-a-half years in a United States federal prison. To this day, however, Frost denies that he was the target. Recently, Danton has claimed that his original target was his estranged father, Steve Jefferson.

In November 2005, the CBC program The Fifth Estate aired a documentary, Rogue Agent, about the history between Danton and Frost. In it, the documentary casts light on the controlling relationship Frost had with Danton and how he encouraged Danton to estrange himself from his parents, as well as an alleged incident where Frost and a group of his players abused Danton's younger brother. The documentary also focuses on a taped telephone call Danton made to Frost a week after his arrest. In it, Frost instructs Danton to plead guilty and ends the conversation demanding Danton say "I love you," which Danton does, further fueling speculation of a homosexual relationship between the two. In 2006, Frost was charged with 12 counts of sexual exploitation related to acts on three females and four males between the ages of 14 and 16, alleged to have occurred during the time that Frost was Danton's junior hockey coach. Frost was acquitted of all charges on November 28, 2008; the trial included testimony from women who had participated in threesomes with other players and Danton.[7] In an unrelated matter, Frost was also acquitted on February 14, 2009 of fraud charges related to the use of one of Danton's credit cards; Danton stated that Frost had his permission to use the card.[8]

In July 2008, in an article in the Denver Post, it was revealed that Howard Kieffer, the lawyer who represented Danton in his murder conspiracy case, had never graduated from law school and was not licensed to practice law. In September 2008, Kieffer pled not guilty to two felony charges and news reports revealed that he would not be representing himself. [9]

On March 19, 2009, the United States Bureau of Prisons granted Danton's request to be transferred to a Canadian prison after five years at FCI Sandstone; he was housed at the Pittsburgh minimum security prison in Kingston, Ontario. Under Canadian law, Danton was eligible for parole,[10] granted on September 11, 2009. Conditions of his parole include no contact with his father (who Danton now claims was the intended target), and no face to face meetings with Frost (widely believed to be Danton's actual target)[11]. He has skated since being imprisoned and has expressed desires to resume his hockey career. However, Danton would be inadmissible in the United States owing to his guilty plea. On January 13, 2010, he was cleared by correctional officials to move to Nova Scotia to attend Saint Mary's University, where he will play for their hockey team. Danton has applied to take 3 sociology courses and plans to suit up with the team very soon.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996–97 Quinte Hawks MetJHL 35 10 18 28 281
1997–98 Sarnia Sting OHL 12 6 1 7 37
1997–98 St. Michael's Majors OHL 18 4 6 10 77
1998–99 St. Michael's Majors OHL 27 18 22 40 116
1998–99 Barrie Colts OHL 26 15 20 35 62 9 6 5 11 38
1999–00 Barrie Colts OHL 58 34 53 87 203 25 7 16 23 107
2000–01 Albany River Rats AHL 69 19 15 34 195
2000–01 New Jersey Devils NHL 2 0 0 0 6
2002–03 New Jersey Devils NHL 17 2 0 2 35
2003–04 St. Louis Blues NHL 68 7 5 12 141 5 1 0 1 2
NHL totals 87 9 5 14 182 5 1 0 1 2

References

  1. ^ Duff, Bob (July 17, 2004). "Danton's troubled past catches up to him: Former Blues center convicted of trying to hire for murder". NBC Sports.com. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/4766753/. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  2. ^ Koshan, Terry (May 29, 2000). "What was Colt thinking? We may never know". Toronto Sun. http://slam.canoe.ca/MemorialCup00/may29_wha.html. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  3. ^ "Hockey on trial as coach appeals suspension for throwing game". CBC Sports. November 10, 2000. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/story/2000/05/30/hockey000530.html. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  4. ^ "Danton wants to play hockey at Halifax university". CBC. January 12, 2010. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2010/01/11/ns-hockey-danton.html. Retrieved 2010-01-12.  
  5. ^ Cochrane, Chris (January 11, 2010). "Paroled ex-NHLer headed to Saint Mary's". The Chronicle Herald. http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/9014763.html. Retrieved 2010-01-11.  
  6. ^ Cochrane, Chris (January 12, 2010). "Troubled Danton could get new start with SMU". The Chronicle Herald. http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1161803.html. Retrieved 2010-01-12.  
  7. ^ Frost Trial: No Law Against Being Repugnant The Star, November 29, 2008
  8. ^ Frost Cleared of Impersonating One of His Players National Post, February 14, 2009
  9. ^ Wetzel, Dale (September 16, 2008). "Man accused of being fake lawyer won't defend self". The Associated Press. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hvpUZGur3A8HHtUK5LOyGHDDUcoQD937SE7O0. Retrieved 2008-11-17.  
  10. ^ Mike Danton Now in Canadian Prison Sporting News, March 31, 2009
  11. ^ http://www.sbnation.com/2009/9/11/1026719/mike-danton-paroled

External links








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