Danton scores in return to hockey
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia -- Mike Danton played his first hockey game since being released from prison, scoring a goal in Saint Mary's University's 4-1 loss to Acadia on Wednesday night in front of about 2,000 fans at the Halifax Forum.
Danton, the 29-year-old former NHL player convicted in 2004 in a murder-for-hire plot in the United States, was released from prison last March.
The prosecution in the case said the target of the murder plot was David Frost, Danton's agent at the time, but Danton suggested to the National Parole Board last year that the intended victim was his father.
"Scoring the goal was a huge monkey off my back," Danton said. "You guys have put me on the front page for the past two weeks, so it was good to get that one away."
Wearing No. 24, Danton jumped over the boards for the first time 2 minutes into the game, threw a big hit behind the Acadia goal and narrowly missed setting up a goal.
"I'm an energy player," Danton said. "I'm not a guy that's going to be a go-to offensive guy getting two, three or four goals a game. I play physical. My concern was, that as the game went on, was I going to be able to sustain that kind of energy?"
Danton had a number of chances throughout the game and finally connected about 11 minutes into the third period, converting a pass from linemate Cam Fergus to cut it to 3-1. The crowd gave Danton a standing ovation.
"The standing ovation and the cheers, that's just something I'm used to since I've been here because everyone's been so supportive," Danton said. "It's been almost six years since he last heard that kind of roar."
Danton had nine goals, five assists and 182 penalty minutes in 87 NHL games with New Jersey and St. Louis. He also had a goal in five playoff games.
He changed his named from Jefferson to Danton while with the Devils after becoming estranged from his family.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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