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The Mike Danton Story


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Danton Insists Father Was Murder Target.

Former St. Louis Blues forward Mike Danton insists it was his father, Steve Jefferson, he wanted murdered in 2004, and not his agent, David Frost, as most people suspect.

In an exclusive hour-long interview with Sportsnet Hockeycentral’s Nick Kypreos to be aired Wednesday evening, Danton says he feared for his own life and his attempt to hire a hitman was a pre-emptive strike.

"My intended victim was my biological father, Steve Jefferson," Danton, 29, tells Kypreos. "I was believing that there was somebody actually coming after me to end my life and the way I looked at it was I don’t want to die.

"I don’t know really what was going on in actuality, just my mind told me that this was going to happen and I reacted and made a terrible mistake."

Danton was 23 when he was arrested by the FBI in April 2004 and charged with conspiracy to commit murder. He was playing for the St. Louis Blues at the time and his team had just been eliminated from the NHL playoffs.

Danton pleaded guilty in July of that year and in November of 2004 was sentenced to 7½ years in prison. He was transferred to a Canadian prison this past April and was granted parole in September.

The prosecutors at his trial claimed it was Frost, who Danton regarded as a father figure, who was the intended victim. Frost had been an influence in Danton’s life for years, including taking Danton into his home when a teenaged Danton moved out of the Jefferson’s Brampton, ON home, claiming abuse.

Steve Jefferson and his wife, Sue, have denied they abused Danton. Danton changed his name from Jefferson in 2002.

"From day one I’ve never said that (Frost) was the target," Danton says. "That was the newspapers and the government agencies leaking that to the press and they ran with it."

That’s just one of the revelations Danton makes in the revealing interview, in which he talks about his life in prison, his desire to return to hockey, and his relationship with Frost.

"It’s not sexual, I can tell you that," Danton tells Kypreos of the relationship that began when Frost coached Danton’s junior team. "From the age of 14 I had always looked at (Frost) as a father figure.

"If I wasn’t talking to him on a daily basis, I talked to his wife, I talked to his kids and that’s the type of relationship that we had."

Frost has had his own problems with authorities. In November, 2008 he was acquitted of sexual exploitation of two junior hockey players he used to coach, and was also later acquitted of the fraudulent use of Danton’s credit card while Danton was imprisoned.

Frost is no longer an authorized agent by the National Hockey League Players Association.

Danton says he has been skating since his release and he hopes to play hockey again, but that Frost won’t be part of his hockey future.

"Dave and I have talked and we both agree that it’s not the best thing in the world for Dave to be associated with my hockey," Danton says. "My road consists of hockey. Dave Frost is not involved with my hockey.

"I’m going down this fork in the road, Dave’s going down that fork in the road. I’m going that alone and that’s where I’m going."

Danton says he bounced around numerous U.S. prisons during his 5½ years of incarceration, most of that in Fort Dix in New Jersey and Sandstone in Minnesota.

While he says now that the experience "saved his life," he admits he thought about suicide while behind bars.

"When I went into prison it was a bad time for me," Danton says. "There were a couple of occasions where I actually shredded the towels and made a little noose.

"I was sick and tired of being alone. Sick and tired of being unwanted."

Danton says regular therapy while in prison helped him to gain the confidence to heal himself.

"I really started being confident in making my decisions, handling myself in certain situations," he says. "That’s when I knew that I was going to be all right, that I knew it didn’t matter what I was going to face, that I was going to be all right."

For the complete interview, tune in to Sportsnet Wednesday. Broadcast times are:

Sportsnet East – 8 pm ET

Sportsnet Ontario – 9 pm ET

Sportsnet West – 8 pm MT

Sportsnet Pacfic – 9 pm PT

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He's a liar that IMO is still controlled by David Frost

The Parole Board bought his story and they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing early release

As for the NHL he doesn't deserve to play in the NHL

I feel sorry for his parents


For eight long and tortuous years, Sue and Steve Jefferson have waited to hear from their estranged son, Mike Danton.

Tonight, at least one of them will turn on their television set to Rogers Sportsnet and watch an hour-long interview with the former Mike Jefferson. Steve will listen to Mike Danton, The Untold Story, and maybe he'll take some notes. Sue isn't sure whether she has the strength or the inclination to go there anymore. Tom, the younger brother whose life has been terribly affected by his family blown apart, will sit with his father and listen to the brother he hardly knows speak in public for the first time in years.

Just what part of The Untold Story is told, how much is true, how much is fiction, will be determined by those who know this very sad story all too well and those whose lives have been entangled in one of the most misguided webs in hockey history.

"Sportsnet asked me to do an interview on this," Steve Jefferson said. "I told them I really don't have anything to say until I hear what Michael has to say. I asked them if I could look at the interview before they aired it; they told me that nobody wants to talk about it until it goes to air.

"But you know, Dave Frost always said the truth would come out. I guess this is their way of telling the truth."

It should be noted that Dave Frost had nothing to do with the arranging of this interview. That is what Nick Kypreos, the hockey player turned excellent commentator, has indicated. It was Kypreos who decided he wanted to interview Danton, wanted to find him, sit him down, get him to tell his story. That, by itself, is a journalistic victory of significance. But just how much Frost, the disgraced former agent and mentor, had to do with the content Danton will address is a matter that can't necessarily be quantified.

Steve Jefferson has been told his son again will identify him as the target of his mangled murder for hire plot, the crime that sent the former hockey player to prison for more than five years. That is the same story the National Parole Board bought hook, line and sinker. Never mind that it's nonsense. If Danton is doing this in some small way to try to open the hockey doors once again, to try to repair his own reputation, then lying won't exactly help him.

Jefferson has been told that his son will be critical of him, which is really nothing new. All that has gone along with him leaving home, changing his surname, talking about the lack of love in his home, and the closeness of the relationship with Frost.

In a brief excerpt of the interview, released by Sports net yesterday, Danton was asked to describe his relationship with Frost.

"Well, it's not sexual, I can tell you that," he said. "This homosexual stuff that came out in the beginning when I found that out, not to kind of put this down or anything, but I was laughing. It was funny to me."

What Danton says there contradicts two of the main witnesses in the sexual exploitation case against Frost, of which he was found not guilty.

"The relationship with Dave, I think people need to really understand it wasn't a player-agent relationship. I think that's where a lot of the views were kind of distorted and the media kind of took off with how bizarre this is (for) an agent (to) be able to have that type of control or influence on a young man.

"... Dave and his family took me in the for the first time when I was 11. I was hovering back and forth between 11 and 14 and I made the transition fully when I was 14. So from the age of 14, I had always looked at Dave as a father figure. This was more of a son-father relationship where I felt comfortable with Dave. I trusted him and I let him deal with my hockey issues. Which would make the outsider believe that it was a player-agent relationship because Dave would talk on my behalf."

Steve Jefferson hears these words and bristles. "Mike didn't even know Dave when he was 11. He met him when he was 12. And he never lived with Dave, but he did spend way too much time at his house along with Sheldon (Keefe).

"If he was living with Dave, how come when he moved to Quinte to play junior, just before his 16th birthday, we drove him there? My wife and I would argue about this relationship all the time. She saw Dave for what he was and what it was doing to our family. I just thought, this won't be long. He'll get drafted, he'll move on in his hockey career and that would be it. I was blind and stupid to what was going on, caught up in the Canadian dream. I knew at 16 he was going to the NHL. I didn't want to get in the way of him getting there."

Jefferson does have one question he would like his son to answer. It isn't about him, it's about the rest of the family.

"How come he doesn't talk to anyone in the family? If he's upset with me, that's one thing. What did my wife do to him? What did his brother do? His grandfather died and he didn't attend the funeral. He cut off his aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces he doesn't even know. Who does a thing like that?

"One more thing. Make sure he knows we love him very much."

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  • 2 months later...

Latest update regarding Danton.....

Former NHL player Mike Danton is preparing to make a return to the ice.

Danton has been cleared by his by parole board and given permission to move to Nova Scotia.

The 29-year-old has been cleared by the president of St. Mary's University to enroll at the school and has signed up for three courses, making him a full-time student. The forward is expected to play hockey for the university.

"This is a unique opportunity to prove that a university can offer someone a second chance, whether they have been challenged economically, socially or by other circumstances. I am proud to be associated with Saint Mary's University and the role we are playing in this case," said SMU Athletic Director Steve Sarty on Tuesday.

Danton took extension courses at Queen's University and enters SMU with a 70% academic average. He also took correspondent courses at SMU while he was in prison, so technically he was already enrolled in the student body.

Sarty told TSN that it was a tough decision to admit the former NHL player.

"I thought long and hard about it,” Sarty said Monday. "I've had a few sleepless nights about it. I've done a lot of research on the situation and I think people deserve a second chance.

"If we say no to Mike Danton, who are we going to say yes to?”

SMU head coach Trevor Steinburg told the Halifax Chronicle Herald that he also had to think long and hard about bringing a player with Danton's considerable baggage to the Huskies.

"Initially I was very hesitant," Steinburg told the Chronicle Herald. "But I was challenged by my players [to accept Danton] for all the right reasons."

Steinburg continued, telling the Chronicle Herald that he believes that Danton has paid his debt to society and that he is ready to help him get on with his life.

"There's no question it's the right thing to do. He has paid the price for a mistake he's admitted was a huge mistake. He's already been punished for it."

Danton pleaded guilty in 2004 in the U.S. in a failed murder-for-hire plot that allegedly targeted David Frost, Danton's mentor and agent. Danton was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison in 2004. He served five years of his sentence in the U.S. before being transferred to a Kingston, Ontario facility last March, when he reached full parole eligibility.

He was released from prison last September and remains on parole until Jan. 21, 2011. The native of Brampton, Ontario cannot travel between provinces until he is granted special permission.

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