"Danton will hold a news conference Thursday about his decision to enrol at Saint Mary's University, where he'll join the hockey team.Ya, ya, Danton is not here to talk about the past, but he shouldn't have to in that forum. He should talk about with people who are qualified to help someone work through his anger.
"A statement today from the university says Danton, 29, will not talk about the incident that landed him behind bars."
Did everyone notice the about-face The Globe & Mail performed late last week? It went from scare tactics about Danton running someone a dozen years his junior to noting, "objections based on Danton’s age ... are largely overhyped."
" 'The average age of players in the (CIS) finals last year was 23. Most university players start their careers at 20 or 21, after they’ve had a try at making the NHL through junior hockey,' (SMU athletic director Steve) Sarty said.Globe columnist Jeff Blair, who cut saccharine from his diet long ago, was also live-and-let-live: " ... if the Canada Corrections stuff is sorted out and Danton is good enough to play for St. Mary's University and meets whatever academic criteria are necessary, he has the right to play. The whole age issue? Please. That's no more relevant than it was with the University of Manitoba's (2007) national championship football team."
" 'Some disagree with it (the difference in age between varsity hockey players and typical freshmen) but we didn’t invent the process. The CIS rules have no age limit on hockey players. I know of other schools that have ex-pros on the roster.'
"Sarty did not answer directly when asked if the lack of an age limitation in Canadian university hockey needed to be addressed.
" 'It’s a Pandora’s box. That’s the way it is,' he said."
Blair, a Manitoba native, is off on the football part. Age was relevant in football since it was a handful of teams in a couple conferences had an average age that was significantly higher than many other teams. Having an average age of 21 or 22 is across the board in men's hockey, outside of few second-rung OUA clubs. It also mattered in football, since a lot of the sport involves big guys trying to run directly into someone to make a block or tackle. Hockey is a lot of skating around people. There is a reason teenagers sometimes play in the NHL and don't play in the NFL, beyond preserving a free labour market for college football.